As a north calcuttan you will inevitably wake up to the beats of Vande Mataram on the morn of August 15th. Calcutta is The City of Joy, and it is not named thus without a reason. The reason shall present itself at every corner, every tea stall, in every person, and in the throbbing beating heart of the city itself. The reason is we like to celebrate, be it a national holiday, be it a religious one, be it something we don’t even understand, be it something we oppose. Nobody can ever see a calcuttan not availing a holiday just because its not of his religion or about something he actually opposes. The same holds for this day. Independence day as we call it, we celebrate it with full enthusiasm, but hypocrisy does not ever lack behind us. But on this special day, the whole of India takes to following us in this matter, not only in celebrating like there’s no tomorrow, but being the hypocrite as well.
On 15th August one will inevitably wake up to patriotic songs like Vande Mataram and that too at 6 in the morning for no reason, and most unlike other days we don’t curse and go back to sleep, but actually wake up. We feel a false sense of importance. A slow and observant stroll along the streets will present you with many a sight, a speech on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose is unmistakably there in Calcutta, and in other places of their respective leaders. Tri Colors fly everywhere, from flag posts to banners and flyers and last but not the least on the cheeks of children and the youth. Even Schools have a flag hoisting on this day but lets spare the innocent from the things we normally do not see on this day.
India is a secular and free country. It is independent. A tinge of pride comes into the heart when we say it, doesn’t it ? Well, it is a free country with freedom of speech, expression, peaceful assembly , and religion. But at times just on paper.
Hypocrite is too less a word to use when we forget what we do the other 364 days. People who speak up against the government are silenced. They are socially blocked on media. In Calcutta People can’t even dare speak against the government for fear of being picked up and framed for a crime that doesn’t exist in the book of crimes for the Chief Minister can’t help but be unimaginative.
When we resort to freedom of expression, that gets taken from us too. The cartoonists, one of the gems of the common people, people who can change minds influence thoughts with mere images, are harassed. They are arrested. They are not allowed to publish it. Even Mamta Bannerjee has to lack grey matter to be afraid and show just how weak she is by picking on a nobody drawing a few pictures.
And yes, how dare they speak against the government , how dare somebody point out the idiotic mistakes by cartoons, how dare someone even oppose them, how dare the common people have the right to decide who rules and regulates the state. How dare someone voice their opinion, How dare someone speak up and tell the truth. It ‘s not like this is actually a DEMOCRACY. How Dare They.
We had one last right. The right to a peaceful assembly. Well it sure is in pieces with political parties bombing each other’s meeting places. Sure the police can beat up a student to death , sure the police can even molest someone, and not do anything when other people do the same. But a University can’t even discuss it.
When Jadavpur University students want a peaceful assembly to voice their wishes, HOW DARE THEY? They really really should be beaten up and loaded in buses with broken bones and not even driven to a hospital. When the students, the youth peacefully assemble , they really should not be even recognized, they should be pushed back and turned towards home. How dare they oppose what we did and what we would do any other day without a second thought.
Yes they deserved to be beaten up broken down and sent back without aid. Cause that’s what you get for not understanding what India really is. They are the youth. The future of the country, how dare they not blend in and agree with this big fat tradition of ours. Our Hypocrisy.
Sometime back we knew India to be Secular. All religion are the same here. You bat an eyelid and the next thing you know is Beef is banned in Maharashtra. Do the people want it ? No. The home of 24 million muslims, followers of Islam , who’s diet by religious laws is of Beef just banned Beef. How is that equality.
And the leaders want this to be all of India. They want the motherland housing over 180 Million Islamic people to ban their food. Which is their right by religion. Well we clearly know this wasn’t the people’s opinion by the figures who would be severely affected by it. Well they decided on the end of their religion on residing in this country anyway. How dare they question the Hindu party who is leading the nation.
Gujrat has a ban on alcohol for years. This, though has a good enough intention, is still restricting freedom. Anything to be discouraged is not be don’t by force. We always and by that I mean we ALWAYS have a choice.
Coming to the End of this, India bans Porn. Out of nowhere India bans porn. A country who have a lot of people working in that industry are allowed to work in it for foreign viewership but India bans porn inside the country. Well the movie censor board doesn’t always quite agree on the views of the ministers. What can we do. Also India bans porn, a decision by the parliament when in that month over 20,000 views had been just from the parliament itself. Anybody can rest their case here and still prove a point.
Mumbai police even took the trouble to round up and arrest couples from hotels when intimate as an act of public indecency as they are ruining our culture. Well by arresting them, the police made it public, they literally popularized it. And well Freedom of Privacy just went out of the window. That’s a sad commentary in and out of itself.
Besides this India has actually reached and crossed frontiers of excellence in a lot of things. From sending the British to their island of teapots to defending ourselves against a country (Pakistan) who keeps trying to invade us while we use the time to reach mars. And to running a nation for 69 whole years and maintaining peace. It has also succeeded in remaining neutral in world politics.
But all this said. We are independent from the world outside of our borders. But are we actually free from what resides inside the country itself, what we have ignored and have allowed to develop over the years. Are we actually even close to being independent as a single person with a working free consciousness ? Your Call.