We Indians are on the threshold of yet another Independence Day
! We know we are free without actually knowing why we are free and what it takes to remain free!
There was a time when the common man
celebrated the Independence Day through simple ceremonies, listening to speeches and watching parades. The rest of the fanfare was left to the 'men in white'.
Then came a time when collective apathy gripped the nation. Independence Day was reduced to a mere holiday
. It no longer evoked the reverence that is once commanded. Speeches and parades meant little to the man on the street. Spending the day unwinding in the company of family and friends was thought to be a better choice.
Could this nonchalance
be attributed to an absence of national pride? Was our independence acquired a trifle too early? Was there not enough blood shed? It prompted seniors to propagate the notion that young Indians are a thankless lot who are not very appreciative of their independent status.
Today, Independence Day evokes mixed feelings
. The world has taken a fancy to the changing 'landscape' of modern India. Not only have we busted the myth of Oriental exceptionalism
, such as 'Snake Charmers', we have also managed to inspire the new-age call 'Eastward Ho'
! thanks to the mind-blowing winds of changes.
But concurrent to this transformation there hangs a pall of fear over the nation. We are insecure
in the thought that are lives are not as safe as it once used to be. Independence Day has lost its innocence. There is a gnawing fear, at least in some places, that prompts people to be home -bound. The fear of a bomb obliterating our lives is real.
Although we are a heterogenous nation bound together by 'being Indian', half a century of 'independent' living has made us increasingly biased on the grounds of religion, language and caste. Freedom of speech and equal justice, the two benchmarks of true independence,
is willingly flouted whenever and wherever required. Rulers lead in mocking the law, reducing it to a mere puppetry. Flexing muscles is the order of the day, with 'road fury' being the mildest sample!
Although the common man should be applauded for graduating from the 'University of Hard Knocks' he must be hauled up for being persistently perched on the 'acceptant mode'
- a stance that has propelled several politicians on their path of 'no good'.
Shepherding a nation of indifferent people is like guarding a bucket with multiple leaks! Absence of national pride calls for taking notes and making amends. We simply cannot afford to exist in a state of entropy anymore.
Does that mean that it is the end-of -the -road for young India? Are we ready to be slaves yet again? The answer, of course, is an emphatic 'No'!
The Independence Day is a celebration
of our several achievements as a nation. It must be seen as yet another opportunity to reiterate our faith in what our founding fathers stood for and also to unite in confronting the forces that challenge us. The Independence Day revives our hope for a generation of fearless Indians who seek truth in themselves and demand it in those around
Dr. Reeja Tharu/S