08 Mary’s Assumption and India’s Independence - Fr. William Fernandes

posted Aug 8, 2018, 11:30 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Aug 8, 2018, 11:30 PM ]
We in India celebrate two notable events on August 15, 2018 - the Assumption of Our Lady into heaven and the 71st anniversary of India's independence. Both events speak of the same fact - Liberation from Bondage.

The Assumption commemorates Mary's total liberation from the bondage of sin and selfishness. Independence Day commemorates India's liberation from the bondage of foreign domination. As we celebrate Independence with much gaiety and enthusiasm, this celebration will bring along certain thoughts and questions: Are we really a freed people? What are we freed from and for what? For millions of people, what does political Independence mean, when for a number of our people there is nothing to eat? Let us go back and see what was the economic progress of the country since August 15, 1947.

Statistics have shown that, in the past, we produced surplus food grains in the country. The industrial growth of our nation has been the cause of envy for many developing countries. And yet, we see pockets of poverty and starvation in many corners of the different states of India. A number of our brothers and sisters live below the poverty line – that is, without the bare minimum necessary for a decent human existence. Social inequalities and discrimination on the basis of caste, language and religion still prevail.

India seems to be heading towards fragmentation. Instead of being conscious that we are a free people, and that we are one, we are breaking up into linguistic groups. People in one State are bound by narrow parochial (vested) interests, and reject or even persecute those from other States of Mother India.

In recent times, our freedom has been curbed in what we eat and how we dress. Are we Free?