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India Celebrates its 71st Independence Day: What People Want Freedom From?

The country pays the tribute to those martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the cause of the country, for freedom of the Indians from the ‘British Raj’

Independence Day India
Dawn of Independence Day, Red Fort, August 15, 1947. Wikimedia
  • The Independence Day is observed annually in India on 15th August with pomp and vigor
  • The country pays the tribute to those martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the cause of the country, for freedom of the Indians from the ‘British Raj’
  • The nation indulges in celebrating the occasion with multiple events and activities on this national holiday

August 15, 217: Independence Day holds immense significance for any nation. India commemorates the liberation of the country from the British Government on 15th August. The Independence Day is observed annually in India on 15

The Independence Day is observed annually in India on 15th August with pomp and vigor. It becomes an event involving national security, national programs evoking patriotic sentiment, and multiple events in various states and institutes celebrating the spirit of freedom. The country pays the tribute to those martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the cause of the country, for freedom of the Indians from the ‘British Raj’, and became immortal in history due to their path-breaking contributions.

Apart from the flag raising ceremony, garlanding the portraits of the freedom fighters, playing the national anthem and other patriotic music, the Indians also indulge in various other activities to celebrate the occasion. Quiz shows, charity events, blood-donation camps, game shows, poetry reading, functions, and contests are also held in order to commemorate India’s independence.

On the morning of 71st Independence Day, the honorable Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi raised the national flag at 7 am followed by addressing the nation and delivering a speech. The nation then indulges in celebrating the occasion with multiple events and activities on this national holiday.

Independence Day
National Flag of India. Wikimedia

The Independence Day raises the underlying irony of independence in the context of whether the nation is enjoying liberty as per the truest sense of the term. If we follow the regularities of the daily humdrums of the Indian life, it is evident that we, the Indians are free of shackles. Be it the society, the people, the government, or one’s own ideologies, a person is hardly free of all fetters and “independent”. The country has definitely been liberated from the control of the British, but the citizens are not free and liberal completely.

Here is what youth of the country feels about FREEDOM- 

“I want to be free from the societal shackles of judgments. The ever-judgmental society makes freedom a parody in an independent country,” Diyali Banerjee (21), a journalism student from Bangalore says, this is the true scenario and the truth behind the façade of “independence”. This is not the outcry of one person, but she voices the thoughts of millions around the country that suffer from the void of freedom, one way or another.
Another post graduate student Debdutta Mondal (24) from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata says, “It is not about societal freedom, I want to work on myself and be the change that I want to see in the world. I want freedom from my negative thoughts and do something fruitful for the society.”
A market researcher in a kolkata based organisation, Anindita Gupta (27) says, ” I should be able to do what my heart desires, I want to live my dreams.”
A BBA student, Kingshuk Kumar Das (21) from Amity University, Delhi says, ” reservations in the education system have always been a big obstacle for students. If you want to give equal opportunities to children, then bring transparency in the system.”
A dancer and theatre practitioner, Satarupa Chakroborty (26) says, “Moral policing is a problem for many youths in India, lynching too. If two people are willing to make a choice for themselves, people should respect that. Everyone should have the right to pick up what is good for themselves.”
 Ishita Gomes (27) who teaches in a kolkata-based school says, “I want freedom from small, narrow or conforming thoughts. It is a great privilege to be born free but a greater good awaits if we can free our hearts and minds from fears, insecurities, and judgment.”


So, on this Independence Day, let us promise to ourselves and each other to protest against all that confine us and all the unjust that befall upon us. Let the Independence Day be celebrated with absolute respect to the truest meaning of the term ‘Independence.’


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PM Narendra Modi: Government bringing Stringent Consumer Protection Law

Prime Minister Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a speech. IANS

New Delhi, October 26: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the government was in the process of enacting stringent legislation aimed at protecting consumers along with setting up a Consumer Protection Authority (CPA).

“Consumers’ protection is this government’s priority. We are in the process to bring a new law on consumer protection keeping in mind the need of the country and business practices here,” Modi said at an International Conference on Consumer Protection for East, South and South-East Asian Countries.

“We are in the process of forming a Consumer Protection Authority, which will have executive powers, for immediate redressal.”

The rules were being streamlined to solve consumer problems in less time and at less cost, he added.

