Are we really free?

By Dr Francisco Colaco
28 August 2016 17:48 IST

In the spring of 1827 the poet Mirza Ghalib wrote these timeless lines: “ Said I one night to the pristine seer/Who knew the secrets of whirling Time/Sir, you will perceive/That goodness and faith/Fidelity and love/ Have all departed from this sorry land/ Father and son are at each other’s throat/Brother fights brother/Unity and Federation are undermined/Despite these ominous signs/ Why has doomsday not come?/Why does not the Last Trumpet sound?/Who holds the reins of the Final Catastrophe?”

Ghalib’s poem was composed against the backdrop of the decline of the Mughal empire but these words still ring true in our ears. Freedom came to India on 15 August 1947. Between the hymn and flag presentation came three speeches: one by an eminent Muslim, second by Dr. Radhakrishnan and the third by Nehru who was the star of the day, with a speech rich in emotion and rhetoric, “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance”. There were celebrations and then the beginning of violence, chaos and fratricidal wars, the foretaste of what was yet to come.

 As we celebrated the 70th Independence Day, the midnight dream of our forefathers seems to be rapidly descending into a nightmare: we rank 87 out of 100 countries measured by transparency International corruption index. In Modi’s governance corruption is increasing rather than decreasing. As far as our political class is concerned their assets keep multiplying and politics becomes a vehicle for self-aggrandisement. It is alleged that the lower judiciary is in a mess and there’s mounting judicial corruption, but luckily there are still judges that pass orders that serve the less privileged ones. There are sections within the media who have lost their moral compass, though mercifully there are also those who celebrate the media’s important role as a robust and genuine watchdog.

Kashmir remains a festering sore with our inability to deal with the wounds of history. Sincere and well-motivated NGOs, who rub the government on the wrong side, are being hounded while the largest NGO, the RSS, is favoured with goodies. Rationalists are being murdered in broad daylight. The alacrity with which the police arrested Kanhaiya Kumar with concocted sedition charges is in cruel contrast to the inaction against lumpen lawyers who enjoy political patronage.  It is not only Amir Khan’s wife who fears staying back in this country but there are thousands who fear so, uncomfortable even to raise dissenting voices to fight for their rights for fear of vendetta.

Here’s an open letter to PM from a full-blooded Hindu which is so telling, so pathetic, widely circulated on the net by thepoliticalfunda.com.

 

“Mr. Prime Minister, I’m writing to you thinking that probably if at all you are left with an iota of sharam you would step down as prime minster and let someone more dignified, educated, non controversial and humane lead us the way. 

Wish our constitution gave us powers as citizens to topple governments who are so hell bent upon creating intolerance, mass murders, apathy and hatred amongst fellow Indians for their interests.

It makes me so sad to see how India is making headlines for all the wrong bloody reasons and not a word spoken by you. You have taken my India to the dark ages.

I am a practicing Hindu but don’t believe in consuming gau mutra to pronounce myself pure. I don’t skin people alive who prefer eating beef and not vegetables and dal. Oops, forgot dal is costlier than beef. You aren’t someone who should be heading a country, where none of your acts project that you believe in a democracy.

You have indeed time and time again shown what a mediocre, narrow minded approach you have held in dealing with nation in the most difficult times and also being mute about it as always.

Unrest in Kashmir, Dalit lynching, Akhlaq, murders, corruption goes on unabated while the Adanis and Ambanis have your hand on their heads as saviour and protector. I, like any other Indian, had hoped for better governance considering UPA had failed to do so in many aspects but never did we expect to see an India that you have made today.

I’m sure we were better off with UPA for it did not run the country on an RSS ideology; it gave us dal but not priced at Rs.200 per kilo. It gave us corrupt officials but not as corrupt and devious as you and people in your party. But as time passed my India grew more intolerant not because it wanted to but because some people assigned by you made it happen like that. But one day my husband pulled me close to him and said, I think it’s time we leave”… and they left. “Far far away from your peering eyes i feel good yet so sad to see my fellow Indians suffering and waking up to another horrendous day.”

As I write this, I must confess, I love my India and will stick to it and fight for my rights. I believe that God who is the master of our destiny will bring back freedom and communal harmony and restore India’s former glory and splendor one day.

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Dr Francisco Colaco

Dr Fracisco Colaco is a renowned cardiologist and nationally acclaimed eco-cardiographer. He is a pioneer in eco-cardiology in Goa. Also a social activist. He has passion for music and dance.

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