August 13, 2007Economy

Independence without freedom

The enemy is within us. It’s name is apathy.

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Amit Varma, who has been shortlisted for the Bastiat Prize, writes a powerful piece for the Independence Day special issue of Mint.

The tragedy is that for most Indians, political independence was freedom enough. What else was there to fight for?

Well, plenty. The oppressive empire from a continent away was gradually replaced by an oppressive, omnipresent state, and we did not protest. The lack of economic freedom kept India poor for decades, and we did not protest. Personal freedoms were routinely denied to us, and we did not protest. In parts of our country people are treated worse than the British treated us, and we do not protest. As a nation, we stopped caring for freedom once we gained independence. [India Uncut]It’s easy to blame the apathy on rational ignorance. But it’s also wrong. At least two generations of Indians could have led richer, fuller and healthier lives if those shackles didn’t keep them locked in.

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