As India completes 70 years of independence, we see a surge of great enthusiasm racing across the nation, evoking thoughts of Independence from foreign rule coupled with the pride of being an Indian. ‘Happy Independence Day’ hashtags and pictures were being circulated on Twitter, Facebook, TV Channels and WhatsApp. Is our independence limited to flag hoisting, and listening to a patriotic speech? How is that we are celebrating and commemorating a day of Independence while being dependent on a corrupt leader to hoist the Indian Tri-Colour? Are we really Independent or in dependence?
We have got rid of foreigners from ruling us but how is it that we are still dependent on foreign goods? Foreign companies are taking over India and its economy. India’s BPO industry is thriving because of the services outsourced by the US. For whom is the ‘Make in India’? We have 150 families controlling the economy of the country. They do not even represent one percent of the country’s population. Yet they own 90 percent of the wealth of the country. To put it in a nutshell, the poor are made dependent on the rich. They are dependent on the basic necessities for survival. Our women are not independent in our country. In the recent case of a stampede on the FOB in Elphinstone Suburban Station, Mumbai, there is a video footage where a young woman was not given a chance to die with dignity as she was subject to molestation at the time she took her last breath. We are dependent in the sector of health care. We are much dependent on China for procuring essential drugs. India is dependent on others for oil. We import 82 percent of our oil requirements. We are made dependent for purchasing weapons of war from other countries. Our country is not able to educate every child on its own even though we boast on paper of an Act that was passed- RTE – the Right to Education. At the same time there are numerous schemes for free education. How many of them educate their children because they get free education! It’s time for us to educate children because they need to be free. The rich in our country are dependent on foreign varsities for the on-going education for their children. Our Government is dependent on the Corporates because they are the ones who supply the moolah for ‘bribes /enticements’ for helping them win elections. As the Government at the Centre is rooted in the Right Wing ideology, rationality is suppressed. “Aam Aadmi” is forced to be dependent on the irrational thinkers, who do not even dream of a progressive vision of society. In times of natural calamities, such as Tsunami, floods, our states are dependent on the aid from the other states. We are trained for dependent thinking – not in-dependent. We like ‘the herd mentality’ to be told what to do or just follow the mass. Independent thinking is not practiced. The Media plays a negative role, feeding our minds with half-true, biased, and processed capsules of information to achieve the desired impact on us. We are nothing but tools in their hands; they play with our minds and control them. Every system, beginning with our family, is dependent on bribes. How can we wipe out corruption at the grass root level? Our farmers are dependent on the state. Be it GST or Demonetization, which has only aided the richest, these schemes are a big threat to the farmers. Suicides are increasing day by day. Where are we heading towards as this attitude is an imminent threat to India’s primary occupation – the life of a farmer?
How can we say that we are independent when we are in dependence? We have heard of that line of Rabindranath Tagore ‘Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high.’ It’s the very opposite that we are seeing today. How can we create in every citizen a fearless mind with their heads held high? Mahatma Gandhi says ‘Be the change, you want to see.’ It’s time to make our shift from “Make in India” to “Make our India”. It’s time for our Christian leaders to rethink their way of training young minds, especially the future minds of their respective religious congregations, secular priests, and laity. Are we making our trainees and formees dependent? We have men and women lined up for the near or distant future, who are pursuing their religious studies. Are they dependent on only what is taught to them? Have a thought too about our educational institutions, our missions. Are we making people dependent or helping them to be self-supporting, self-reliant and, eventually, independent? It’s time to put an end to the blame game. The buck stops with each one of us!
Don Prem Lobo
3rd Year, DNC