India is the largest democracy of the world. A home to more than one hundred and twenty five billion people. More than seven decades age the British left India on 15th August 1947. That morning all of a sudden Indians woke up as the citizens of an independent nation as the Britishers handed over the affairs of governance to Indians, more specifically to the Indian National Congress.
Every Indian celebrated the much coveted independence got after a struggle for two centuries and sacrifices of countless freedom fighters. Since then every Indian fills up with a strong sense of pride and nationalism on the Independence day of India.
As you joyfully celebrate India’s independence day revering our iron willed freedom fighters and martyrs, you should give a deep thought to our independence. You will understand that Indians got freedom from the British long back but the struggle for freedom from colonialism is still not over.
India got political independence from the British in the year 1947 yet Indians is mostly governed by the colonial laws and the colonial administrative system setup by the British to control the colonial slaves of India.
You will agree on the fact that the British handed over the regime to Indian political leaders on 15th August 1947 but the entire administrative system designed by the British kept on controlling the Indians. The police personnel hired by them to suppress freedom of Indians kept enforcing the laws as earlier. Administrative service of India kept on serving the new breed of rulers instead of serving the citizens. After all they were trained to serve the rulers and not the citizens. They were serving the queen and you cannot expect a quantum shift overnight after 15th August 1947.
While some of the key freedom fighters like Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and others got busy in the herculean task of shaping the future of India, majority of the grass root level freedom fighters had no say in the administrative matters. They were overpowered by the same police and administrative cadres that once served the British. As a result the much needed citizen centric administrative system was never formed. Later the Constitution of India came into force in the year 1950 which empowered the citizens with many rights. But the rest of the administrative system was not revamped to effectively deliver and protect the rights of the citizens. As the rules and regulations followed by the administrative system were designed for suppressing Indians and they were not changed.
Even today many of the laws are the same that the British formed to control Indians. One of the examples is Indian Telegraph Act 1885. It is not a surprise that the Department of Telecom still acts as per Indian Telegraph Act 1885. You may read the act at http://www.dot.gov.in/actrules/indian-telegraph-act-1885
This act mentions the privileges, powers of the government and the penalties that can be imposed upon the citizens. The act is completely oriented in manner to rule over the slaves. Ideally the Telegraph Act of Independent India should have been re-legislated by the Indian government in a manner that it mentions the responsibilities of the government and the rights of the citizens in the matters of telecommunication systems.
Similarly the Indian police works as per Indian Police Act enacted by the British in the year 1861. Though some the states have legislated their own Police Act but they are mostly minor amendments from the original Indian Police Act created by the British for the sole purpose of using police as a crowd suppressor acting for the benefit of the rulers, earlier the British and now Indian politicians. No wonder why majority of Indian citizens still feel police more as a threat than a savior.
Slave mentality is another significant factor that nurtured colonial administrative practices in free India. Over a century of slavery under colonial rule had a terrible impact on the minds of common citizens. It takes away the capability to think and act like a free human being. A generation with slave mindset unknowingly propagate the same to future generations. A person with slave mentality will mindlessly obey the orders without judiciously evaluating what is right and what is wrong. Huge majority of Indians were accustomed to live with slave mindset when India got freedom from the British. They did not know how to handle this new found freedom and how to protect it from getting stolen to the hands of few politicians and bureaucrats.
These factors kept India away from becoming a superpower even though India has each and every resource to become a superpower, be it human resources or be it natural resources. India has lost considerable time due to post British era colonialism but India has certainly not lost the hope.
Today’s generation is made up of people who were born in free India and even their parents were born in free India. They are free from slave mentality. They know their rights and their duties towards the nation. They are energetic and capable for steering India to the path of growth and development.
Best part is that today’s generation knows that the struggle for freedom from colonialism is way different from the struggle for freedom from the British. Greater participation of citizens in the matters of drafting laws and that of governance is the primary way to achieve freedom from colonialism. Democracy goes way beyond voting in the elections. Democracy means having a say the policy matters and make sure that the elected representatives represent the citizen’s concerns and not themselves in the Parliament.
Though the struggle for freedom from colonialism is far from getting over but the constant efforts of Indian citizens will bear the sweet fruits. It is up to the citizens to bring the true freedom and the true democracy to India.
A slave is someone who sits down and wait for someone to free them.
It is up to us to understand that a free person is one who solves the problem on own. Let us act and work like citizens of independent India 2.0