“The stress is being given on consumer empowerment. Strict provisions are being contemplated against misleading advertisements,” Modi said.

He said India was among the few countries which had enacted a law a year after the UN adopted guidelines on consumer protection in 1986.

The Prime Minister also said the prices of commodities were set to go down and consumer protection for their interest effects due to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Due to the GST, the competition among companies was going to increase. So prices will go down. It will help consumers from lower middle class and poor sections,” Modi said.

“Earlier, transportation by trucks would take five days but it has come down to just three three days now as checkposts on borders have vanished after the GST. It means transportation cost has gone down. This is going to be transferred to consumers,”

Taking a dig at those opposed to the GST, he said: “Some people may be taking advantage of the lack of awareness. However, the benefits will be transferred (to consumers) in days to come.”

Talking about the conference, Modi said: “It shows how seriously we take the needs of our citizens and how we strive hard to solve their problems”.

“It is the first conference in the region, where everyone is trying in their own ways to save the interest of consumers. However, we have to keep in mind that the world is going towards a single market,” Modi said.(IANS)

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Tillerson’s Visit to India Highlights Strong Emerging Alliance

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting at the Prime Minister's residence in New Delhi. VOA

The United States pledged its commitment to deepening strategic ties with India as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders in New Delhi during a visit that highlighted their strong emerging alliance.

Combating terrorism and expanding India’s role in helping Afghanistan’s development were key issues discussed by Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Tillerson, who arrived in the capital city after stops in Kabul and Islamabad.

At a news conference after the talks, Tillerson extended an assurance that “in the fight against terrorism, the United States will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with India. Terrorist safe havens will not be tolerated.”

The top U.S. diplomat visited the region after the Trump administration unveiled a new South Asia strategy calling on India to play a larger role in Afghanistan’s economic stabilization and on Pakistan to take more action against militant groups based in the country.

Indian foreign minister Swaraj said President Donald Trump’s new strategy for the region “can only be successful if Pakistan acts decisively against all terror groups without any discrimination.” New Delhi has long blamed Islamabad for supporting insurgent groups that carry out terror acts in India.

Tillerson, who last week said that he sees India as a key partner in the face of what he considers negative Chinese influence in Asia, reiterated that India could play a wider role in the region. Analysts say Washington’s overtures for closer ties with India are prompted by the need to counter China’s rise.

Tillerson told reporters “the United States supports India’s emergence as a leading power and will continue to contribute to Indian capabilities to provide security throughout the region.” He said Washington was willing to provide New Delhi with advanced technologies for its military modernization.

“We also look forward to further cooperation in the broader Indo Pacific region as we both promote a rules-based approach to commerce and a transparent and sustainable approach to economic development,” he said.(VOA)

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BJP to Celebrate November 8 as ‘Anti-Black Money Day’

Anti black money day, Demontisation
Demontisation ousted one thousand rupee notes in India last november. Pixabay free

New Delhi, October 25: In a bid to counter the opposition campaign, the BJP will celebrate November 8, the day high-value currencies were demonetized last year, as “Anti-Black Money Day” across the country.

Announcing the party’s decision to counter the opposition plans for observing the day as “Black Day”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said all prominent leaders, union ministers, state ministers and office bearers will participate in programmes across the country.

On November 8, the party will organize programmes highlighting all the steps the government has taken against black money. He said since the government was formed in 2014, from day one it had taken steps against black money.

“There was a parallel black money economy in the country. When the NDA government came to power (May 2014), Prime Minister Narendra Modi took steps to minimise and end it. On November 8, the BJP will celebrate ‘Anti-Black Money Day’ and mobilize people in favor of the steps taken against black money,” Jaitley told reporters here.

The special investigation team (SIT) to go into black money, which was directed by the Supreme Court in 2011 and was not acted upon by the previous UPA government, was formed by the NDA, the Finance Minister said.

Jaitley also hit out at the Congress over its plans to observe the day because the demonetization decision was “ill-conceived”.

Apparently referring to the opposition criticism, Jaitley said it was normal for political parties which had a number of opportunities to be in power earlier not recognize that the squeeze on black money and the other steps cannot be achieved through baby steps.

The Finance Minister said the BJP would carry forward the debate by the opposition to polarize people against black money through its own campaign.(IANS)