15th August 1947 - Independence Day

Today, 15th August, we Indians celebrate our independence day.

It’s been almost 60 years since we were freed from British control and we became masters of our destinies. We have come a long way from what we were at the time of independence but there are long long way to go.

We are now amongst the top three countries on the watch list of everyone (along with China, Brazil and Russia). Economy has been doing very well. We are a world renowned source of competent and trained manpower. Our say in international political scenario has never been higher.

There are few things that we can improve on. First and foremost being the removal of red-tapism. The accountability is almost absent from all the sectors. If we can work on these and some other pressing issues, we sure would be going ahead in every sense.

Today I was part of the Independence Day celebration at my campus. Our director, Padma Shri Dr. Pritam Singh raised a question and asked us why do we celebrate any festival or for that matter Independence Day? He said that we want to remember the sacrifices made by millions of people to achieve freedom. I partially agree to what he says. I think I celebrate because its close to me. Its close to my heart. I cherish the freedom. Thus I celebrate the functions.

Also I never understand why do people think about and sing patriotic songs only on Independence Day? I think its all propoganda ! If you were truely patriotic, you could sing all the songs all the time. Why wait for a special day to sing your songs?

Talking of Independence at the individual level, even though we might be independent as a nation, there are many people (including me) that are still dependent on others.

Benjamin Franklin says independence is when he is lord of himself and accountable to none. I think no one else talked about independence in a better manner. When I try to define control and its antonym independence, I can come up with things like political control, physical control and thought control. A political control can only influence the actions; the thoughts however are as independent as a bird in free sky. The power of these thoughts converted into action and played a key role in the independence struggle.

I also believe that there are ways to control the thoughts as well. A very simple example from world of marketing: Word of Mouth Advertising. It is more or less a subtle form of thought control. One might say that since a friend liked the product, there is no harm in reducing the risk of trial and going for it, there is no kind of thought control being attempted here. I would like to disagree with this school of thought. When you are influencing other people, selling yourself to people, doing anything, you are trying to control (successfully in some cases) other people and their thoughts.

Another thing that comes to my mind right now is emotional dependence. As has been said many times, man is a social animal. Man can not exist in isolation. Everyone needs someone to fall back on.

There is yet another aspect called the interdependence. Interdependence is when dependence and independence coexist together. The first question that comes to my mind is how the two faces of coin coexist? How can independence be dependent on dependence? Simple answer ... change the very definition of independence to incorporate for necessary dependence. Very basic example is that even to think independent, sustain one self, one needs an elaborate support structure (like dependence on others for food etc.).

I think everything comes down to the definition.

There was this discussion in a class where a Prof and MS got into argument about the effectiveness of team vs. individuals. This is not related to independence and control and thus would be thought about later when I wouldn’t have anything else to do.

More Later !!!!


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