India is Not Free

Anuradha Bhattacharyya

The other day the people of the US sadly recalled the bombing of Hiroshima. It speaks volumes for the ordinary people. India too has developed nuclear weaponry in reply to this sad turn of affairs on mother Earth. It set me thinking: India is not free.

India is not free to live the ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. India has to build an armory to guard her against invasion and plunder, against bombardment. If she were free from fear, she would have grown more crops, more beautiful textiles, more baskets of flowers to distribute to the world.

Had India been free from the rat race that prods the trade of lumber, she would have guarded her valleys full of trees, medicinal herbs and rare species of birds and grown more tropical animals, fertile lands and heavy waterfalls like the Doodhganga.

Imitating the Western ideal, Indians have adopted technology driven comforts such as the air-conditioner. Had she been free from international codes of the standard of living, Indians would have never wished for skyscrapers with glass walls and low false ceilings. Rather Indians would have spent more on building well ventilated stone havelis with three feet thick mud terraces such as around the Jaisalmer Fort.

India might have felt that the riddance of a race that never came to stay was independence. But viewing it from the twenty-first century I can say it was only towards increased dependence. We seem to be waiting for approval from the English for almost every step we take. We have completely lost the ancient confidence of Sanskrit teachings. Even to be an acclaimed professor of Sanskrit, an Indian has to be employed in a western university.

Indian medicine, be it herbs or yoga therapy, has no more brilliant practitioners practically because the brilliant minds of India go for university based allopathic medical training. Is there anyone, really, in India who can independently study how to extract medicine from herbs to a point of refinement that can answer back the chemists without fear of prosecution?

India is not free at all. No political leader, no bureaucrat, no religious guru, no technocrat and no archeologist have ever felt free to declare one of her ancient architectural marvels as a ‘wonder’. What kind of powers do any of them have: the freedom to amass wealth; the freedom to scandalize people; the freedom to escape into another country the moment their misdoings are found out? Into that heaven of freedom has my country awoken?

Had India not been decried for her special brand of religion, had there been no monotheistic influence on the naked Indian mind, the land would have simply worshipped the rivers, the fire and the rain gods. India is not free from judgmentalism. The last one to have attempted to free her of criticism was Swami Vivekananda over a century ago. Had India been free, we would have continued in the teachings of Advaita Vedanta, where every grain is God.

The Truly Inclusively Diverse Land – India

Calida Dsouza

A family consists of a few people but all are different from each other. The five fingers of my hand are all different. There are varieties of fishes and seagrass in the oceans. The world is made up of different parts, but the diverseness of India is unique. India comprises of 28 states and 8 union territories which are distinct in culture and administration but stitched together by the same patriotic sentiment.

Numerous languages are spoken in this country but the eyes of its inhabitants express fraternity. The tradition, occupation, opinion, class, religion, color of Indians might differ but their lives are delicately interwoven with humanity and respect for the nation.

There is no nation with such heterogeneous species living in comparably peaceful atmosphere. We might not see the support and emotions on the surface but it definitely erupts when needed the most – during a natural disaster, pandemics, terrorist strike, social cause, etc. It does not end there. Indians, unfortunately, suffer from economic disparity but I am proud of individuals, companies, organizations, and institutions that extend help. I feel empowered with the government policies formulated to bridge this gap. I admire the people who rush to donate blood and organs to absolute strangers. I agree every citizen is not the same. Some do propel hatred and ignorance but it should be our individual responsibility to stay far from not such people but those ill feelings. Each citizen can make a difference at an individual level to eradicate hostile conditions through their deeds.

There is so much to learn and teach in the variegation of India. There is so much to nurture and safeguard in the heterogeneity of its wildlife, historical aspects, and nature. There is so much richness in the intellect of Indians. Though ours is considered as a developing nation, most of the population makes optimum use of technology through their mobile phones, be it a street vegetable vendor or a senior citizen. This is the diversification of their adaptability. Here a lower middle-class family can dream of making their children engineer and an heir of an industrialist can choose teaching as his/her career. This is the diverseness of equal opportunity. Men and women work shoulder to shoulder in multinational companies, even as doctors, in the aviation industry, as polices, etc. round the clock. This is true inclusivity. We try different forms of exercise and sports; we indulge into different cuisines of food. We watch different genres and languages of movies; we make friends easily. We are involved in multiple art forms and take a keen interest in knowing and respecting other’s traditions. We never hesitate to flaunt different attires. This is the multifariousness of our attitude and personality.

