There is a fixed time to remember our freedom fighters say, on their birth anniversary, on death anniversary and probably on Independence Day and Republic Day (although one is not so sure if they remember to regard them even on these days).
Why is it important to remember them? Where does the need arise to regard them? Truth be told, it is in no way important for us to remember them just for the sake of remembering. However yes, it is important to remember them when one is not remembering them for the sake of remembering. How? Why? Wait, What?
It is very important for us to remind us of their sacrifices, actions and thoughts. There is actually no use of paying a mere lip-tribute to our freedom fighters, they didn’t sacrifice their lives for this. They were martyred fighting the British valiantly, who at that time were a symbol of tyranny, exploitation and domination of the rich over the poor, of the strong over the weak.
What’s the point of paying them a superficial tribute when we ourselves can’t stand for the ideas of our freedom fighters? They were not only believers, but they were also those great personalities who laid down their lives for their belief, so what is this mere lip-tribute, why and for whom?
Mahatma Gandhi is regarded as the father of our nation, what’s the point of regarding him when we, as his children are unable to grasp the very idea for which not only he sacrificed but spent his entire life on: non-violence. Today it seems, violence has become that very drug of our life without which we cannot survive. When we are unable to practice non-violence then compassion and respect seem pretty heavy words. Why this lip-tribute to him for regarding him as our father when we don’t care about why he is known as the father of the nation!
Ironically, the one who is regarded as the brave son of the nation – Bhagat Singh – how many of us actually know what he fought for? Do we equate Bhagat Singh to non-violence? The Shaheed-e-Azam stood for all the miseries of the poor and the downtrodden. He condemned untouchability, communal riots and was a great admirer of socialism. But how many of us actually know this about him? For some, he’s the same as a terrorist. How many of us know that he went on a 116-day hunger strike for improving the conditions of the jail for Indian prisoners?
Durgawati Devi or Durga Bhabhi. She played the role of Bhagat Singh’s wife to help him leave Lahore for Calcutta and escape the arrest for Saunders’ murder. That was the late 1920s, about a century ago. Big deal? She kept aside all the stereotypes and showed up with no hesitation in playing his wife role for the sole cause of freedom. But we, we will never be able to pay any real tribute to these heroes because the very things they stood against for, we are following them. If one breached all the societal stereotypes and the other preached non-violence, we are just adapting the opposite of that!
When we can’t even try to achieve India of their dreams – an India where all will be equal with no discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, gender, class; an India where peace resides – when we are not even trying to achieve this then what is the point of keeping them in our thoughts or with what kinda gratitude are we going to pay them the tribute they deserve? We don’t even know our freedom fighters properly. We have forgotten Bismil, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Azad, Ashfaq, Lahiri!
Only if we strive to make their dream come true, if we break stereotypes of all kinds, if we actually follow their ideals should we pay any tribute to them, otherwise, all of it might as well be a hoax!