26th January, 2020: As India celebrates its 71st Republic Day, the feeling of pride, togetherness and patriotism makes my heart skip a beat with thrill and excitement. But, the day also rouses an emotional part hidden inside me, which makes me thank the great freedom fighters for their immense contribution towards making all Indians feel what they feel on this particular day. The opportunity to publicly showcase our love for our country is possible only on this day.
Deep within, however, as we keep our right hand upon our heart, we all know that it is every day that we would love to thank our freedom fighters and all the soldiers, and showcase our love, brotherhood and gratitude towards our country, our Mother India.
India has changed a lot since Independence — it has become a Republic, observed changes in its law and culture with a touch of modernity, while also remaining grounded to its values and ethics. There is definitely more positivity among people, but this is just an iota of the population. We have come a long way and we still have more to cover, in order to shine the best among all countries. We all dream about what we’d like our country to be, and I too have a dream and vision about my Mother India.
Before I start penning down my vision, I would like to take a moment to congratulate and appreciate the current work of the Central government. A lot of changes and improvements that the country’s citizens were expecting have been made. Additionally, the support that many foreign countries have shown India makes me a proud citizen. It definitely gives rise to more expectations and see India shine even brighter.
To pen down my points, I would start with the aspirations and anxieties that I have for my country:
Firstly, I would like to stress upon the fact that the education system needs more upliftment, and a drastic wave of change needs to be brought about. Classrooms have turned into smart classes, but the access is only available to a few students. In rural areas, governments have been persistently bringing in the per day meal system to encourage children to come to schools, but I feel that is not bringing any hopeful changes.
More than providing such facilities and schemes, I think what is important is changing the mindset of people about the importance of education. People need to understand the value of education in an individual’s life, and the change that that educated individual can bring further. Basic education is every individual’s right. It will help them differentiate between right and wrong, and instill in them an understanding of things. According to a news report last year, 13,500 villages across India have no schools, 41 of them just in Meghalaya. The rest of the states have no-school villages in single digit. The respective governments need to take such findings more seriously and work towards the educational development of the country.
Secondly, I would like to point to the issue of women’s safety. All that is happening across the nation every day makes me very stressed. We are not safe even in our own country. The issue of women’s safety needs to be taken more seriously by the government and needs to come to an end. Otherwise, the future generation of India will curse the present generation for bringing them up in a country where such harsh and fearful incidents take place every day. Though laws have changed and acts of awareness on the issue have increased over the last few years, the reality is still far away from a safe society. We need to bridge this gap so concretely, that no fear resides in the minds of the people, especially women.
The occurrence of rape cases not only showcases the mental sickness of the rapists, but also their lack of understanding of right and wrong, respecting and disrespecting women. Thus, stricter laws towards women’s safety will make India a preferred country to visit and reside in, and set an example for other countries.
Thirdly, I would like to see more awareness around menstrual health. Menstruation is a natural process that everyone needs to be taught about, and nothing to be ashamed of. We all know about Chinese whispers. If this Chinese whisper is put to a good cause, to spread important information about the impact of menstruation on the minds and bodies of women, then we can save thousands of people who suffer and die from menstrual health diseases. This awareness should also include the need for clean toilets for menstruating women and proper disposal methods for menstrual waste.
I want my country to rank in the top in the categories of education, economic growth and eradication of poverty. I want to see India’s status change from a developing country to a developed one.
I want to see India become the most preferred investment hub for all the other countries.
I want India to be the safest country in the world, with zero terrorist attacks. ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’, the movie based on the 2016 militant attack in Uri, and the high-spiritedness of the soldiers to always emerge as winners, was an eye-opener for me.
However, I feel that there should be less fights within the country and there should be love among all. We should all hold respect for people from all cultures, religions and castes.
As an end-note, I would like to dedicate this paragraph to the Indian Army and its contribution towards protecting our lives at the cost of theirs. To each and every soldier in the Army, I would like to take a moment every day and salute you all for protecting the rest of us. Love from my heart for you all to the fullest. The fact that we’re standing and smiling right now, without any fear in our heart, is the result of all you people. Your bravery and agility during every combat is worth applauding and celebrating. I do not have the guts to stand in front of death like you do every day. You depict a picture of true heroism, modernity and strength. All you army men, along with our freedom fighters who fought for our independence, are worth remembering and celebrating by all Indians for your contribution. You all are the true HEROES.