The country has set high standards when it comes to accepting and thriving in diversity. Majority Indians work very hard together as a team to sustain the yardstick. Diversity is our power and inclusivity is our strength.

Oh India! My India!

Kanishka Shivaram

Oh India! My India! Where do I start and how should I stop admiring you? You are the cradle of human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grandmother of tradition.

Our most valuable and most artistic materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only. , a pure, young and rich country was born from the blood, sweat and tears of thousands of freedom fighters when J.Nehru, on Aug 15,1947, at the stroke of midnight hour delivered, ”The Tryst with Destiny” speech when the whole world slept but India awoke to life, freedom, glory, wisdom, pride and can today boisterously boast of being the world’s largest democracy and the fifth largest growing economy with a vibrant media, active civil society, respected judiciary and ‘unity in not just diversity but also adversity’. I love, admire and take pride of the fact that the soul of our Indian nation was made with the ambition of greatest men and women who wanted to wipe every tear from every eye and wanted every Indian to labour and work hard to constitute India as a sovereign, socialist, secular and a democratic Republic. The underlying shakti and genius of India lies in the fact that whether he is a Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Sikh, every man will find a common ground under the shelter of Mother India’s hospitality. I cannot help being exhilarated looking at the glory of ancient Indian literature, a treasure trove of knowledge, wisdom and heritage from ancient India. From kings to kingdoms, town planning to artistry, scholars to astronomers, philosophers to astrologers, gurus to sishyas, warriors to strong women characters, the list of India’s rich past goes on and on,all reflecting the ideal-Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam(The world is one family) enshrined in Rig Veda.

Nations are built by the imagination of untiring, enthusiastic effort of generations. One generation transfers the fruits of it to another which then takes forward the mission. As the coming generation also has its dreams and aspirations for the nation’s future, therefore adding something from its side to the national vision; which the next generation strives hard to achieve. This process goes on and the nation climbs the steps of glory and gains higher strengths. A nation without a vision is like a ship cruising on the high seas without any aim or direction. It’s the clarity of the national vision that constantly drives people towards the goal. Reflecting on the glorious past of India, let us all collectively set THE GREAT INDIAN DREAM- where every citizen would work hard, prosper and succeed through innovation and hard work and once successful, every citizen would give back to the society that made him/her what he/she is.

This Independence day, let us all collectively vow to cherish and follow the noble ideals that inspired our national struggle for freedom and uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India, to ensure ‘SATYAMEVA JAYATE’-Truth alone triumphs. There is just one country, one India which we all want to become a better place. We all want a nation that is rich and respected in the world. We all want a society with good values. Thank you for reading my Great Indian Dream and I hope, from now on, you will make it yours too.

INDEPENDENCE DAY EDITION

Moulika Danak

[India is] the One land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined. – Mark Twain

Twain has won it with his words and observation once again!  Let’s have a look at this celebratory country of our on its 74th independence day.

From its desert dunes to snow-capped mountains, wildlife amidst its lush green and a lot more, India’s variety in its landscape speaks of its melange beauty. Its richness is reflected in some of its ancient cities- some of it, as old as 3500-4000 years- or finely crafted historical sites. The flavours of India are as varied as its spices and the unique range of food that it has to offer from different parts of the country.

Be it our customs, traditions, rituals or art, music, dance, sports, cuisine, literature etc., they all have their distinct flavours coming from different parts of the country. This cultural potpourri can never fail to charm the observers, who can witness bullock carts competing with motor vehicles, street vendors selling their items right in the shadow of posh shopping centres. This is a country that allows a beautiful coexistence of history and future, right in its present.

We live and thrive amidst its vibrancy which is reflected in everything we do. The way we talk, dress, celebrate, eat or greet changes every fifty or hundred kilometres in this country. Although our methods vary, our intents and sentiments are similar across in its effect of creating joy and celebrating our culture. This is most evident when the nation is full of life as together it lights up in Diwali, dances in Navratri, colours the streets in Holi, exchange gifts in Eid and so on.

