Dissent is not anti-national : Akhilesh Yadav in Independence Day message

Dear Fellow Citizens,

Exactly 71 years ago in 1947 at the stroke of midnight the freedom and birth of our country was declared. A hope of new dawn had taken birth in the mind and heart of tens of millions of fellow citizens with the unfettering of the chains of their slavery. 

With the hope of the same New Dawn today, I am greeting my countrymen a very happy Independence day.

Today is also the pious occasion for us to remember all those brave freedom fighters who irrigated our flower garden (country) with their bloods. 

The 15th August is also a momentous occasion for us all to salute the soldiers of our Army who are guarding the borders and continue to sacrifice their lives in the defence of the territorial integrity and Sovereignty.

The August Day is also an solemn occasion for us to take a bow before tens of millions of countrymen who post-Independence have selflessly contributed towards the progress and development of the country. Their devotion and determination are cornerstones of our successes in many spheres of national interest. 

From the glorious history of the freedom struggle to the modern period of nation building, the central role of our women in society had been quite significant in ensuring the stability, progress and long-term development. As a homemaker they have been taking care of their families and as responsible mothers, they have guided the path of sons and daughters.

In coming times as well women's power and performance will be pivotal in providing more strength to the foundation of the country. 

Democracy is government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected representatives under a free electoral system. 

Freedom and democracy had been two important objectives of our founding fathers. Democracy is indeed a set of ideas and principles about freedom, but it also consists of a set of practices and procedures that have been moulded through a long, often tortuous history. 

In fact, democracy is the institutionalization of freedom. 

For this reason, it is possible to identify the time-tested fundamentals of constitutional government, human rights, and equality before the law that any society must possess to be properly called democratic. 

Institutions are required to safeguard the fundamental rights and interests of citizens.

Unfortunately, all the pillars of our democracy today are under brutal assault from the vested interests. 

Democracy is the celebration of diversity. Several ideologies can coexist together in the orchard of democracy. 

However, to the consternation of conscientious citizens, those occupying the positions of power are declaring every dissenting Indian a traitor. 

Dissent is not anti-National. 

Ideological disagreement, in fact, is being considered a crime by the ruling dispensation. 

Socialist ideologue Lohiaji used to say that equality was as much an important goal in life as it was to discover the truth. 

But what is happening nowadays in the society pricks our conscience to search for a calm response to the crisis. The seeds of hate are being sown by dividing the people on the basis of religion, caste and region. 

Can we progress in such afflicting atmosphere of anxiety, depression, insecurity? 

In my opinion, development is only possible when people are provided with adequate security, education and healthcare. 

The country is like a family. If a member of a family is found wrestling with a problem, it can affect the mental and physical health of the entire family.

We will, therefore, have to make sense of the prevailing circumstances. And that is our economic growth is next to impossible until we commit ourselves to 'Inclusive' model of development programme, which is of course only possible by considering and addressing the aspirations of people of all sections of society, that is, all castes, religions and regions. 

The so-called economic reform model has betrayed a million dreams. Every section of society under the canopy of Free market economy has suffered serious setbacks. Virtually every sector of the economy, from farming to industry, is reeling under the ominous clouds of pessimism. There is upsurge in mass disenchantment across the country. 

As a consequence, rising scale of social instability is staring us all in our faces. In light of social turmoil it would be impractical to envision economic stability. 

By the advent of 2020 in the next couple of years, India would become the youngest country, home to the largest number of youth population.

However, we are deeply concerned with the future of our Gen-Next under the growing climate of uncertainty on all fronts, including unbearable distress in the farming community. 

Food growers across the country are condemned to commit suicide. What are the guarantees of progressive and secure environment from the custodians of power today?

The country’s education and health sector is in a mess. Both sectors are facing a loss of credibility, not to mention a number of challenges. Instead of combating the malaise, the government is deflecting people’s attention by indulging in blatant lies, hate-mongering and spreading canard. 

There are towers of promises being built like sand castles all these years. Can only promises satisfy the hunger or thirst of people?

No, not at all! 

Empty and illusory promises have been wafting in the air, turning the atmosphere more poisonous with the break of each and every promise with the passage of time.

Under such grim scenario when the nation is at the cusp of despair, the significance of socialism assumes more relevance.

Socialism, by and large, is a suitable ideology to address the ailments plaguing our society.  We can shape the destiny of our country by addressing the issues of economic equality, social justice and unity in diversity.

Baba Saheb Ambedkar and Lohiaji had the same dream. 

Today we will have to take a pledge to fulfil their dream. 

I would like to appeal to each and every citizen of India to step forward for strengthening the fortresses of national integration, social harmony and brotherhood. It is time to walk shoulder to shoulder with every citizen of the land. 

Let us all join hands to build a socialist, secular and democratic India. Only by taking this pledge can we realize the constructive meaning of our freedom and democracy.

Thank You

The full transcript of the Independence-Day message of the youth icon charismatic socialist leader, Samajwadi Party National President and former Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav.

On the eve of 72nd Independence Day (15 August 2018).

(Translated from original Hindi script by Frank Huzur)

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