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Friday, May 17, 2024

Why I will not celebrate Independence Day

Independence celebrations should focus on true freedom—escaping poverty, malnutrition, unemployment and other issues that persist in both countries.

Today, 14th August, is being celebrated as Independence Day in Pakistan, and tomorrow 15th August will be celebrated as Independence Day in India.
In my opinion real independence is independence from poverty, malnutrition, unemployment, lack of proper healthcare and good education, skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, and oppression of minorities, which are rampant in both countries.
So what is there to celebrate about ?
Regarding India, the truth is in these articles I wrote:
The socio-economic condition of Pakistan is pretty much the same– massive poverty, malnutrition, unemployment, lack of healthcare and good education, oppression of minorities, etc.
But in addition a fascist reign of terror has been unleashed by the Pakistan Establishment (meaning the army, police, and the ruling PDM ) on their own people following the events of 9th May ( which are widely believed to be pe-planned and stage managed ), thousands of people arrested and in jail ( including former Prime Minister Imran Khan ), the media largely muzzled, courts made impotent, and people living in fear.
In the words of the great Urdu poet Faiz :
Chali hai rasm ke koi na sar utha ke chaley
Jo koi chaahnewaala tawaaf ko niklay

                                   Nazar chura ke chale, jism-o-jaan bacha ke chaley

So Indians and Pakistanis, celebrate as much as you wish to, watch the Independence Day parade ( on the ground or on TV ), hoist the national flag on your houses, and wave them on the streets.
But don’t expect me to join you in this tomfoolery, gamboling, hijinks, buffoonery, shenanigan, and rambunctiousness.
Markandey Katju is an Indian jurist and former Supreme Court judge of India who served as chairman for the Press Council of India.