While its vivacious side makes India beautiful, there’s also a side that makes it strong and resilient. The land has been a mother to innumerable heroes right from our ancient history till today. With a gift of land like this and culture so rich, each must assimilate the spirit of the others while preserving one’s individuality and growing in this harmony.

To be born in a country of heroic passion and great spirits complementary to its vivid culture is a blessing! Let’s reminisce the words from seven decades ago that still gives us goose-bumps:
“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history when we step out from the old to the new when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.”
– Jawaharlal Nehru

Freedom is Fascinating – Respect Freedom Fighters

Naman Munshi

15th august 1947; India becomes independent from British rule of almost two hundred years. Before British captured; Mughal was ruling. Hence, people of India have seen the Sun of Freedom after almost four and a half century. British people have come to trade in India and eventually were settled as rulers.

Freedom is fascinating and precious but it has not come easily; British had not served in a plate. They just tried to keep Indian slavery till it was possible; they applied all tactics to crush the freedom moment. They tried to convince, manipulate people with awards and rewards, punished by imposing penalties, made differentiation between people, killed, bitten, fired and  jailed people; people of India, the freedom fighters.

People struggled for more than 9 decades to come out from slavery. Thousands had left and lost everything; even sacrificed life. We have the privilege to have been born, are able to breathe in free India; just because of those great freedom fighters; had not cared even for their family for just one goal that is Freedom of India. Freedom fighters, activists and revolutionaries were from different backgrounds, casts, religions, places and philosophies to fight one common enemy – the foreign imperialists.

We are aware of several freedom fighters and revolutionaries; whereas many have remained unsung and unseen heroes. We knew few names that heard frequently but some less famous or say hardly remembered names should also equally appreciated and honored with those prime freedom fighters who made immense contribution towards India’s struggle.

Freedom struggle was initiated by Mangal Pandey in 1857. Mangal Pandey is said to have played a key role in inspiring Indian soldiers to start the great rebellion of 1857. Working as a soldier for the British East India Company, Pandey opened fire at English officials, caught them unawares. His attack is regarded as the first step of the Indian rebellion.

Rani Lakshmi Bai one of the key members of India’s first war of independence; inspired thousands of women to join the freedom fight. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was one of the most prominent freedom fighters, who inspired with the slogan “Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it”. Begum Hazrat Mahal rebelled against the British during the revolt of 1857. Ashfaqulla Khan the young revolutionaries, sacrificed his life for the motherland.

Rani Gaidinliu was a leader revolted against the British rule; joined movement at the age of 13, fought for the evacuation of British rulers from Manipur and the neighbouring areas. Just at 16 years was sentenced to life imprisonment. Bipin Chandra Pal, Surya Sen, Dadabhai Naoroji, Khudiram Bose, Lakshmi Sahgal, Lala Lajpat Rai, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Ram Manohar Lohia, Ram Prasad Bismil and others are in list.

On this Independence Day, we should pay homage to all known/unknown freedom fighters; because of them, we are enjoying and reaping fruits of Independence. I salute and greet them from bottom of heart for giving us a splendid and fabulous free breath.

India, The Land of Storytellers!

Pooja Dubey

We live in a world full of surprises, and being in India could never make me feel prouder. The first sound of literature, as we know it today, was heard in the form of stories from India, in 1500 BCE, that were to become epic for generations after. Mahabharata was the first written account of stories that was created 4000 years ago in India in the form of tales based on Indian traditions. And even now, after thousands of years of its journey, Mahabharata still stands tall on the canons of Indian literature.

That was about the past. But, even in the civilized world, India has produced Nobel laureates like Rabindranath Tagore who became the first Asian, in 1913, to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature. He was majorly known for his works of short stories like Postmaster and Konkaal, dramas like Valmiki Pratibha and Chitrangada, and poetries like Sandhya Sangeet and Manasi. But he has actually explored many more forms of storytelling including novels, songs, and travelogues. Wikipedia has listed close to 500 of his works recorded in the history.

And when we come to the modern world, we can never forget the names like Arundhati Roy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amitav Ghosh, and Devdutt Pattanaik. Each author has a unique style of writing and an exceptional story to tell. While Jumpa Lahiri shook the readers with touching stories of immigrants with her book, “The Interpreter of Maladies”, Arundhati Roy became the voice of the people scathed by cultural tensions with her book, “The God of Small Things” which also won a Booker prize in 1997. Amitav Ghosh is best known for his works of Fiction and was awarded with the top literary award, in France, for his book, “The Circle of Reason”. Devdutt Pattanaik is the explorer of legends, parables, fables, and folklores. His book “Devlok” is a celebrated work in India and has been made into a television program. Forbes ranked him among the top 100 celebrities of India.

