After getting independence in 1947, we have now entered year 2022, marking completion of 75 years of independence. Government is making all the necessary arrangements for the yearlong celebration of the Diamond jubilee year making the culmination of 75 years of independence. The most important is hoisting of tricolour on each and every household, institutions, offices etc. from August 13 to August 15 to inculcate the feeling of patriotism and nationalism among the Indian nationals. This has given me an opportunity to assess, what we have gained and what we have lost during these 75 years. This write up is not about any particular Government but spreads to all the governments we had since 1947. There is no denying of the fact that we have made tremendous progress under the successive governments but still there is a scope for further advancement. Now the question is despite having made so much of progress as claimed and also as evident on ground, we are still confronting the basis issues of ordinary common man which should not have been in existence at present. Take the case of elections and election manifesto of various political parties, these are being repeated almost after every election. Take the case of Bijli, Pani, Sadak (Power, Water and Roads), these are the issues which confronts every person and are yet to be fulfilled. Now see the brazenness of such political parties that they are not ashamed of repeating such issues. May be they know that that the people have weak memory and forget things shortly otherwise how they can repeat and face the electorate if they will be cross examined and asked for not completing , despite in power for so many times and so many years. But nothing doing, nobody asks. These issues should not have been there at present. Unemployment, poverty, corruption, malnutrition are still our burning issues and we are celebrating diamond jubilee. All Political parties are exploiting masses on these issues. They are all raising these issues, though they and their families’ are outside such issues. We can thank them that at least; they have been able to take themselves and their families out of these issues. If we will look and compare the graph of the political leaders with their voters/masses, there is no match. The graph of the masses is downward while as that of leaders are upwards, going in opposite direction. When they start political carrier, they were ordinary people with no or little money but over a period of time they have amazed the wealth in disproportionate way and all political parties accommodate each other. Political parties expose them in public at the time of elections and then go hand in hand together. Take case of Delhi, NCR, considered so called literate, they also fell trap to freebee`s like electricity, water and transport. While we are in 75th year of independence, a large chunk of population is without basic amenity of power, water and road connectivity. They do not have access to primary health care. Recent pandemic has shown us, how people came on roads due to lock down and travelled hundreds of Km for livelihood. Govt, itself claims that free ration is being provided to 80 crore of people. In a country of 130to 135 crore of people, we are providing free ration 80 crores is a significant proportion. Now the million dollar question is that what this Diamond jubilee celebration means for ordinary Indians. We have gone for space adventure, nuclear explosions , defence procurement, latest technologies, engaging foreign countries in various dialogues, improving foreign policy, even up to becoming one of the super powers, but people have to run for shelter, crave for electricity, and we cannot imagine how many people go without evening meals in this 21st century. Removal of Article 370 from J&K is one of the major achievements clubbed with 35A but at the same time hounding of Kashmiri Pandits from their homes and hearths in 1990s in Kashmir where they are the aborigines is a catastrophe. They have to leave their homes in a free, democratic, secular India. This is unheard in any part of world that people have been thrown out from their homes on the basis of religion in a secular country. In no part of world it has happened. This has brought a blot on the Indian democratic and secular canvass. The tragedy is compounded by fact that one of the intelligent subtle and proud community of the country is being virtually reduced to extinction in free and secular India and this has not happened under the tyrannical rule of ruthless rulers of Mughal and Afghan rulers but under the leadership of those who are considered secular and liberal. Had it been happened with any other community, things would have been different and would have become extinct but we appreciate the perseverance of this community who have stood against the odds. Unemployment is also one of the main concerns for the youth. The urban unemployment rate rose to 9.30 per cent in December 21 while rural employment stood at 7.28 per cent. Both urban and rural unemployment saw significant rise from 8.21 per cent and 6.44 per cent, respectively, in the previous month. The rise in unemployment has been attributed to muted economic activity and consumer sentiment, which has been dented due to the rise of Covid-19 cases after the emergence of Omicron variant across the world. Meanwhile, a study conducted recently has revealed that unemployment and coronavirus are the top worries among urban Indians. India’s economy is forecast to grow by 9.2 per cent in the current financial year which means we can have 3.1 trillion dollar economy. India has set a target of 5 trillion dollar economy by the year 2025. Some experts are of the view that to have 5 trillion dollar economy by the year 2025 we should have GDP of 8 per cent. Monsoon session of the parliament is going on and all the day so far has been washed out due to the irresponsible behaviour of our so called Members of Parliament. Have they any regard for the common people who toll day and night for their livelihood and if they do not work, there is ‘no work, no pay’ policy. But here in Lok Sabha they don’t perform and are being paid heavy perks and allowances besides too much subsidized meals. Further each hour of parliament costs crores of rupees and they have no regard for that as it costs exchequer.
(The writer is a Social Activist and Political Analyst).