Thoughts on Rails

Riding the Train of Thought


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Happy Independence Day!Happy Independence Day to all my fellow Indians!

Celebrating 59 years of ruling ourselves! Whoa, look what a mess we made! I’m only kidding… I’m glad to be born an Indian. And I’m proud that we are one strong nation – the utter chaos that seems to be overwhelming the country, is actually its driving force! Like a well adopted organism, India keeps growing and flourishing in the face of all the threats and setbacks.When I sit back and think… I wonder, what exactly is independence? Is it something that a teen thinks of – sheer joy of freedom from rules and rulers? Or is it something more similar to adult independence – responsibility that comes with the freedom to choose your own destiny?

Are we still celebrating the joy of losing the foreign rule? Or are we coming to grips with the situation – that we need to make our own decisions – good and strong decisions. Decisions that improve the nation as a whole. Decisions that are visionary – that take the future into account. Decisions that reflect our culture that we are so proud of!

Introspection as an Indian leads me to a broad opening, the future is beyond the horiozon, what I can see is the present – and what I see sometimes shocks me. Our advantage – the diversity among people, cultures and languages – is also our biggest disadvantage. We fight among ourselves even after learning a lesson from the British Empire. Our own people are turning hostile, joining the terrorists and killing their bretheren. And we have people who reach out to the needy and give everything they have to save other lives – even to the length of sacrificing their own life!

India is a country that lives in the past and the present at the same time. When we have advaced technology in almost every field, we also have people who cannot even afford a pair of bullocks to plough their field! Such a huge gap is not easy to fill up. It is a daunting task – and I would like to believe that our government is doing its job, even though it seems like it is taking forever!

Independence, I feel, is more of responsibility than just fun. And a quick observation of my fellow citizens shows that not all of us feel that way. The recent past has brought the ‘reservations’ conflict into light. Why do people want reservations in almost every institution? When we talk about eradicating the caste system, why does every admission form of education institutes ask for my religion and caste? If we want a more secular and unbiased education, let there be more scholarships that are aimed at the underpreviledged people. By giving them a handicap, it clearly shows that they are incapable of achieving what we can! There are exceptions – and they need no reservations anyway. We are not making a good decision on this issue… among many others!

We talk about our military – that it too is corrupt and so on. But that, think is an exxageration because I have grown up in a military controlled area. It is not usual for a civillian to be living in such a place, but I luckily got a chance to interact with soldiers, engineers and trainers. And I firmly believe that they are among the finest men that India has produced. The discpline is marvellous! (something I never learnt) Their readiness to take up any task, any risk is amazing. And when you talk to them off-duty, you wonder how these tough nails can be such caring humans too!

Exhibition at Tank MuseumToday’s experience at the Tank Museum in Ahmednagar was similar. The security was tightened due to terrorist threats. I had to empty my camea bag thrice, had to go through the metal detector and answer a few questions before i could get in. After the check, that same stern oficer returned my “thanks” with a very polite smile – it reminded me of the childhood days when I lived near the military colony! The soldiers and officers at the displays were very cooperative and answered all our silly questions – and even the slightly more informed queries about the ammunition. The soldiers were kind to the old, helping them climb on to the tanks as they marveled at the technology. And they were very responsible in making sure that nobody got hurt.

I think that at least the military is fairly independent! But as for us, we still need to gain true independence! So… Forward! March!

I believe in you India! We can do it!
PS Yes this is a long winding rant, and though slightly interlinked – it staggers away from the topic – but isn’t it the nature of the thought train? 😉


Written by hiway

August 15, 2006 at 9:00 pm

Posted in news, rant

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