India is no doubt a land of people who feel and create. The list of elite authors and writers just keeps increasing every year as we see more books and stories moving us. Many of these books have even inspired Bollywood movies. The 1962 movie Shehab, Biwi, Aur Gholam, was the first Bollywood movie, based on a book written by Bimal Mitra. Devdas, the movie that repeatedly captivated people from different generations was first written by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay as a Novel.  The 2004 movie Pinjar that won multiple awards like Nargis Dutt Awards, Guild Awards, and Zee Cine Awards was based on a Punjabi book by Amrita Pritam. And how can we forget Chetan Bhagat whose almost every book was reshaped into a chirpy movie that made a blockbuster.

Now, we are celebrating 73 years of Independence but it is also a celebration of thousands of great works by hundreds of Indian authors. It is also a celebration of one of the oldest known culture that has been retained in its original form in many ways. India is a land of story tellers, so it is also a celebration of a nation that is fast growing with more and more stories that never fail to amaze us.

The Country that is India

Saurabh Wadhwani

India is not a nation; it’s a country. A nation is a group of people who share the same culture, language, religion, and history. India is much complex to be a nation. We all have different origin stories, culture, religion, etc., and these are, most of the times, in contradiction of each other. If we try to make India a nation, it means colouring it in one colour, one culture, one language, and one ideology. While it may sound right at first in favour of a unified ‘nation’, it will also mean the loss of cultural capital, human capabilities, traditions, histories, myths and beliefs; all these make us what we are.

They are one of the oldest indigenous tribes of India who have an expert understanding of snakes’ behaviour, which baffles even the seasoned modern scientists. They have been part of a cooperative that utilises their skill to make anti-venom from the venom of the snakes Irulas capture (and later leave without harming). India is its massive bank of knowledge, that when combined and filtered with modern science can provide solutions to everyday problems. What if we try to push one narrative of a single perception of India, written in the accounts of kings and priests while letting the unwritten knowledge and skills of numerous tribes unnoticed? The State of India needs to preserve the versatility alive.

Our traditional knowledge of agriculture is bringing paradigm shifts in natural and organic farming through the use of cattle excreta and Ayurveda.  Yoga and Ayurveda, when combined with the modern-day physiology, biology and biochemistry, can create a new methodology of the healthcare. But the State of India not only has Hindu-Aryan science, but it also has Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy, etc., either developed by Dravidians or brought in from other parts of the world, by the people whose descendants are now Indian. Throughout history, people have travelled and settled all around the world, but they become part of the country they finally got food and shelter. All of them fought together for the freedom of India, laid the foundation of the Republic of India. India, for me, is all of us, irrespective of the long history of our ancestors. India is our “Country”.

On this independence day, we must pledge to make India a peaceful nation, a soft power, where different ideologies and beliefs can live in synergy and harmony. We are a developing country and may become a developed one in a few years. However, we need to make it sustainable and inclusive of all communities and people. No one should be left behind. India’s strength is its “Unity in Diversity”, and we should all strive to preserve that.

73rd Independence Day of India - 2020

Shivi Goyal

How old is India?

Do we know? 

Do we honestly know how old is our civilisation apart from our Independence which we got on 15th August 1947?

Ok so this small blog is not about the civilization and its study about India, but I’m trying to depict how old are we and how glorious our culture is. I could talk about the issues as well that need serious concerns.

India is considered to have the oldest civilisations in the world. This we mark as the notion of “Unity in Diversity”. India is meant to be one of the most celebrated and diverse countries in the world. The unique factor which India serves is its peculiar culture and the amalgamation of an array of languages and customs.

This year we mark the 73rd Independence day of India. As we gear up to celebrate our freedom from the British rule in 1947. There are series of incidences which made us proud this year and showcased India on the global front. On this day, India witnesses a huge celebration of independence with tricolour flag hoisting, parades and cultural functions across the country. Independence Day is one of the most significant days in Indian history that reminds us of the bravery of our freedom fighters. With buildings illuminated by the tricolour, people pay homage to our leaders and great fighters who fought and gave up their lives for India’s freedom “Our Freedom”.

