A Journey of 70 Years

Sagarneel Sinha

The 15th of August,1947- 70 years ago on this very day,our country got freedom from the imperialistic and oppressive Britishers. It was a moment of extreme joy for all the Indians who wanted to be the rulers of their own motherland rather than being the slaves of Britishers. The masses were united against those oppressive forces who were driven by the ideas of freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhagat Singh etc. Today, we are celebrating “70 years of independence” remembering all those brave hearts who selflessly contributed their whole life for the country's struggle against tyrannical forces.

Indians born after independence may not know the pains and sufferings of the pre-independent era as we never had to face the lathis and bullets of Britishers. Most of us attend the events of independence day or do sit in front of the TV to watch the celebrations. Though some of us even go for a holiday trip during this day and there will be no change this time too! Have we ever wondered what was in the minds of those brave hearts? What were their thoughts about an independent India? What were their dreams about the free Indians? Have their dreams come true?

I think these are the most important questions and answers have to be searched. Our country has progressed leaps and bounds in compare to pre-1947 era. She has been able to establish herself as a major power at the global platform. But there are much more important goals that are needed to be achieved. Even after 70 years of independence the farmers are bound to commit suicide. According to latest government figures since 2013 every year, an average of 12,000 farmers commit suicide. India is also home to the highest number of hungry people in the world with 19.4 crore, according to the 2014-15 United Nations annual report. Our freedom fighters wouldn't have dreamt about such situations! Governments come and go but the farmer suicides still remain even refusing to decline! Though the country has been able to reduce the poverty but there is much more needed to achieve. The country has made significant gains in education sector with literacy increased from 12% to 74% in last 70 years; still the figure is less than average 84% world literacy rate. She also has the most illiterate people in the world. Even a big country like China with the largest population has a literacy rate of 96.4% then why not India?

In 1975, Indira Gandhi's government added two terms to the constitution of India- Socialism and Secularism. But these two terms remained in the papers and became the victims of party politics. No other terms are misinterpreted like them. Socialism is to serve the society and Secularism is to maintain the equality in the society irrespective of creed, colour or caste. These two terms depend on each other and are very important for the development of a country. Though these terms were not included in the Constitution adopted by the Constituent Assembly, the principles of Socialism and Secularism were always reflected in our constitution.These principles were reflected in the minds of our freedom fighters, even reflecting in our Indian society for last thousand years. Today like always, they are vital for our country and have to be rescued from being the victims of party-politics!

When we are celebrating 70 years of independence we shouldn't forget the current students' generation who will be the future of our country. The government has to ensure that they study the latest upgraded information. For example, our History books teach the students too old information. One of the most popular topics in ancient Indian History is the Indus Valley Civilization, which according to the latest research by scientists of IIT Kharagpur and Archaeological Survey of India, is the most ancient civilization in the world taking shape around 8000 BC, much older than Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. But in the books,it is taught as 'one of the oldest in the world' starting from the era of 4000 BC. Also according to latest surveys, Rakhigarhi of Haryana has emerged as the largest site replacing Mohenjodaro! Many information taught are according to the facts established by the British historians long ago most of which are controversial today like the Aryan Invasion Theory which is not supported by archaeological facts and figures. Books must be updated to provide much more accurate information with a better analysis of the events or situations to the students.

But, the political parties either ruling or opposition are busy in questioning each other’s contribution to the freedom struggle and development of the country. They are busy in cross checking under whose reign democracy, freedom and secularism are mostly upheld! Hope, they will realise the dreams of our freedom fighters and focus on their own individual duties for the betterment of mother India and her children while celebrating70 years of independence”.

                                                                                                                     By: Sagarneel Sinha