India has reached it 67th year of independence. And I feel proud to be a citizen of this country. I have heard many people often saying that we should celebrate our independence day not only on this special day but everyday too. But I am of the opinion that dedicating a day to a cause and celebrating it on that particular day, every year, means quite a different thing. Doesn’t it feel nice to sit at our homes on this day, enjoying our freedom and talk about our nation and bring out our feelings of patriotism, which get suppressed in the hustle & bustle of our everyday lives? It is on this day that we stop to think about the sacrifices made by our forefathers, the freedom fighters, and reminisce the stories of our struggle for independence. It is also a day to feel proud of our nation, ponder about the journey it has made since this day in 1947. Having said that, it does feel sad when this day is celebrated, just because it should be and not because we feel it from our hearts. Often the speeches are given without meaning a word & they get erased from our memories the very next day we wake up. And the stories about our freedom struggle and the people behind it have become just part of the history lessons.
Today, as I go down the memory lanes, I remember those Independence Day celebrations I got to be a part of as a kid. Our Deuta (my father) used to take us 3 sisters, in his Bajaj scooter, to the Chowkidinghee field where the district administration organized the celebrations. Whitewashed bamboo barricades were built around the main activity area and we watched the parade and the other activities by leaning, & later trying to sit or rather hang, on these bamboo poles. Usually we used to get tired midway but Deuta made us watch the entire show right till its end when they distributed snacks. Later when we were headed home, he bought us balloons and septa badaam and once we reached home we settled down in front of the TV to watch the broadcast from Delhi. I miss those days.
On this day I feel our Motherland gives her every daughter & son a second chance, to undo all the wrongs of the past and make a fresh start. I am aware of all the good and the bad of my country and am still a proud Indian. In spite of the present situation, I am hopeful that one day India will emerge as the country which our freedom fighters dreamed of. In school, I remember reading a chapter in Social Studies about India. Today one particular phrase from that chapter comes to my mind – unity in diversity. As a child I learnt what it meant by-heart and was prepared to write it in my exams and even though I did not understand it fully at that age, the term intrigued me in some way. During my growing up years, I came across this term many times and each time a new meaning was added to it. Today I know what it means. And I am proud to be born in this land where there is unity in the wide diversity it has. They say, where there are vessels there will be sound and the same happens to this diversity. Because of the diversity in religion, language, caste, creed, etc. there had been some clamouring every now and then and each time, it had left us with a scar. But because of the unique unity, we survive each such clamour, fighting and recovering from it, marching our way forward.
The one thing in this country that needs an immediate reform is the political system, in fact it’s the political parties and its members. Some days I wonder, are our leaders actually elected democratically? And what is it that happens to them when they come to power? Every time I look forward for a leader to be the agent of change, they disappoint me by resorting to the same actions and strategies adopted by their predecessors. They all seem to be birds of the same flock. They are the one thing I am ashamed of in my country.
In spite of everything I am a proud Indian. I love my country with all its goodness and bad and feel lucky to have been born here. And I believe that rather than sitting in our comfy chairs & criticizing everything about the country we have the alternative of being the change we want to see. It is not necessary for us to undertake ground-breaking activities to do so. We just need to think about our actions – big or small – and the impact it would have on the people around us, the society, the state and the country. Being a doer rather than a criticizer is what the country needs now. Bringing out the goodness and fighting the bad is what is needed at this hour. And as always, I am hopeful that I and my fellow countrymen would soon rise and live up to the expectations of our Mother India.
(Note: This note was to be posted yesterday on the occasion of 67th Independence Day of India. However, due to internet connection issues, I could post it today)
Images: Google and FB page of Happily Unmarried (retail store)