Being a traveller and an author I would like to start from the declaration of the Union territories executed by the Indian government this year. Then ISRO and Chandrayaan add the glory to the peak. Northeast India tourism boomed this year as compared to last year. Indian tourism rank has improved it’s ranking by 6 places in 2019. On the other side, there are other developments in the field of education, digital India, clean Indian etc. which has given India a remarkable status.

I wanted to talk about some major issues in India which are still overlooked and not considered much of the concern. Hope your readers would not take it as an offence. Still, safety and education of our girls are on a brim mode. The shady political system and corruption make lives of people vulnerable to crime and heinous events. There are other daunting issues related to the girl child, mafia, education system and women empowerment that would need serious attention in the coming years.

Indicating all these I just pray and hope that India shall become the most loved and safe country to live in. We all shall be positive and be together in achieving this. And currently, as we know the whole world and India is facing ongoing challenges of Pandemic Covid-19, it is a dire need to face them in unity. Until we won’t get together and support each other we won’t be able to succeed.

Jai Hind!

THE FIRE OF INDEPENDENCE BURNS STEADFAST

Shobana Gomes

The fire of independence is burning just as bright in my breast as in the most fiery breast in this country, but ways and methods differ – Mahatma Gandhi

Patriotism and pride for the nation burns in every Indian just as fiery, steadfast, as the day Independence was declared 73 years ago, on August 15th, 1947.

As Gandhi eloquently expressed, due to the diversity of the people of India, the liberty to express nationalism is unique to their chosen selves. Indians are a proud lot, they are stewards of national pride, and nothing is more important to them than their heritage and freedom.

India has indeed come a long way since gaining independence from her British colonial masters.

In fact, India has risen indelibly to attain super power status, on par with the most advanced and literate countries of the world. Look at the prominent Indians lighting up the world stage today. India, both futuristic in its outlook, and a world leader in many areas of its transcendental growth, is one of the world’s fastest rising economies.

In August 2016, I had the privilege of witnessing the National Day celebrations held at the India Gate, in New Delhi. India Gate is a war memorial built to commemorate the thousands of soldiers killed during World War 1. It is a historical monument where the pomp and splendor of the national day celebrations are most extensively held in the capital state.

There was poetry in motion everywhere I looked, especially in the patriotic parade held on the sprawling grounds therein.

In spite of tight security, people came out in droves to celebrate their national day amidst much gaiety and extravaganza. The whole city was spruced up, decorated colorfully, as only the Indians can.

I looked at the eager faces standing in attention when the parade took center stage, singing their national anthem with fortitude and dignity. Beautiful, colorful and diverse, they were of different races, religion, and from every station in life.

I don’t think the people who stood there that day, cared about each other’s differences; because they stood united for a country they loved as comrades of a just cause.

As I toured the area, it was refreshing to see the remarkable changes in the new, modern, cosmopolitan city of New Delhi, a telling sign that India had progressed effectively into the 21st century. 

India, a collocation of the old and the new, never fails to impress. It is a land renowned for its master poets, writers and literary greats. The glory of their written scripture is second to none. It is a legacy passed down through generations, driven by the wisdom of forward thinking men and women.

The country stands now at the forefront of the international arena for its dexterity and perseverance amidst challenging times. It is indeed a proud citizen who will fly the national flag this year. It is a patriotic Indian who will march with thousands proclaiming, Jai Hind.

MY PRIDE, MY INDIA

Shweta Walavalkar

Officially, it is the second-most populous country, seventh-largest country by area, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west, China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north;and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. That is the information you will find when you look at Wikipedia. But my country is different from any other. It is the only country that has 33 million gods, the country that has so many diverse ethnicities, whose culture is so vast that you cannot study in ten lifetimes, the country that is extremely orthodox but very modern, the country who welcomes everyone with open arms, the country with a history of wars and the emerging heroes who strived for its freedom, the country of beautiful landscapes and dreams- that’s my country- INDIA.

