Yesterday was the Independence Day here in India. By coincident, it is third time I’m here at the 15th of August. First time was some years back when on vacation and off course last year.
The Indian Independence Day is said to be a perfect example of how such a day should be. Everything happened very peaceful at the 15th of August 1947. However, what happened after was not really that peaceful. In the months that followed, there were a lot of attacks and killings. India got divided into two, later three countries. Initially it was supposed to be a Hinduism state which was India, and a Muslim state, Pakistan. As there were Muslims both in the western and eastern part of India, you got West-Pakistan and East-Pakistan. East-Pakistan is today Bangladesh. Thousands, probably millions of people with the wrong religion ended up at the wrong side of a border when the Englishmen made the new map. Muslims tried to get out of India, while Hinduisms tried to get into India.
Today, I think India is a very good example of a country where different religions and people manages to live, mostly, peacefully together. Yesterday the following text message came to my cell phone: “31 states, 1618 languages, 6400 castes, 6 ethnic groups, 29 festivals. 1 Country, proud to be INDIAN. Happy Independence day!”. I think that was quite telling.
However, there are quite a few critics in India. They are pointing to the fact that the freedom means freedom only for some people. If you compare it to Norway, I think that is a valid critic. The question is off course what is really freedom? Surely, quite a few people in India would not at all consider them to be free. With all the poverty that still exists here, there are millions of people who have to struggle every day, and hence will not see themselves as free. India have come a long way in it’s first 65 years as an independent state! Let’s hope it can come even further in the next 65 years.
Happy Independence Day!
Talk to you soon!