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Reflections on the Independence Day

We, the people of India, who freed ourselves from the yoke of foreign rule, are celebrating our 76th Independence Day. It is not only a day of rejoicing and celebration but should be also a day of introspection and self-correction. At the time of Independence we were about 35 crore, now we are 144 crore, slowly overtaking our neighbour China, to reach the goalpost of projected 157 crore by 2047, when we would celebrate 100 years of Independence. It is a stupendous and challenging task to be continuously on the path of progress, not only economically and materially, but also ethically and morally.

A country of India’s dimensions, with great diversity of languages, cultures, religions and ethnicities, must always be engaged in safeguarding its unity and integrity. This should not be only territorial but also emotional and ethical. Besides these, it must be based on a genuinely moral foundation. It is so because material prosperity is not a very depending bond. On the contrary, a moral basis ensures a very strong and durable relationship. In this respect we can learn a very important lesson from what has been happening in Manipur state. The situation there has a lot of lessons for India.

More recently we can see what happened in the adjoining state Haryana, at a stone’s throw from Capital Delhi. The sad events there are a warning call for our rulers and also for our intellectuals and all well-wishers of India. We can find there the callousness of the rulers, the conspiracies of the provocateurs and complicity of the law and order authorities. Far more disgusting is the poison of hate, suspicion and enmity which has been calculatedly spread in the society by the communal and fascist elements. This is being done in a panned and systematic way by irresponsible politicians for electoral gains.

The atrocious and insensitive behaviour of the ruling party are manifest in the demolition of houses, shops and other establishments of the people. It has been done against one community, the Muslims. Hundreds of shanties and shops of poor workers who are working as cheap labourers have been mercilessly bulldozed with impunity. This has been done merely on the suspicion that the residents had participated in the disturbances.

It is welcome that Punjab and Haryana High Court has taken suo moto cognisance of the demolitions and destructions and ordered a halt. The Division Bench of the High Court observed that without any notice and proper legal procedure, the law and order problem has been used as a ruse to demolish buildings. It asked whether the buildings belonging to a particular community are being demolished under guise of tackling a law and order problem? Having stressed the point that every citizen has constitutional protection, the High Court asked if the state is conducting an ethnic cleansing?

While welcoming the intervention of the High Court to save the dwellings and livelihood of the poor Muslims, we would like to point out the reasons behind such atrocities. A particular party, with a view of electoral gains is indulging in divide and rule conspiracy.

The role of militant outfits like Bajrang Dal and VHP, etc. is quite evident in spreading communal hatred and poisoning the minds of common people. RSS, which claims a moral high ground for itself, has never even mildly condemned the communal policies and hate campaigns of its affiliates and misuse of religion. Those who are poisoning the minds and intoxicating the people with false religiosity are the biggest enemies of the nation.

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