Happy Independence Day to you.

Independence doesn’t just happen. It must be earned.

Let us reflect that real bondage is of the mind and spirit. Nelson Mandela for 27 years in the South African apartheid prison was actually free.

But today in India we have accepted the slavery of discrimination against each other, of corruption and of mutual hatred. It’s not the politicians who are corrupt. They are the visible symbols of our entire society which is corrupt and finds nothing wrong in being corrupt. What we accept as a defining feature of our identity, we will never fight against or try to change.

In our country to kill an Indian is a crime according to the IPC 302 – and it should be – but to kill a Dalit, an Adivasi, a Muslim, a Christian, a Sikh or a Hindu, is acceptable and is justified. So who is an Indian, if it is not the Dalit, or the Adivasi, or the Muslim, or the Christian, or the Sikh or the Hindu, we just killed? Because believe me, when it happens, we are all collectively culpable.

In our country it is a crime for a politician to take a bribe – and it should be – but it is acceptable for the industrialist and businessman to give speed money to a judge, to give a ‘gift’ to a politician, to contribute to political parties using unaccounted funds, and for each one of us to give small and large bribes to get our work done are all acceptable on the excuse…yeh Hindustan hai meray bhai!

Tho phir aap hi boliye ki yeh Hindustan abhi azaad hua ki nahin?

I remind myself that this nation will become free not when modern day Avatars and their media slaves try to create modern day mythology but when you and I and every Indian decides that he and she is a part of the problem and that if he or she wants a solution then he or she has to decide to become a part of the solution.

Denial is the first and surest sign of mental illness….of self delusion. But neither denial nor delusion can save us from destruction.

If we really want to celebrate Independence Day, let us decide to become truly independent and understand and accept that we will have to work for it. Not wait for someone else to come and free us from ourselves. 

Jai Hind.