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Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Independence day

First of all, happy Independence day. This marked our 67th independence day celebration. We've been free from any foreign rule for 66 years now. So, I'd like to take this moment and congratulate every Indian.

Now, I was thinking (yes, I think too much). What have we done in these 66 years? Where are we? Where would we be 20 years from today?

I do not intend to rant or vent my frustration about what's wrong. I definitely do not want to pose the question 'are we free?' or 'have our politicians ruined our freedom?' I just want to reflect what we've done.

For sure, we are one of those potential superpower countries. We have achieved great things in past 66 years. From being under British rule to being a nuclear power, we've done it all. We have some of the best minds. Our economy is the 9th largest in the world per GDP. Our IT infrastructure is one of the best across the world. Since 1991, when we opened our doors to world, we've grown manifolds. We are touted as one of the youngest countries as well (median age of 24.9) and we continue to attract more foreign investors. We are a popular outsourcing destination, with so many big corporates setting up shop here. We are way better connected than before (we are the third largest market after China and the US for cell phones). We are ready to break the glass ceiling.

Of course, not everything is rosy. While we've grown, we have not been able to solve some of our basic problems. Malnutrition is still high amongst our children. We still import more than we export. We are still a soft target for terrorists. We still can't decide what to do with our neighbors. Our currency is not strong enough. And we have definitely been not able to curb the parasite we call corruption.

Now, I can go on and on about what we've achieved and where the problems lie. But that's not the point. The point is what we are doing as individuals for our country. Are we socially and economically responsible? Are we doing our bit? Are we really utilising our freedom?

We ramble about inefficiency of our system and yet we do not help it. We do not respect our traffic signals. We'd rather pay something to get out of a situation than going through the procedures. We'd rather rant about a politicians stupid comments on social sites than go out and vote. We'd rather blame someone else for a situation than sharing the blame. We'd take every shortcut we can and still blame everything on system.

The system's not perfect, but neither are we. We cannot change our system overnight, but what we can do is change ourselves. We can break the cycle. We can all unite and help each other and ourselves. We are the people. We are the soul of this once glorious nation. It's difficult, but it's not impossible. We can start by doing little things right. It'd be slow, but even a small step in the right direction is good. We should stop underestimating our power and do something for our country and in the process, for ourselves. Remember, we can break that glass ceiling. All we need is that little push from ouselves. Together, we can bring it. We'll write our own destiny.

That's my oath. Happy Independence day!