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My tryst with slavery

This is a post written in 2010 in another blog....

Date: August 14 2010

“Every independent country is independent in one way however, every independent country is a slave in more than one way.”

Its 64th Indian Independence Day tomorrow, I am sitting in front of my desktop in the office and sulking. I am trying to concentrate and my inbox is getting filled with patriotic forwards. Neither can I ignore the vibration of my mobile nor can I get my bugging boss out of my mind. It is true that tomorrow is an important day but how many of us really think of independence as a gift? Being born as a free Indian with a plenty of fundamental rights in a platter and the fundamental duties on the backburner, we take our independence for granted. We were born in free India, introduced to Maruti 800 and humara bajaj at the age of 3-4, given a treat in Mc Donalds at an age of 15, encouraged to blog our views and vote our favourite politician at the age of 18- why would not we take our independence for granted just like we take the oxygen we inhale, the water we drink for granted?

But, are we really free? Free in which sense- that we have the freedom to live, eat, drink, preach, pray and speak at our will? Of course, our bodies are free to perform all these actions but what about the brain and conscious? Is our mind is free from fear, selfishness and prejudices? Perhaps no, let me find it out in my surroundings- just by being a little more observant today.

Observation 1:

Place: My boss’s room

Time: 2:00 pm

Scene: I am standing near boss’s desk and he’s instructing my colleague on some work which in our opinion should not be handed over to us. She objects and tries to put her view before him. But he is not ready to listen.

Boss: I asked you to do something.
Colleague: I was just going to do that but I have already been assigned some important work which I think I must complete before the second task.
Boss: You have to keep one thing in your mind. Whenever you are working with me, you have to work mindlessly. You have to blindly follow my orders. This is how work should be.

Inference: What is the utility of all the hard work that one has put in his/her education. Being educated is not equal to being literate or being trained. Education in itself is freedom of thought and ideas. If one is hired to use his/her education for the development of an organization, how can he/she be curbed of his freedom of speech and thoughts?

Observation 2:

Place: DTC bus

Time: 5:15 pm

Scene: Two men are sitting on the seat reserved for ladies. A lady with a child of around two, asks them to give her a seat because it is really not possible to balance one without a support in a moving bus.

Lady: “Bhaiya, seat de do. Mujhe khade hone me problem hogi. waise bhi ye ladies seat hai.”
The men: “Hum kyun uthe, kisi aur ko bolo, koi ladies seat nahi hain, hum nahi uthenge.”

Inference: In a country where a woman is worshipped and harassed too, this kind of behavior is not unexpected. Of course, many people think that there must not be seats reserved for ladies. But doesn’t such rude and immature behavior from people justify the ladies seat reservation? In less than next 50 days, our country is going to organize an International event. If our men are not able to behave with etiquettes with our own women, how do we expect them to be chivalrous with the foreigners?

Observation 3:

Place: INA Bus Stop

Time: 6:30 pm

Scene: I am going to board a bus to Yusuf Sarai. I meet a blind man trying to infer what is going around. I ask him if I can help. He asks me to help him find an auto to South Ext I. I wave to an autowala and he stops. I ask him the fare, he says its Rs 30. I ask him to charge by meter. After much negotiation, he agrees. I help the blind man to the auto.

Autowala: “Madam, aise nahi hoga, tees rupaye de dena, meter se nahi jaunga.”
Me: “lekin bhaiya, abhi to aapne kaha tha. sarkaar ne meter kyun lagaya hai. kisi bhi halat me 2 km se zyada nahi banenge”
Autowala: “Nahi, main 30 me hi jaunga, warna utar jao.”
Me: “Mazboor insaan ko dekh ke fayda uthate ho, police ko number doon tumhare auto ka?”
Autowala: “Karr raha hoon meter on.” (But he doesn’t do that since he know the man is blind)

Inference: Just to earn a little extra money, how insensitive can one become? We are either prejudiced or too selfish to extend a helping hand. Why- In fear of being cheated or to save our time? We always see us growing but not others. If we ask for our fundamental rights, we have some duties too. Why are not we free from corruption, from prejudices and selfishness?

These are the questions we ask our government, our politicians, our public servants daily. Do we ever care to ask such questions to ourselves? Is not answering this question individually much easier than to find answer from others? If I can question so many people around me after spending few minutes with them, how many questions can I ask me? We often comment- police is irresponsible, government does not improve. What change do we bring in ourselves?

Are we all not slaves of an Independent country? Anyway guys, Happy Independence day…


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