Sundeep Bhutoria

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Independence Day tea party

August 15, 2011, Independence Day: I went to the Raj Bhavan for a tea party in the evening hosted by the Hon'ble Governor of West Bengal, M K Narayanan. This tea party is a traditional affair.
I noticed that this year's tea party was a lot more crowded than usual. Understandably, the people wanted to rub shoulders with those who are a part of the new state power structure. The gathering was attended by politicians, bureaucrats, defence personnel, celebs and ironically, very few freedom fighters in whose honour this tradition of tea party is hosted each year. The only ones who were absent were those who had leftist connections or leanings.
Met many eminent Kolkatans but most of them, amid pleasantries and forced smiles, were complaining about the sultry weather and humidity in the banquet hall. It gives you a feeling that most of them have stepped out of a finishing school - plastic smiles, measured talk, cautious mannerisms - trying to be politically correct.
All this gives me a creepy feeling that we are living in some Orwellian Big Brother society and not in Independent India. These days, people are afraid of speaking their minds and mask their true feelings. Independence means a society based on freedom of speech, freedom of expression. A society where the mind is without fear.
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