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Mangaluru: As I ponder on the words, independent and independence, as I broach over those words such as secular, democratic and others such as freedom of speech and expression, I once again wonder whether we are referring to our country or some other alien nation.

As we March into the 75th birthday of our nation, can we consider ourselves as a free nation?

Can I walk into a police station and register a complaint against any police officer, MLA, MP or other bureaucrats without fear for my well-being or that of my family?

Is our country free of the menace of corruption in registering properties or in the regional transport office for the inspection of a car or in getting a driving licence?

Are we free of touts in all government offices who are willing to get your work done fast at a price that is shared between the tout and the government official?

Will we be able to drive across the length and breadth of India with all our vehicle documents perfectly valid and updated without being harassed by the traffic police?

Will the police stop harassing the truck drivers who are from out of town?

Will big cities be safe for shopkeepers, hoteliers, builders and others without paying the blood money which is demanded by the Corporator’s, MLA’s and MP’s of the city?

When will an MLA or an MP wait in a queue for a cinema ticket or wish the bridegroom and bride at a wedding just like other civilised citizens?

When will I get what is due to me from the government without paying a small amount of money as a baksheesh or bribe to the concerned official?

When will a road or railway contractor get a work awarded purely on the basis of merit?

I want to see a country which can be free of touts at government offices, wherein every document should be available online, where cameras are recording all the activities going on and where a person can live without fear of reprisals and hate, without abuse of a law-abiding citizen.

When will we implement a law where goondas and charlatans and people having a case pending against them are barred from fighting elections?

When will we be of reprisals for being a Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Jew?

When will the column religion be obliterated from application forms of all hues?

Oh! Country of mine

When will my country rise above these small petty things into a beautiful paradise wherein every citizen can live in peace and without fear?

I just wonder when this country of mine will truly be independent?

The Author : 
Sumith S Rao is a Freelance writer, out of the box thinker and a man with a mission. He is an Alumnus of St. Aloysius College, an Industrialist and Social Activist of Mangaluru.

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