Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Independence Day: What The Oxford Dictionary Won’t Tell You.

To start off, I had a difficulty spelling Independence today. I wasn’t sure whether it was IndIpendence or IndEpendence. Glad I sorted that out immediately. Thank you, Oxford.

Secondly, happy Independence Day to every Indian around the world. I hope you felt as patriotic as I did this morning, and watched the Flag unfurling ceremony at Red Fort followed by Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s speech.

The most perfect morning for an outing, tight security and and air of pride and patriotism all round. The school children were dressed in the colors of the Indian national flag and arranged in an order to look like the hoisted flag. Beautiful. Well, it doesn’t really matter if you missed it. We’ll have the media telecasting the main lines and key points from the speech along with the highlights of the event.

The day would be followed by a critical analysis of the PM’s speech and how he delivers empty words year after year… and baseless conclusions that India is probably in a worse state than it was 66 years ago.

Right on cue, I read a status update of facebook about how people will remember Independence day only on the 15th of August and carry on with their lives for the rest of the year. There are a few of those every year. As much as I resented reading it, I couldn’t help but admit that I once shared that thought. Probably 2 or 3 years ago.

The PM’s speech covered a varied range of points ranging from Farmer Benefits, to a new, more convenient Pension claim system, condemnation of the violence in Assam and Mumbai and promise of a better tomorrow, statistics of successful programmes and impending plans for new ones. In all, a complete speech of the present state and what we can hope the future India to be like.

This morning, I realised what Independence day means… or should mean, rather. I had an answer to all the cynics who thought that Independence day celebrations had no significance and was a waste of time.

Independence day is a day of hope. Hope that India can be what She yearns to be. She can grow into the India that we all know she can be. It is a day that not only helps us remember the sacrifices made by countless national heroes and faceless martyrs towards the ultimate goal of Independence, but also, serves as a reminder of the rewards of perseverance, passion and dedication. It took 90 years and innumerable lives from the first strike on British rule in 1857 to earn us the Freedom that we are celebrating today.

Remember the heroes, not for their sacrifice, but for the result of their resilience and iron-clad will to liberate India from external rule. Its a matter of intent, patience and hope. A perfect blend of these 3 elements will take India where She can be… where She deserves to be. It will take time. But, rather than being condescending and looking down upon the past 66 years, we should learn from them.

Do your bit. Be Patient. And Incredible India will no longer be just a dream.

Jai Hind!!

Signing off,
A Proud Indian.

Pratik Gupta.

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