Some observe Indian Independence Day as “Black Day”. Why? Because the notion of independence and freedom is a dream that has yet to be realized. From adherence to international law, democratic principles, human rights and social justice, some feel India cannot ignore her failures and that using Independence Day as an excuse to sweep all of India’s shortcomings under the rug of unquestioned patriotism, is simply unacceptable.
Every nation has shortcomings and while some celebrate Independence Days others take it as an opportunity for introspect and reflection. Here are 15 reasons some may choose not to observe Indian Independence Day.
1. 2 Farmers commit suicide every day
“The India Tribune estimated that an Indian farmer kills himself every 12 hours. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), between 1995 and 2009 a quarter of a million farmers have killed themselves”, yet no one seems to care. [source]
2. One third of Indian Politicians face Criminal Charges
“India’s most respected election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms informed us that nearly a third of MPs – 158 of 543 – in the parliament faced criminal charges.” [source]
3. India’s National Hero was a racist
“Gandhi was an unabashedly diehard supporter of India’s Hindu caste system, and would never mix with a lowly group or caste, and Lelyveld in Great Soul lays out Gandhi’s unedited views:
“We were then marched off to a prison intended for Kaffirs [offensive term equivalent to the n-word],” Gandhi complained during one of his campaigns for the rights of Indians settled there. “We could understand not being classed with whites, but to be placed on the same level as the Natives seemed too much to put up with. Kaffirs are as a rule uncivilized — the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live like animals.”
On white Afrikaners and Indians, he wrote: “We believe as much in the purity of races as we think they do.”” [source]
4. Nearly 70% of Indians live on less than $2 a day
Poverty in India is widespread, with the nation estimated to have a third of the world’s poor. In 2010, the World Bank reported that 32.7% of the total Indian people fall below the international poverty line of US$ 1.25 per day (PPP) while 68.7% live on less than US$ 2 per day. [source]
5. The 1984 Sikh Genocide
No one has ever been prosecuted for the 1984 Sikh Genocide and the killers of innocent Sikhs are protected with state impunity. [source]
6. 48 Thousand cases of Child Rape
Marital rape is not a criminal offence in India and is still India’s most common crime against women. Since, 2001 there has been a 336% increase in the number of rapes against children. A report by Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) stated that 48,338 child rape cases were recorded during 2001-11. [source]
7. The Caste System
Statistics compiled by India’s National Crime Records Bureau indicate that in the year 2000, the last year for which figures are available, 25,455 crimes were committed against Dalits. Every hour two Dalits are assaulted; every day three Dalit women are raped, two Dalits are murdered, and two Dalit homes are torched. No one believes these numbers are anywhere close to the reality of crimes committed against Dalits. [source]
8. Irom Sharmila’s 13 year Fast
Irom Sharmila is a civil rights activist, political activist, and poet from the Indian state of Manipur. She has been on hunger strike to demand that the Indian government repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA). The Indian government is currently force feeding her and has her on trial for attempted suicide. The irony is not lost here.
9. The Death Penalty
” The architect of the Constitution, Babasaheb Ambedkar, admitted in the Constituent Assembly that people may not follow non-violence in practice but “they certainly adhere to the principle of non-violence as a moral mandate which they ought to observe as far as they possibly can.” With this in mind, he said, “the proper thing for this country to do is to abolish the death sentence altogether…Last year 14 eminent retired judges wrote to the President, pointing out that the Supreme Court had erroneously given the death penalty to 15 people since 1996, of whom two were hanged. The judges called this “the gravest known miscarriage of justice in the history of crime and punishment in independent India.” [source]
The poster says it all.
11. Homophobia is legal
It’s true, google it.
12. Mass Graves
“In September, the state government rejected calls for DNA testing of 2,730 corpses that a police investigative team found in unmarked graves at 38 sites in north Kashmir in July 2011. Some of the gravesites are believed to hold victims of enforced disappearance and extrajudicial execution by government security forces dating back to the 1990s.” [source]
13. No Freedom of Expression
“In 2012, the central government used the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules to tighten internet censorship, raising concerns about restrictions on the right to free speech. Under the rules, intermediaries such as internet service providers and search engines are required to remove content within 36 hours that is deemed offensive. However, criteria for prohibited content are ambiguous and frequently used to stifle criticism of the government.” [source]
14. Sexism and Lack of Women’s Rights
As a result of infanticide and the killing female babies “In an alarming trend, girl child numbers in India have shown a sharper decline than the male children in the decade beginning 2001, leading to a skewed child sex ratio.” [source] Further, “Violence against women and girls continues… with increased reports of sexual assault, including against those with disabilities…” [source]
15. Narendra Modi
Because alleged perpetrator of Genocide Narendra Modi, the leader of the BJP which is linked to violent Hindutva organizations is the Prime Minister of India. Modi has previously been denied a visa to the USA for his alleged role in the mass murder of Muslims in Gujarat. [source]