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India’s Almost Independence Day August 14, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Blogging, Culture, freedom, india, Personal, Politics, Thoughts, World, Writing.
Tags: , , , ,

The 62nd Independence Day is all around us in India and abroad too I guess. There will be glossy specials in magazines of all sorts discussing why inspite and despite of all the problems that plague us as a nation and people, we are happy to be Indians etc. How the spirit of India is more than the sum of all it parts. Reams will be written about the mystical spirit that imbues this ancient land and how it guides us all in a subtle and eventually benevolent manner.

Mr. Manmohan Singh will address the nation from the Lal Qila and kids would still hate their teachers for making them practice some inane dance routine and making them stand in the sun or rain; all of it for some meager 5 marks in the unit exams.

The flavour of the season is of course Abhinav Bindra. I heard his bytes after the victory – sarcastic, patiently impatient and wonderfully poker faced. Would he have succeeded without his industrialist father? Debatable. But it’s strictly a personal achievement. The nation can and will milk it forever – always on the look-out for new icons to bask in their reflected glory; of people who have won inspite of all the obstacles and with no help from the establishment. If he or they can then so can I.

Will India get earnest but dull leaders. We like Manmohan Singh but does he inspire? NO. We can hardly hear his voice. A leader and a good person have nothing in common. We have a xenophobe like Modi on one hand and Mr. Singh on the other.

Is it just me or can everybody feel that inspite of all the self-congratulation India is a country that doesn’t perform to its potential. That we are still a nation trying to sort out our differences…of region, caste and religion. 62 years has not been enough to know and understand each other. At best we just tolerate each other.

Any incentive to flare and it’s a conflagration. And violence is the only weapon we know. Shiv Sena and now MNS in Maharashtra. The Gurjars in Jaipur, the Gorkhas in Darjeeling etc etc…forget the perennial J&K and Naxals.

Shouldn’t we stop, pause and discuss this defining national trait? Where does this violence come from? How has it become ingrained in our psyche? And who is going to acknowledge first?

What else then since the last hoisting…

Binayak Sen – state terror at its best. Imprisoning a doctor who was working for the common man.

We should lower our flags just for Mr. Sen.

Inflation at 13%, growth to around 6%…

State sponsored violence – this time in Nandigram by the Communists

Nuclear Deal – we all know what happened when the sardar of India decided enough is enough and took on the mighty comrades in arms.

Trust Vote with unashamed display of money, followed by a sting followed by another shoddy sting and…

Terror – Jaipur, Bangalore and Ahmedabad. And no arrests or convictions. We have wonderful investigating agencies that arouse no confidence at all.

Naxals / Maoists – almost everywhere in central India and Andhra. See how small a reference it is. We have become immune to it. It is not a platitude that India is a dual economy. Everything in India is dual and never shall the twain meet.

Jammu and Kashmir – it’s a return to unprecedented levels of polarization between the twin regions of Jammu and Kashmir. 62 years and no solution. Haven’t people heard of something called ‘consensual divorce’.

Saina – yes not Sania. Saina came agonizingly close to move into the semis. Lost focus. But you are 18 so…her semi-final berth would have been a giant leap but it’s a great beginning and not at all a loss.

Celebrity Blogs – at least sometimes the true feelings of our stars come out on the net

Nano – nobody other than the company officials have driven it but a definite achievement.

Yash Raj Phormoola – it sank and sank and now even the people who hate the banner have developed some sympathies. If Bachna Ae Haseeno tanks…?

Sallu and Shah Rukh fight – they sure do make life interesting and people at Stardust…remember that magazine…extremely happy

Akshay – he is the biggest star in India. Period. Bigger than Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir.

Rise of Mayawati – for a moment it seemed that her time had come. In fact it has just begun.

Relationships – Saif almost going the Tom way but thankfully being upfront about it.

Media – the biggest loser this year. It is now proven that they can do anything to get a byte. Having no respect for anybody’s private or public space, no self-regulation – it is time to set up strict guidelines. It is not just the clean and sanitized environs of the studio that contribute to your image but also how you gather your material.

Channel Wars – new GEC launches. Does India have that many eye-balls? Of course they do and everybody wants to have a pie. Bouquet’s were launched from NDTV Imgaine, 9 X and now Colors. Turner is all set for end of this to early next year. Not to forget UTV’s Hindi and Foreign films channels and some from BAG too!

Aarushi – a couple of generations will remember this case. The adults for the shoddy, corrupt and inept police investigations and the kids for losing anchor, love and trust in family and friends

The Police – we should have the right to prosecute them.

Reality Shows – they are everywhere and have made their own space. Friday and saturday are reserved for Non-Fiction programming across channels – thought unthinkable till some months back.

IPL – a money making machine has been launched by Mody and Co and the hard-pressed-for-time fans are only too happy.

SEZ – special economic zones to brutally exploit capital, labour and resources so that a few can earn a lot and many can suffer. Doesn’t matter even if a State doesn’t want it – like Goa. Why? Because the center has entered into agreements. And a bomb blast in the state is the local government’s responsibility. Is somebody on some serious drugs here?

Scarlette & Goa – the murder of the British teenager in the ex-hippie Mecca ended a dream…but Fiona fought back and there is hope yet…for justice and for the hippie as well

Oil – need I say more.

Hybrid – It’s the way to go.


Van Morrison has a song called ‘It’s almost Independence day’. When you hear it you realize the promise of that day and the reality of its aftermath.



1. gudus - August 14, 2008

maa Ki farce, when after a long time, the collective consciousness of a nation awoke and revolted. Oh what a waste! Happy Independence Day

2. V - August 15, 2008


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