The nation celebrated it’s 71st years of independence on the August 15 this year with much fervour and fanfare, as has been done every year since India attained independence from the British rule in 1947. The occasion was initially observed to remind and redeem the pledge of rebuilding and redirecting the nation towards the path of development and progress from the state of despair and disarray in which the British rulers left it in. 71 years on, what we are actually experiencing is a far cry from the dreams and visions which every citizen of this country hoped to see unfold into reality. There has been a perceptible loss of foresight and vision amongst the so called leaders who have grown to take their positions and the powers entrusted to them for granted, making a mockery of the democratic set up that was designed to aid in the speedy and judicious dispense of duties and justice. The law and order situation in almost every part of the country leaves much to be desired and development index seems to be going southwards. There has not been any significant increase in the basic amenities for a very large number of citizens who are struggling to make ends meet in the rural areas and in the far flung villages. In this day and age when space travel is no longer a figment of the imagination, a substantial percentage of the population still dreams about electricity. Roads still remain basic and unpaved and social upliftment measures like the Public Distribution System has been proving to a colossal waste of precious food grains, being manipulated by those entrusted to ensure their proper implementation in order to aid the underprivileged and the needy. Perhaps these people have taken the slogan “Public property is our property” to mean that they are thereby authorized to hoard them and use them for their personal purposes. Social unrest and agitations are on the rise, and the governments are taking undue advantage of these to fill their own coffers instead of looking for measures to address these unrest and upheaval. The nation is rather regressing into a vortex of chaos and unrest, while the leaders and officials are busy giving lip service without the will or the temper to carry out their empty promises. The symptoms of social ills are pretty evident closer home. The police personnel, trained to protect the public are in total disconnect with the common public, their very presence causing panic and concern rather than reassurance and safe. The representative of the people are unreachable once they assume power, and amidst all these mayhem, various unrest and social chaos, amassing wealth through hesitation kill or be killed, justifying their actions and deeds by citing noble ideals and espousing selfless sacrifice with their fingers on the triggers of their guns all the while. The altruistic meaning of Independence has been lost in the chaos. The maddening rush for survival and personal enrichment has caught the public and the powerful alike in it’s wake. Development and progress are concepts that have been relegated to the dark corners. Unless we come to our senses and redeem ourselves now, it would be too late to salvage whatever little we have achieved as a society and as progressive humans. It is in us all to change things. It is in us to stand up and start working on it.