Is Independence A Panacea For Struggling, Underdeveloped Countries?

The grant of political freedom and the consequent right for self determination gained by the erstwhile colonies in the middle of twentieth century was expected to radically change their fate and put them on an accelerated path of development and prosperity. Sadly, the history of last six or seven decades proves that freedom itself is not enough.
Is Independence a Panacea for Struggling, Underdeveloped Countries?
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During the Twentieth century, the end to colonization was seen as liberty from not only foreign rule, but also from poverty, underdevelopment and bad governance. As a new wave of public anger sweeps rulers and dictators across the globe and raised questions even for democratic governments, it is time to go beyond independence in name and understated its true meaning.


Independence is necessary for development of a country to the extent that it provides them to take their own decisions, and choose their own path for it. However, independence alone is not enough. Development, whether economic, social or political, needs much

more than that.

In fact, it would not be wrong to say that independence merely allows you to join the race, but joining alone is no guarantee to success. So, independence by itself is a pre-requisite but not the panacea for struggling, underdeveloped countries.

Independence Needs to be Real & Without Anarchy

Many a times, independence is only in name, not in substance. Often the people of a colonized or subjugated country get relief from a foreign rule, only to be subjugated again by a group of their own, who for all practical purposes, may allow even lesser independence to the people, both political and economic. That is not real independence, and that is the reason why it does not lead to development.

Sometimes, nations are taken over by ambitious and dangerous leaders, who are unable to get their own perceptions, freed from fixed stereotypes, and thus are mentally enslaved by ideologies which are either fallacious or even dangerous. Such leaders drag their countries into avoidable conflicts. Such conflicts may be external or internal, political or military,

but generally thrive on some very sensitive emotional cord, which are often caught hold of by some over-ambitious politicians in their quest of popularity and power. The results are often catastrophic, and in such cases, independence may seem to have failed to bring any improvement.

At other times, nations that get freed from the tyranny of a foreign rule are immediately caught in the cage of economic slavery and restriction, even though their leaders keep shouting about political freedom. In such nations, one can indulge in political gimmicks, but cannot do business. Such political independence combined with economic suppression is only half an independence! It will never work. It may allow the country to survive, but it cannot make it blossom.

Beyond Independence

Even when the independence is substantial, a lot more needs to be done. Freedom to make its own policies and decisions gives a country an opportunity to excel, but that is just an opportunity, and unless this opportunity is properly utilized, the fruits of independence will be few and not so sweet.

Independence can give the country a chance to develop, but to actually start moving on the path of development, it has to identify the best policies, find ways to implement them, sustain them and keep reviewing and improving them for a reasonable length of time. Only then the panacea of independence will get a chance to show all its effects.

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