Freedom that never was
“The great revolution in the history of man, past, present and future, is the revolution of those determined to be free.” – John F. Kennedy
73 years ago, the British transferred power to their Indian surrogates who have faithfully continued the subjugation of the Indian people. Except for two Prime Ministers (Narasimha Rao and Atal Behari Vajpayee), everyone else has eroded the civic, political and economic freedoms of the people. This has ensured that even after celebrating all these Independence Days with grandiose speeches, true freedom and prosperity remain a distant dream for most Indians.
For Indian political leaders, power and its perpetuation has become the focus. Once at the apex position, they think of themselves as the tenth incarnation of Vishnu – the Kalki Avatar born to rid the world of its evils. Who the modern-day Asuras are depends on the leader – the Opposition, the rich, the business people, the non-Hindus, the Hindus, Pakistan, China, and so on. The real evils — the political party system that reduces everyone else to a rubber stamp and the mai-baap sarkar that denies freedom and impedes wealth creation – live on, intact and eternal.
India has been singularly unlucky to get leaders who lacked the wisdom to understand that the foundations of prosperity are the classical liberal ideas of individual and economic freedom, minimum government, rule of law, property rights and free trade. With wise leadership, Indians would have become one of the most prosperous people in the world with the added advantage of a young population. But destiny has given us leaders who have been the evil Hiranyakashipu of our time – each playing a role in the destruction of the institutions that create freedom and prosperity.
If We, the People, are to change India’s destiny in our lifetime to give our children the shot at the prosperity many of us were denied, we have to come together for a single mission – a transformation that gives true freedom to every Indian to pursue life in the way they choose without the overhang of the government. This may seem counterintuitive at first, but a careful study of the causes of prosperity in the Western world will show otherwise. This is the revolution India needs.
What India needs is a people united to create a bottom-up movement to dismantle the corrupt political party system and end the mai-baap Sarkar that pervades our lives. Only then will a new India rise — an India not steeped in poverty but reaching out for riches, an India not divided by ancestral surnames but united in our individual diversity, an India not searching through history books for its lost glory but powering its way through entrepreneurship to future prosperity.
Tomorrow: Part 2