To be or not to be IndependentIt was 10:30 in the night of 14th August at a deserted lane of East Bengal. No humans were to be seen nearby, when suddenly two old ladies in white sarees with red borders, approached the turn of the lane.
Lady1 : Suniti do you think it is the same road?
Sunti: Yes, Shanti. You see the left turn ahead of us; we are bound to get a rickshaw over there. Oh! There comes one. Let's ask the driver, if he knows the way to my maternal house. It's been so long since I have been there......Oh! Great he will take us.
Shanti: But Rs.35 is a lot to charge.
Suniti: Do you still think that we will be travelling for 25 paise? It's not the 40's era anymore. Remember during the independence of India, one dollar was equal to one rupee. Now see the effect of inflation.
Shanti: Do you remember the struggle we did to make India independent? We were students back then. What expertise did we have? But yet we had the courage and love for our country. These days I only see love for money and power among people. Have you seen the news of a young boy's death due to drinking and driving?
Suniti: Yes, when we got independence young and underage boys were only concerned with studying and shaping a career. Remember during pre-independence, we completed our education while being in jail custody? These days, kids get drunk at the age of 15-16. I wonder why India has seen so many governance post independence, but the basic problem of poverty still remains.
Shanti: And don't forget the religious upheavals since our Indian independence including, Babri Masjid, killing of Kashmiri pundits, Gujarat communal riots, anti Hindu, anti Muslim, anti Sikh and many others anti community killings. Oh! Look, we have almost reached there, just 2 more turns……….
I don't remember so many people getting addicted to either drugs or evil social practices in the 1950's or 60's. Today you have the case of Partha and Debjani De. The brother is keeping the corpse of her long gone sister under the belief of reincarnation.
Suniti: If India is a secular and democratic country, then why is AFSPA governing Manipur for more than 50 years? Why does Kashmir experience curfews every alternate day? Although, I can recollect few events where profuse injustice followed justice in the end. Do you remember the verdict in Jessica Lal murder case or the Nirbhaya case, or the verdict on freedom of speech on social media?
Shanti: Yes, and don't forget the addition of 'NOTA' in the vote box. There has been a mixture of good and bad events since the Independence. But in a nation containing more than 120 crore people, don't we require umpteen better social practices?
Suniti: I agree. The youth of today must be thinking that it was better to be under the British rule than be independent. At least before independence, we did not get to see such bloodshed and violence. Today, every alternate person is violent. Earlier, it was only the British rulers. I think, only the youth of India can make the future better. Look, it's my dear old house. We managed to reach by midnight. Happy Independence Day!!
The rickshaw stopped. The driver turned back to take the fare only to see nothing. There was no one in the seats. He fainted, for he didn't realize that the ladies were the souls of the long gone freedom fighters Shanti Ghosh and Suniti Chaudhary.
This is a contest entry