As my country celebrates 63 years of freedom, here in no particular order are some (only some) things I want to be free of, things I want India to be free of:
* Reading about yet another case of great corruption every day in the papers.
* Reading about dishonour killings every day in the papers.
* The reality that of about 200 million households in this country, 120 million don't have toilets.
* The worry that educating my children's generation will be one long encounter with coaching classes aimed at one exam or another, rather than an effort to exercise and expand their minds.
* The immature hostility that greets even mildly critical mention of India or Indians.
* A readiness to turn mortals into gods simply because they play cricket, or act in films, or sing songs. Or indeed practice politics.
* Poverty so overwhelming that plenty of Indians cannot afford rice priced at two rupees a kilo.
* The idea that everything on the road, people most of all, is subordinate to the car.
* The need for an Indian, any Indian, to travel 200+ km for elementary healthcare, as I saw plenty of Indians doing in Chhattisgarh.
* The anger and resentment that characterize all sides of almost any issue we face, whether reservations or Maoists, delivering justice or SEZs.
* Car drivers who think they are required to speed up to prevent older Indians on foot from crossing the road in front of them.
* An apparent unwillingness to recognize the depth of human potential in this country and what realizing it to its fullest would do for India.