India celeberates its 59th Independence Day today.
Independence Day Roundup
- Prime minister Manmohan Singh in his address to the nation on Independence day says that his government's efforts in the last 1 year have been to "build the India of Gandhiji's dream."
[. . .] we have taken many important steps and have taken major decisions which will contribute to our nation's progress. While taking these decisions, the focus of our thoughts and attention has always been the aam aadmi. The effort of our government has been that while we continue to make rapid economic progress, the benefits of this progress and growth must reach all sections of society in a fair manner. [. . .]
- Managing nature's fury, becoming energy independent, developing infrastructure -- The president in his address to the nation on the eve of the 59th independence day outlines the challenges for India in the coming years.
- We may have come a long way from where we started off, but we still need azaadi from some things. The Times of India lists 58 things we need freedom from.
- Jug Suraiya in yesterday's Sunday Times writes that it is the time to reinvent India:
"Nation-states, like individuals, are not immutable monuments or statues. They are changeable narratives who make themselves up as they go along. We — nations and people — are the sum of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.
So, aged 58, what is the story, or stories, that India tells itself?
[. . .]
Even in thinking about how many stories it has to tell, India has to rethink itself. And 58 is as good a time to start as any.
- Jyotirmaya Sharma wonders in the Sunday Hindu Magazine - Freedoms, won and lost - if "our preoccupation with the here and now made us shrink and limit the notion of freedom." Amidst many stories of gloom (poverty, mediocrity), Sharma, however finds something to cheer about: freedom for women, plurality -freedom to choose one's own life and destiny, and the freedom to be happy.
- Shashi Tharoor celebrates Indianness through his Kerala roots. "The Malayali ethos of openness and diversity is the same as the best of the Indian ethos— inclusionist, flexible, eclectic, absorptive." Kerala has shown the way and may the rest of India follow, writes Tharoor.