India’s Independence Day – A Few Thoughts

Tomorrow is India’s Independence Day. It is always a day for celebration and festivities. So we try hard to write feel-good stories about India as our way of celebrating India’s Independence. This year, we offer two such feel-good stories on the Blog.

But celebrating Independence without remembering how India was conquered, without understanding the weaknesses in Indian mentality is a waste of this day. A society that refuses to learn from its mistakes, a society that does not embrace values that will defend it is a society that will become a victim again and again.

Therefore, in another article on the Blog, 
we bring you facts from an excellent book about the British East India Company by Nick Robins, an English writer and fund manager. The book is titled The Corporation That Changed The World. Every Indian should read this book.

When we read the book, we kept thinking about today’s Indian society. The systematic administrative plunder of India under the British is so similar to the plunder of India today.

Every one in India sees and understands how India is being plundered by corrupt politicians. Media reports suggest that the amount of Indian money held outside India may be $1.5 trillion, an astronomical figure that exceeds the amount British extracted from India.

And like in British-ruled India, the entire administrative apparatus that supports this corruption is Indian. And so is the police state that wreaks violence against peaceful demonstrators that were sleeping peacefully.

We are not followers or supporters of Baba Ramdev. But no one, not even those against his beliefs, can support the brutal violence unleashed against his supporters by this Indian Government.

And they don’t care. Last week, Minister Chidambaram called the announced fast by Anna Hazare as “unjustified”. In a democracy, no one can declare any peaceful protest as “unjustified” and no one, in a democracy, needs to justify any peaceful protest to the Government.

At least, the United States of America thinks so. Last week, the U.S. State Department issued a rare statement. Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokesperson, told reporters in her daily news conference “As you know, we support the right of peaceful, non-violent protest around the world.” She added,  “That said, India is a democracy and we count on India to exercise appropriate democratic restraint in the way it deals with peaceful protest“, in response to a question.

In the days of British rule, a protest in London to British rulers was far more successful than a protest in India to British-Indian administration. You see, nothing has changed.

Today, a protest in Washington DC to or by the American Administration is much more important to the Indian Government than any protest in India or by Indians.
Is this a definition of an Independent India?

India calls itself the largest democracy in the world. But the real question is whether India is a true democracy.

We think the proper word for the Indian system is Electocracy. India runs elections but, between the elections, the Government neglects the Indian people. Politicians have learned to manipulate society, to create vote banks, to divide Indian society into so many groups and communities that prevent the formation of a true democracy. Today, once you win an election, you become enormously rich, you build a business for yourself and for your children. 

Today’s India is a system Of the Politicians, By the Politicians and For the Politicians. Does this make India a democracy? Does this make the Indian people Independent?

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