72nd Independence Day: Challenges That India Still Needs To Overcome

By- Md. Mojahid Raza

Bhubaneswar: India is celebrating its 72nd Independence Day today. It was on this very day in 1947 that our country broke the shackles of foreign domination and emerged as an independent country in the map of the world. It has been more than seven decades and India has undergone a sea change from what it was in 1947. The country has made remarkable progress in every sphere- social, economical, political and achieved great heights in realms of agriculture, space, textiles, industries, manufacturing and so on.

With a population of over 1.25 billion, India is the second most populous country and one of the fastest growing economies of the world. However, there are still many challenges which continue to hinder the pace of India towards progress and development. We might have achieved geographical, economic and social independence but we are yet to achieve independence from many things that are unconducive for any independent and progressive nation.

As we celebrate our 72nd Independence Day, here is a look at some crucial challenges that India continues to face and which need to be eradicated in order to make this country independent and progressive in truest of sense.


This is indeed the most vital of all the issues which India is currently grappling with. Despite many plans, policies and programmes for poverty alleviation, nothing substantial has been achieved in this realm. A good chunk of India’s population still lives in abject poverty under the shadow of malnutrition and absence of the basic necessities of life. At present, India’s annual GDP growth is 7.1 percent as per the government which has been making gallant claims that India will get rid of poverty very soon. On a positive note, a lot of progress has been made in the last two decades. The number of poor in the country has gone down significantly and the World Bank has stated that only 20 percent of India’s population is currently below the poverty line. This astounding progress was made post the 1991 reforms which embarked a new chapter in the history of India. However, when it comes to poverty alleviation, India still has a long way to go.


India is a country which symbolises unity in diversity. The country is inhabited by people who belong to different religions, cultures, race and ethnicity. Almost every state in the country has its own language, script, dialect and culture starkly different from others. Nevertheless, there is an invisible thread of nationalism that binds together these diverse people and cultures. However, in the past few years, the country has witnessed numerous incidents which have tarnished the image of India as a liberal and tolerant society. Controversies have erupted over food, religious beliefs, festivals, language and geographical boundaries, fuelled by anger, hatred and prejudice. Everyday there are incidents of mob-lynchings, hate crimes and intolerance which are a cause of concern for a civilised country like India which takes pride in being a pluralistic society.

Such violent and shameful incidents are not only a threat to social peace and harmony but also spoil India’s image on global platform. In order to safeguard the very essence of our diverse society, we as citizens should come forward to put an end to intolerance and promote harmony and brotherhood.

Gender Equality:

The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has stressed on the need of women empowerment and elimination of gender discrimination to provide equal opportunities for all, irrespective of gender. January 24 is celebrated as ‘Girl Child Day’ and the government has launched ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign to get rid of female foeticide and promote girl education. Besides, there have been efforts to ensure equal participation of men and women in every sphere- employment, education and even the Parliament.

However, women continue to lag behind men in India. They are still treated secondary to their male counterparts and many times denied basic human rights. Women in India continue to face prejudice, social stigma and often fall victims to evils like dowry customs, child marriage, sexual exploitation as well as mental and emotional trauma. Almost everyday, newspapers carry reports of brutal rape, torture and other horrendous crimes against women in the country.

To achieve gender equality, we as a society need to change our outlook and perspective towards women. We need to think of them as equal to men without any bias and give them liberty and freedom in every aspect of life. Until this transformation is achieved, gender equality in India will remain a far-fetched dream.

Local Insurgencies:

Insurgency refers to an active revolt against the government or ruling forces for multifarious reasons. There are many places in India which are grappling under the ill-effects of insurgency. Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh are some of the states where insurgency in the form of Maoism, Naxalism and armed militancy is rampant. Every year, hundreds of security personnels are killed in anti-insurgency operations and cross-firing. Many civilians too lose their lives, caught in the crossfire between insurgents and security forces.

Local insurgents are motivated to pick guns by many factors. They are misguided by anti-social elements who are hell bent on destabilizing our great country. To deal with such volatile issues, the government must meticulously devise strategies and urge the insurgents to give up arms, come to the forefront, join the mainstream and contribute towards the progress of the nation as responsible citizens.

Rural-Urban Divide:

India is one of those few countries in the world where the urban and the rural societies are in stark contrast to each other. While the urban society represents the progressive and developing India, the rural society depicts the primitive and backward India which is still reeling under poverty. The existence of dualistic economy is not at all conducive for the overall growth of India. There is an urgent need to bridge the gap between the rural and urban societies in the country so that the nation escalates on the path of progress and development.


Our forefathers fought and sacrificed their lives to create a beautiful, safe and a prosperous nation for us. As we look back over India’s great history, let us be thankful for everything we have achieved and join hands to make this great country independent in the truest sense. On this solemn day, lets us take a pledge to be liberal, empathetic, tolerant and not let divisive forces take precedence over the love for our country and countrymen. Happy Independence Day. Jai Hind!

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