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India needs INDEPENDENCE from THESE social evils!

Last updated on: August 14, 2012 18:37 IST

India needs INDEPENDENCE from THESE social evils!

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Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

On the eve of India's 65th Independence Day, Harnoor Channi-Tiwary makes a case for the eradication of social evils that are eating into our nascent republic.

It has been 65 years since India won its independence from the British. A lot has changed in these years. From the silent films to the musical blockbusters, from the patriotism to the capitalism, from joint families to nuclear families, India has grown and changed. But with the growing population of the country, the problems also grow manifold.

On one hand Incredible India promises economic prosperity, greater opportunities, better infrastructure etc. But on the other hand, our government and citizens constantly fight battles against poverty, illiteracy, gender bias and many such social evils.

It is easy to be cynical about the country and say it is doomed. Oprah visited India recently and showcased a rerun of Slumdog Millionaire. No, India is not perfect. Yes, we like to eat with our hands. But instead of just grumbling about the darkness, light a candle.

Each one of us can help make this country a better place to live. If someone has to ask me what are the top 5 things I would like India to get Independence from this August 15, here is what I wish for...

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What is your Independence Day wish for the nation? What do you think is the biggest obstacle on India's path to development, advancement, strength and reform? Let us know on the message board below.




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1. Independence from corruption

Corruption really is the root cause why the prosperity of India doesn't trickle down to its people. There is multitude of schemes and developmental plans launched by the government and allied organisations. Yet, only a fraction of these are implemented and the funds applied where they are meant to be. Corruption bores into the very core of our mechanisms and renders them useless.

Whether it is showing support for Anna Hazare or even just talking about it, the common man of this country wants to fight corruption. But this power lies in your own hands. It is you who has to refuse to bribe a ticket collector when you travel on trains without a ticket. It is the common man who should agree to pay the challan instead of bribing the traffic policeman to let him off. With great powers come great responsibilities.


Image: School students shout slogans during a protest against corruption
Photographs: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters

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India needs INDEPENDENCE from THESE social evils

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2. Independence from discrimination

India is the world's largest democracy. The country is a sovereign, secular republic. Yet, through the centuries, discrimination has crept into our lives. Discrimination against each other, against castes, classes, religions, what part of the country you come from and so many more.

The new citizen today wants to be free of the shackles of discrimination and wants equal opportunity and respect basis individual capabilities. Giving allowances or quotas to sections of society may not be the solution here. That merely discriminates against the rest of society. Each citizen of India deserves equal respect and the citizens themselves can give that.


Photographs: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters
Tags: India , THESE

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India needs INDEPENDENCE from THESE social evils

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3. Independence from gender inequality

Though this is another form of discrimination, it found itself on the number 3 spot of what netizens want changed in India. Gender discrimination is a plague affecting our society in subtle ways that we often ignore. In today's day and age, when girls and boys can be given similar education and thus opportunities, majority of Indian population still prefers the boy child.

This discrimination probably stems from other social problems like poverty and illiteracy. The boy can be sent out to earn money and support his parents while the girl must be married off and requires dowry. We can't hope to overcome this divide overnight. The only way is to make our girls self reliant and capable thus removing any sort of benefit of having a male or a female child.


Photographs: Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters
Tags: THESE , India , Indian

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India needs INDEPENDENCE from THESE social evils

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4. Independence from harassment

NRIs complain that life in India is a struggle each day. Even for the so-called affluent class, just existing a day, getting any sort of work done is a struggle. Be it the traffic, the power outages or even travelling in public transport. There is harassment at every step.

As much as we love our country, these words are true. We learn to cope with them and live alongside these as a defence mechanism. Yet, we cannot refuse that it takes much more effort to get things done in India. The citizens of India wish for a country where things were more structured, where getting a passport was not a tedious process and where peace of mind wasn't something that needed to be found.


Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters
Tags: India , THESE

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5. Independence from apathy

We all complain. Yet we do nothing. And that is what we need independence from most. Apathy. Chalta hai attitude. When we are wronged, it should hurt. Each Indian must realise that when we give in to these social evils above, we have no right to ask for independence from them.

It is in our hands and our hands alone how we want to shape this country. If a girl is being harassed on the metro, we can choose to step in or we can choose to be apathetic. Yes, if one person steps in, there is a chance that he or she may be victimised too. But if all of us stand up to wrong doings of society, the evil that lurks within will not be able to survive. Why is it that we throw whatever we wish out of our cars yet when we travel abroad, we practice the strictest of hygiene standards. Laws need to be better implemented. Penalties and fines should hurt so much that we think twice before breaking the law.

No country is perfect. The Western world that makes looking down upon us fashionable least so. Yet, they have ways and things that make life smoother and these we must emulate. Laws must be implemented and attitudes must be changed. But change doesn't come overnight. USA got its independence 236 years back and has had ample time to rid itself of societal evils. Yet it still struggles against racism and other injustices.

We must try hard each day to make our country a safer and happier place to live in. It is in our hands. Not for each other. Not even for our country. But for ourselves. To do justice to being called Indian one of the oldest civilisations and richest cultures in the world.


Photographs: http://www.rediff.com/getahead/Reuters
Tags: USA , THESE , India

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