A poem for the 70th Independence Day (inspired by Tagore)

RAJDEEP SARDESAI
    • Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,
    • Where no one tells me what to eat, or what to wear, or where to live,
    • Where cow protection doesn’t become an excuse to attack the weak,
    • Where no one justifies terrorism in the name of religion or azaadi,
    • Where dissent is not criminalized or treated as an anti-national act,
    • Where nationalism doesn’t become a weapon to pit Indian versus Indian,
    • Where the walls of prejudice and caste and community hatred melt away,
    • Where our diversity is preserved, not destroyed by religious extremists
    • Where we don’t divide our freedom struggle to suit ideological positions,
    • Where every Indian has equal opportunity irrespective of birth or position,
    • Where the Adivasi in Jharkhand gets the same education as the elite in Mumbai,
    • Where women feel safe on the streets and men commit to gender equality,
    • Where gay men and women can safely and fearlessly pursue the right to love
    • Where no farmer is pushed into committing suicide because of a debt trap or a failed crop,
    • Where jawans are given their due and servicemen don’t have to fast to get paid better,
    • Where the young are inspired to become change-makers and live their dreams
    • Where the corrupt are convicted and do not get away because of their manipulative skills,
    • Where the hafta culture ends and the police don’t misuse their powers
    • Where corporates realise a social responsibility that goes beyond profiteering,
    • Where journalists stand up and show truth to power rather than becoming stooges of the establishment or manic TRP warriors,
    • Where lawyers and judges fight for justice and not for delaying it,
    • Where doctors serve their patients and don’t exploit them,
    • Where bureaucrats become facilitators and not obstructionists in administration,
    • Where our netas realise that the lal batti doesn’t give them any special privileges,
    • Where our leaders are not driven by self-love but public service,
    • Where promises made at election time are meant to be kept, not broken
    • Where we fight superstition and Godmen who claim to have divine powers
    • Where sportspersons travel to Olympics in first class comfort and our officials stay at home,
    • Where a more compassionate society looks to reach out to the poorest of the poor,
    • Where no Indian goes to sleep on a hungry stomach and housing becomes a basic right for all,
    • Where our rivers are clean and the air is not polluted
    • Where Swacha Bharat is not just a slogan but a reality
    • Where every Indian is proud to be Indian but isn’t put through a daily patriotism test
    • Into that heaven of freedom, let my country awake..
    • Happy Independence Day! Jai Hind
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Rajdeep’s poem is inspired by India’s first Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore

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