After 65 years of #Independence- ‘ YEH KAISI AZADI HAI”


At the stroke of midnight when the world sleeps, India awakes,

Yes! India has woken up to freedom, but for whom?

After 65 years of Independence, The poor have no kapda, roti, makaan so let them have cell phones. The UPA government is close to finalising a Rs 7,000 crore scheme to provide one mobile phone for every Below Poverty Line (BPL) household in the country. The scheme will be called ‘Har haath mein phone” (phone in every hand) and would give 200 minutes of free local talktime to the beneficiaries.

The Planning Commission SAYS  that anyone spending more than Rs 965 per month in urban India and Rs 781 in rural India will be deemed not to be poor. The  poverty line cut-off figures, are those spending in excess of Rs 32 a day in urban areas or Rs 26 a day in villages will no longer be eligible to draw benefits of central and state government welfare schemes meant for those living below the poverty line. For them  spending Rs 5.5 on cereals per day is good enough to keep people healthy. Similarly, a daily spend of Rs 1.02 on pulses, Rs 2.33 on milk and Rs 1.55 on edible oil should be enough to provide adequate nutrition and keep people above the poverty line without the need of subsidized rations from the government. Just  Rs 1.95 on vegetables a day would be adequate. A bit more, and one might end up outside the social security net.

People should be spending less than 44 paise on fruits, 70 paise on sugar, 78 paise on salt and spices and another Rs 1.51 on other foods per day to qualify for the BPL list and for subsidy under various government schemes. A person using more than Rs 3.75 per day on fuel to run the kitchen is doing well as per these figures. Forget about the fuel price hike and sky-rocketing rents, if anyone living in the city is spending over Rs 49.10 a month on rent and conveyance, he or she could miss out on the BPL tag.

As for healthcare,  Rs 39.70 per month is sufficient to stay healthy. On education, the plan panel feels those spending 99 paise a day or Rs 29.60 a month in cities are doing well enough not to need any help. Similarly, one could be considered not poor if he or she spends more than Rs 61.30 a month on clothing, Rs 9.6 on footwear and another Rs 28.80 on other personal items.

But THE FACT IS , around 400 million unorganised workers struggle to survive without any tangible right, though they substantially contribute to the national income. No employment regulation, no pension, no maternity benefits, no accident compensation, no provision to get even the minimum wages or health care. Instead, crumbs of social assistance schemes are thrown at them by the state as charity.

“Independence begins at the bottom . . . A society must be built where every village has to be self-sustained and capable of managing its own affairs . . . It will be trained and prepared to perish in the attempt to defend itself against any onslaught from without . . . This does not exclude dependence on and willing help from neighbours or from the world. It will be a free and voluntary play of mutual forces. In this structure composed of innumerable villages, there will be ever-widening, never-ascending circles. Growth will not be a pyramid with the apex sustained by the bottom, but it will be an oceanic circle whose centre will be the individual. Therefore the outermost circumference will not wield power to crush the inner circle, but will give strength to all within and derive its own strength from it.”

Mahatma Gandhi believed that the overall impact of the state on the people is harmful. He called the state a “soulless machine” which, ultimately, does the greatest harm to mankind. It was for this that he developed the two-pronged strategy of resistance (to the state) and reconstruction (through voluntary and participatory social action). The dream of Swaraj remains unattained even 65 years after independence.

Ye Kaisi Aazadi Hai? asks Jagjit Singh, the acclaimed singer, joining the campaigners of Social Security Now, a network of trade unions, civil society organisations, peoples movements and concerned individuals fighting for securing Social Security Rights for the countless, voiceless unorganised workers. Written by renowned poet Nida Fazli, and filmed by Pravin Mishra, the song invites you to join in on the demand for Social Security as a Right for unorganised workers! The video  vividly articulates the frustrations of millions of marginalized Indians who find their dream of Swaraj slipping away. India’s tryst with destiny has now turned into India’s tryst with Nehru dynasty. India’s hope for Swaraj is sailing through rough waters.

This is your song. Please send the link to all the concerned Indians.

Freedom of Expression

The lyrics
यह कैसी आजादी है

चंद घराने छोड़ के भूखी नंगी आबादी है

जितना देस तुम्हारा है
उतना देस हमारा है
दलित, महिला, आदिवासी , सबने इसे सवांरा है

ऐसा क्यों है कहीं ख़ुशी है
और कहीं बर्बादी है

यह कैसी आजादी है….

अंधियारों से बहार निकलो
अपनी शक्ति जानो तुम
दया धरम की भीख न मांगो
हक्क अपना पहचानो तुम
अन्याय के आगे जो रुक जाये वह अपराधी है

यह कैसी आजादी है….

जिन हाथों में काम नहीं है
उन हाथों को काम भी दो
मजदूरी करने वालों को , मजदूरी का दाम भी दो
बूढ़े होते हाथों पों कप, जीने का आराम भी दो

दौलत का हर बंटवारे में, मेहनतकश का नाम भी दो
झूठों के दरबार में, अब तक सचाई फरयादी है

यह कैसी आजादी है
चंद घराने छोड़ के भूखी नंगी आबादी है

Translation in English

What sort of freedom is this ?
Besides handful of people, the whole nation is poor and starving

The nation belongs to me as much as it belongs to you
Dalits, women, tribal, all together have built the nation
Why is that, somewhere there is happiness
and elsewhere there is darkness

What sort of freedom is this ?

Get out of the darkness and realize your power
Do not ask for mercy, Recognize you own rights
Whoever stops in front of injustice is a criminal
What sort of freedom is this ?

The hands which do not work, need employment
Pay the laborers fair wages
Give social security to the elderly
Give full due contribution to laborers in distribution of wealth,
Truth is still begging for justice , in the court of liars

What sort of freedom is this ?
Besides handful of people, the whole nation is poor and starving

LETS MAKE THIS VIRAL, LETS MAKE THIS  OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM

6 comments on “After 65 years of #Independence- ‘ YEH KAISI AZADI HAI”

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