Are we a free country? Are we really a democratic nation?

We all read about the recent civil revolution in Egypt and Libya, which the civilians went against the military governance of 30 odd years (successfully in the former and not so far in the latter). We lauded and cheered the people of both countries for their fearless and persistent struggle for their rights. We spoke at lengths about how each country should be a democratic one and how people should wage a war against unjust and extreme rulers. Closer home, do we really spend so much thought as to- are we free?

We are a democratic and independent country, sure, but sadly only on paper. We are worse off today than we were during the colonial rule. At least they were not one of us. Today, although, we are governed (deceived) by our own people (under influence of some foreigner?), we really cannot truly call ourselves a progressed or progressing nation. Sure enough we have progressed in some spheres but in the light of corroded values in the form of corruption, red-tapeism and nepotism, we still have a long long way to go.

Each day a new scam exposes a shameful state of affairs in almost every sphere of occupation. Black-money is stashed away in the tax havens of Swiss banks by leaders, corporate and influential individuals who have been squandering away hard-earned money of common public in broad daylight. The aam admi is struggling hard to meet ends even as he is battling inflation, bad civic management, poor economic policies, heavy and multiple taxes. Housing prices are on a perpetual high making the basic necessity a mirage for many. Most residential areas are reeling under water shortage and poor sanitation conditions. Women call themselves empowered and liberated today. Are they truly so? Every day, some woman is stalked, threatened, raped, brutally murdered, molested, or just subjected to some other kinds of sexual harassment that may be equally humiliating and disturbing. Girl child is still not welcome in many so-called educated families too. We need not even mention the rural areas here. People obtain fake certificates and degrees without any difficulty, even in case where public life is at stake. The recent case of an Air-India pilot being caught with a fake degree underlines the risk and danger common people are being subject to. We even have fake doctors performing life-threatening operations. Education is a rare commodity for under-privileged children. The government, sure, boasts of having announced a reform granting right to education. Only that, the amount of school-drop-outs far exceeds the enrollments. Teachers are under-paid and not motivated enough to uphold the nobility of this profession. Corruption has seeped into every quarter making it so common that it is almost being brushed off as something that is a given and needs to be put up with.

Such mediocrity and apathy by governing bodies notwithstanding, we cheer the rising (grossly misinterpreted, I think) economic rate and build it to the levels of it being enough to take us on the road to be a super power. Cricket matches become a platform to promote patriotism. People become dumb enough to cheer up on a superficial feel-good factor created by the over-active media from time to time. The media itself is a biased body which is affiliated to respective political parties. The news is largely filtered, with the facts twisted to suit the larger interests of the party it (the channel) serves. The truth however can be tracked if one follows the internet carefully (thanks to private and not-so-private blogs maintained by politically aware citizens).

On a positive note, some states like Gujarat are doing enviously well. The Modi government contrary to what the media might like us to believe has truly done amazing work. Sadly not one news channel features a programme on this front. Facebook and Twitter triggered the civil revolution in Egypt and Libya. Will these be enough to awaken us from the slumber we are in? Are we, as a nation, ready to swallow the bitter pill necessary to cleanse our country and start afresh? Are we even willing to exercise our voting rights and vote the right person?


  1. So true.... we are uner the illusion of being free... we are not oppressed.. but defintely cannot say, the goverment will watch out for ME first1

  2. It's a sad situation Garima, worse is that we are not doing anything about it..:-(

  3. so true...i feel so strongly about this.....but always clueless as to what to do??
    there is lot of passion and verve in this article.


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