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  • With Independence Day round the corner, a reader discusses the progress of India

This August, India enters into its 73rd year of Independence. Late Indian politician and freedom fighter Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, undertook a mission no less than a poet’s journey. Nehru’s famous maiden speech on the midnight of August 14, 1947, exemplifies his emotion in these two lines: “India’s tryst with destiny” and “a moment rarely comes in the life of a nation” – lines that have gone down in history.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shares a similar passion. His mission “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” (Together we’ll succeed) is an expression of trust sought from the people.

Once Nehru put India on high alert with a slogan “Laziness is forbidden” during the 1960s. It was that time of year cartoonist R. K. Laxman was busy with his creation, a man in humour. The said common man imagined by late Laxman has a new face on Facebook and Twitter. He is high in spirit and is energised. ‘India shining’ and ‘Incredible India’ is moving on towards a ‘better tomorrow’. The so called “Achche din” (better days) promised are here. Today more people have access to a mobile phone, than to a flushing toilet.

However, on a darker note, women cannot walk freely on the road. A village farmer lives in fear of getting lynched. Communalism and racism have spread all around the country. Many state and their good men change themselves dramatically finding enemy among people of different origin. It is reminiscent of the pre-partition days that India faced in 1947. Partition of India was a human tragedy perpetrated not by the people but by leaders of that time who conceded to a monarchy’s decision rather than people’s verdict. Stories of sufferings are still remembered by the older generation affected by partition. India will soon enter into its 75th year of independence in 2021. It is a long journey taken towards progress, compared to any powerful nation in the East.

The early Arab traders called India ‘Hind’ and ‘Hindi’. Arabic word ‘Hind’ frequents into Indian poetry. The Hindutva concept conveys a religious concept immersed with the faith of eighty percent of the Hindu population. It is a natural corollary. I think all Indians will readily accept it to be called as such. A country is like a mother’s hand in embrace with all her children irrespective of their religion caste, colour or creed. If you know this, there will be no fear and the country will be safe.

- The reader is a resident of Dubai, UAE.