Today’s our Independence Day.
Millions of heart thumped together as one today, when the tricolour, bound at first, unfurled, liberating itself from its fetters, showering us with petals of freedom. The national anthem piped out of people’s cores across the country, rich and poor alike; whether one’s a Hindu or Muslim, it didn’t matter today.
Even the wind celebrated as the flag was hoisted for the 71st time, swaying in its flow, undaunted. It reminded us of those times, darker than the darkest nights, those lives in gloom, and how our heroes came to our rescue, those brave souls. They lost everything, their family and their lives. But in the end, they won much more. They won us our freedom.
In spite of all this, a few of my intellectual friends have openly proclaimed that we have nothing to celebrate about. They say that our country isn’t free. There’s racism, inequality, communalism, sexism, casteism and other evils which still grip our society today.
Well, I disagree that we have nothing to celebrate about. It’s true that there are a lot of issues that the nation is facing today. But don’t we talk about these problems like every other day, the entire year; all the difference that it makes. I’m not impervious to the problems of our country nor am I disregarding them. But don’t you think we should take a day to reminisce what we have achieved over the years. We revere our country as our mother. And we end up treating her that way, too. We complain the entire year about her shortcomings, while she nurtures us. No matter how true those flaws are, can’t we just reserve a single day where we praise her for her service? Doesn’t she deserve a single day of peace? Can’t we be a little more grateful for just one day, to our country, to our motherland?
Taking into account the problems and issues facing our country is necessary for its development. But this day is not just restricted to that. Today is about recalling our past and paying homage to our leaders and heroes. Shouldn’t we take a break from this entire squabble and take a moment to think about our forefathers, the examples they set for us. Shouldn’t we put an effort to pass on our glorious legacy, the way it was done for us when we were children? Today is the day to reminisce our childhood days; the way we ran across streets holding the tricolour aloft in our hands while the music of those patriotic songs filled the air. Today is the day we recollect those stories of our freedom fighters, stories which used to bring us goose bumps and when we listened to them. Today is the day we rekindle the fire that burned inside us when we listened to the sagas of our revolutionaries. Those days of ours might have gotten over but there’s the next generation which is yet to bloom. The onus is on us to take a moment out of our busy schedules and spend it with those tiny tots, those reminders of our childhood passed.
Take a moment and instruct that tiny little boy that her sister deserves the same opportunity he does.
Take a moment to let the future of our nation know that cleaning toilets and drains doesn’t make a person a lesser human than he/she is.
Take a moment to tell them that saffron and green are just colours. There’s no need to wage war just to end up with a colour that’s only redder.
Take a moment and teach them that no human is low or high by birth. It’s only what they do that matters.
Take a moment and talk to them about these small things, which shape the bigger picture.
Take a moment. Sit with them. They’ll tell you how great our country is.
And you, in turn, will educate them how they can make it even greater.
And that is how, slowly and gradually, by carefully nurturing our future generation in the right manner, we’ll truly be able to celebrate the spirit of our independence.
We celebrate this day because independence is the only thing that makes a difference. And swear we do to safeguard our motherland from enemies who try to break us apart, internal or external. We promise ourselves, in the name of those heroes who fought for our freedom, that we won’t tear one another apart in name of race, religion, caste and other social evils.
Today, all of us stand as a single entity.
Sons of the same mother, Indians, we are.