RECALLING AUGUST FIFTEEN

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Recalling August 15 is becoming painful.

Agents of imperialism, factors of communalism and negators of everything that our independence stood for have taken over the country. They are in the Treasury Benches, as well as in the Opposition.

If some one in power is working for POSCO, another in Opposition is working for its rival. No one is working for an ordinary citizen.

No elaboration is needed. The ever increasing number of people under slow starvation, the stamp of inanition marked in ever increasing number of migrant labors, the ever rising list of the unemployed speaks of where have we reached. When mother after mother is auctioning away her baby to elk out a living for a few days, how is independence relevant? How do the rag pickers, the majority of kids who sacrifice the tender days to feed their wretched families look at independence? Have they time for that?

Recalling the day of our independence is therefore painful.

Mahatma Gandhi, whom C. Rajagopalachari was the first Indian VIP to have paid a respectful visit on the first day of our independence on August 15, 1947, to congratulate him on the “miracle which he had wrought”, had on the same day advised the new people in power to remember what minimum the people of this country expect of them.

“Beware of power; power corrupts. Do not let yourselves be entrapped by its pomp and pageantry. Remember, you are in office to serve the poor in India’s villages”. (Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol. Eighty-nine, p.45)

Have our leaders the courage to face this matrix? Have they ever cared to hear the Mahatma? In which term can we recall August Fifteen?

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