Tomorrow, Aug 15th 2007; India is celebrating 60 years of Independence. For the past 2 years I was not in India, but I did celebrate Indian Independence. When I say this, I question myself- Did I really celebrate the day? Can I actually call it a celebration? Am I truly patriotic? Would I have envisioned it better, if I had been through slavery? To be frank I find it hard to give a clear answer to any of these questions. I’m sure almost every one of us, whom they consider patriotic, can try answering these simple questions and then come to a conclusion.
During my school days, all that I’ve realized on an “Independence Day” is – that it was a school holiday, day to watch special shows on TV [which would be as irrelevant as a romantic movie review, a movie star interview, debate on a topic something like –Is wife or a mum who plays the better part in a man’s life?, songs from new movies], etc. It was something like getting an additional Sunday in the same week. In the final years of my schooling all I remember doing was being a bit careful about the National flag, which I would pin on to my uniform and make sure I don’t drop it at least until I go home and get changed. I felt proud of myself for not dropping it on the floor/streets and stamp on it like many other crazy school kids do and who considered it as an act of heroism. I had neither thought about the country nor the people nor the government. If at all I had to face a question related to all this, my answer would have been-I’m not interested in politics and hence don’t know much about it-a blind, foolish statement. Now I realize, for one to love his/her own country they need not know politics.
Only when I was out of my country I have done the least- trying to emphasize the culture, tradition and other amazing facts about India to the outside world. I feel this is not all I could have done; I could have done more and as a citizen I have to do more. But how to start and where lies the problem?
Personally, I feel, being rebellious is not the only way to prove oneself patriotic, but everyone can give a try as much as they can. If people start thinking about this seriously I'm sure each one would come with a practical and simple suggestion. Parents can stress the importance of the Independence and Republic day to their children, not just the day but the importance of being a true citizen and let them understand what it actually means. Excerpts from the life of freedom fighters and freedom struggle can be told as short stories to make kids aware of the Indian History, than to make them learn it from schoolbooks, which many often find boring. This is just for a start…… but at the end I think every Indian should die with a fulfillment of having done at least 1 deed for his/her country.
I take this as an opportunity to disclose my desire to be a better human being and thus serve the nation in some way or the other. Also hoping to see a future filled with more ardent and enthusiastic individuals to support and lift the nation’s pride. [Thus creating a necessity for the shops to sell greeting cards for the Independence and Republic day, the telecom service providers to unusually charge extra for sending sms on days like Aug 15th, Jan 26th, Oct 2nd, to see clean roads without any worn out or torn tricolor flags and to wake up with the noise of bursting crackers and celebration of the whole country together without any differences.]
Now the time being 2.30 a.m IST I wish you all out there a “Very Happy Independence Day”.