Independence Day : Do we actually feel the importance of it?

Today, India celebrates the 68th year of its independence. The Prime Minister of our country Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi has hoisted the National Flag on the historic Red Fort. To have sustained a functioning democracy with all its flaws for more than 65 years, in a country of more than a billion people who speak scores of different languages, is something of a miracle. Gone are the days of associating India with snake charmers and elephants.

The country has prospered visibly. Despite the population growth, the per capita income has grown considerably in each of the past 15 years – more than ever before. On the technological front, India launches its own satellites and sent Mangalyaan, a state-of-the-art spacecraft, to the Mars. It also boasts of a massive cinema industry, which every year churns out several of the world’s most widely watched films.

In terms of geographical spread, the Republic of India is the world’s seventh largest country. It has the climatic extremes of the snow-clad Himalayas in the north, green, coastal Kerala in the south, the rain-fed forests of Seven Sisters in the north east, and the scorching sands of Rajasthan on its western flank. The single most important legacy of contemporary India is that it is the largest parliamentary democracy in the world.

Having said all this, do we actually feel the importance of the Independence Day?

Do we, even on the Independence Day think about how our forefathers earned this invaluable independence- the freedom to live, the freedom to speak, the freedom to work and worship. India’s struggle for Independence is a saga of those thousands of men, women and even children who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the nation. And so by celebrating Independence Day, a homage is paid to all those who fought to bring Independence to our country.

But gone are the days when every Indian citizen valued the importance of this great day. Sadly, over the years sentiments have gradually eroded and now we observe this day just like any holiday. Having witnessed the scene myself as a NCC(Navy) cadet on the Independence Day Function in school, when hardly a few students attended the function. It is abashing to read posts on Facebook and tweets on Twitter going as “Enjoyed Independence Day holiday by having a good sleep till afternoon” and many others such statements by my own student community. For them, attending the Flag Hoisting ceremony early in the morning is equivalent to torturing them as they see the Independence Day as just another holiday and want to sleep, play some fancy computer games or chat on Facebook. Sadly, this story is common to most of us.

The Oxford dictionary defines patriotism as devoted love, support, and defence of one’s country; national loyalty. But the word patriotism cannot be restricted and is very subjective in nature. One need not play cricket matches or fight wars to express their feeling of patriotism. Our emotions run high when India thrashes Pakistan in any sport or when a businessman of Indian origin, staying abroad, makes it big in the world. We feel so much patriotic when a lady of Indian origin (who has hardly been in India) goes into space. The majority of youth of our nation complain of inadequate infrastructure, lack of avenues and proper scope to make it big and fulfill one’s ambition in India and hence want to work abroad after pursuing their studies. This might be true and correct, but isn’t it our responsibility to facilitate such an environment in our country?

Former President of India and a renowned scientist, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has mentioned in his book ‘Wings of Fire’-“never think of the scope, work hard to create that scope” and he himself did so. Dr. Kalam turned down several offers from abroad and stayed in India and the legacy which he created is for all of us to see and feel inspired- inspiration to lead India in reaching great heights.

We must take an oath on this Independence Day that we would work harder and take India to great and exalting heights. We should work towards making India a nation in which equality- social and financial exists; where there is no poverty and no discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and sex. Let’s commit ourselves in creating a more cleaner, happier and a more prosperous India.

Last but not the least, we should understand the importance of the Independence Day in our lives and celebrate it and retrospect over what we have achieved and what needs to be achieved in order to make India one of the best nations in the world.

So on this Independence Day, go out and celebrate the festival of freedom.

Jai Hind !! 🙂 🙂

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