Happy Independence Day!

By Ninad Pundalik

Here’s a song that I really like…

Krishna Ni Be Gane / Bhalo / Krishna Ni Be Gane / Bhalo /

Darkness comin’ around / and every body’s fighting with the brother /
Everybody wants control/ don’t hesitate to kill one another /
So come back as Jesus / come back and save the world /
Bless all the future / of every boy and girl /
Come back as Rama / forgive us for what we’ve done / come back as Allah / come back as anyone

Religion is the reason / the world is breaking up into pieces /
Color of the people / keeps us locked in hate please release us /
So come down and help us / save all the little ones /
They need a teacher / and you are the only one /
we can rely on / to build a better world /
A world that’s for children / a world that’s for everyone

Time is a healer / time moves on / time don’t wait for anyone /
They tell me you’ll be back / but that will take some time/ I’m waiting / Yeah… Yeah
Come back as Jesus / come back and save the world /
we need a teacher / you are the only one
Come back as Rama / forgive us for what we’ve done / come back as Allah / come back as anyone

Jesus / come back and save the world /
Bless all the future / of every boy and girl /
Come back as Rama / forgive us for what we’ve done / come back as Allah / come back for everyone

Govind bolo Hari Gopal bolo…

- Krishna by Colonial Cousins

A very Happy Independence Day to all my Indian brothers and sisters. It’s been 61 years since India started out on it’s path to become one of the greatest nations in the world, to regain it’s lost glory. The last few years have seen India relentlessly marching on the path of success and greatness. The economic facts and figures are there for everyone to see. Kudos to everyone who has toiled to bring us to our current position. But, one thought has been tormenting me for quite some time… Is this enough?

Indian cities have grown by leaps and bounds. But, the villages of India, where the majority of the population still resides, have been stagnating for ages. They still face problems with the basic requirements of water, electricity, education, connectivity, etc, etc. The list is extremely large. BPO’s have grown at an explosive rate, and so have the number of people working over there. However, there is still a large percentage of people who are unemployed, and who turn up for the Employment Guarantee Schemes of the Government. Students of various government schools have no advantage over those who don’t attend school, as the teachers who are supposed to teach them never turn up to teach them. As a result, a child studying in the 5th standard cannot read books that a 2nd standard child should be able to read. Politicians, who sit in the Parliament, deciding the country’s future, face innumerable criminal cases in the court. The political parties of the country play petty politics at the first chance they get. So, whatever has been done till now is not enough. To fulfil India’s destiny, there is still a lot more to be done…

We all like to play the blame game. We point fingers at others, and the others in turn point fingers at us, for no particular reason. The buck never stops. The only way to get out of this vicious circle is to stop being childish and behave. We need to realise that we cannot change the past. What can be changed is the future, through the present. India is our country, and hence, the direction that the country takes, depends on what we decide. We have the choice. As Amir Khan’s character says in Rang de Basanti, We can either let the world be as it is, or we can sit up, take action, and change the world, to our liking. We have the choice to improve the situation. We also have the choice to not improve the situation. It is upto us to decide which path we choose.

The momentum that the country has built in the last few years is too great to let go of. We need to take up the country’s development with a vengeance. Today, India is rated among the best countries in various fields. We have reached the top. However, the climb from the bottom to the top has been easy. The real difficult part is the climb to the peak, to become the best. It will require energy and dedication from our generation, to an extent seen never before. If we take up this task of building India, no one in the world can stop us. All that we have to do is to be vocal about our opinions. Every Indian has the right to vote. A recent example of what public pressure can do is the impending stepping down of Mr. Musharraf from the post of President of Pakistan. If this can happen in a country that has a history of dictatorial rule, imagine what can happen in a democratic country like India. Whenever public opinion has been voiced, the Government has had to rethink it’s decisions and fall in line with the public demand. We are the government of the country. The youth are the citizens who shape the future of their country, with their young and hot blood, and the will to do whatever it takes.

Today, I request you to ask yourself, and keep asking yourself time and again: What can I do to make the country better? How can I improve the condition that I, my family, and my country are in? Have we done enough for the country that has been our motherland?

P.S.: I recommend the following album. You will surely get goosebumps… Jana Gana Mana Album Cover