 

As rightly quoted by Mark Twain, “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most artistic materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!” India for me is an emotion. Born and brought up here, I feel privileged to be born in a country that gave me freedom to speech, where I have fearlessly travelled places alone discovering beautiful facets of hospitality that fill me with gratitude. From the beautiful mountains up north, to the backwaters in south, the mesmerising beaches in the west and astounding backdrops in the east, the beauty is immeasurable. I was raised believing that I can do and achieve anything and therefore never had second thoughts about being a girl child. Being brought up in a place where I had so many cultures in my neighbourhood, I remember celebrating every festival without being biased to any religion and the family

keeps increasing; your neighbours and friends become your extended family which has no bounds.

 

On the other hand, I agree that it is not a bed of roses. The country still boasts of inequality in many parts, the religious issues and the political façade continues its existence, the orthodox community beliefs thrive and blossom, the thugs and rogues still exist, the bribes continue to be taken, we still complain about the infrastructure all the time, we still continue to crib about how inadequate our country is while reading our morning newspapers with a cup of chai. But look at how far our country has come in the 73 years of its Independence. It may take us longer, but eventually we will reach there, because we have now realised and accepted the words of the great Dr Abdul Kalam, “India should walk on her own shadow- we must have our own development model” because, we are one of its kind – The only ONE.

What is independence?

Susmita Biswas Roy

What is independence? What does it mean? Does it only mean that we are free just because we don’t serve another country? We are celebrating 74th independence, which is the result of many people’s sacrifice.

It seems like a dream that India was the largest economy in the world. I am talking about that time when India was not India because it was Aryavarta. We exported a lot of valuable products since the period of Mahajanpadas. Our per capita GDP growth was the highest. After the starting of the Mughal period, India became the largest manufacturing power. India was producing 25 per cent of the world’s industrial output. This was the status India had at that time. There were certainly lots of superstitions in the society, and it was necessary to remove them. But, have we also lost our loyalty, unity, and humanity? Then why is India suffering from poverty, bad health, and bad quality of living?

India fell in total distress after independence because we were serving another country when most of the other nations were developing. India’s literacy was 17 per cent with 32.5 years of life expectancy at birth. Our per capita growth was zero from 1600 to 1870 and 0.2 from 1870 to 1947. Our per capita income was Rs. 18 in the 19th century. It wasn’t the end of all of our problems, because problems never stop coming back. It was a new war, and the name of the war was survival.

Economists, politicians, and experts tried many different ways to make India a better place. They faced both success and failure. Slowly, all those people were gone who dreamt about a beautiful India. A new era was about to begin where respect, love, and humanity does not exist.

India has excelled in many fields. India’s name is on the list of developing countries now. But in economists’ opinion, the former idea of developed-country is not applicable anymore. So, a new list came in existence, World Happiness Report, in which India ranked 144 out of 156 nations. All the developed countries’ positions are at the bottom of this list. This list is based on crime, health, quality of living, etc. India’s rank is 65th in crime. Women, from 6 months to 72-year-old, have been raped throughout the country. Thomas Reuters Foundation experts’ survey proved that India is the most dangerous country for women.

74-year is a huge time for a country. K. C. Agrawal wrote in his book India in Chaos that the government of India has limited interest in the people’s welfare. We have to accept that we don’t appreciate our people’s potential. Many people go to the celebration of Independence for food because gathering food is like a war for them. A normal man only thinks about his child’s empty stomach. So, are we truly independent? Is this the India that the freedom fighters died for?

For my country

Tanvir Salim

I want to see a future where every child goes to school after which he gets a job. There should be no more street urchins doing menial jobs or begging on the streets. The law of the land should be followed. There should be no need for the activists with their personal agendas to keep the nation captivated., as it often happens after the cause.

People should wake up in the morning to go to their jobs, where they will work to their best of their ability. They should know that they will be rewarded for the hard work they put in. They should also be aware that they will be punished if their performance is not up to the mark. We should first deserve, then desire.

Turning the light switch will mean that the room will be lightened. No more erratic power supply will be tolerated. The factories will be humming and should be manufacturing products that will be proudly sold in other countries. Make in India should be given a real push, and we should proudly buy what we make. Electricity will be generated by nonpolluting means.

The power should be with the people. The thugs and the rascals will find a place in the jails, and politics will become a way to serve the people.

The infrastructure will be robust and no “Chalta Hai” attitude will be tolerated. There should be health care available to all.

 

Senior citizens will be loved and respected by all. 

 

The fire fighter or the policeman will be looked upon as the real heroes by all. The movie crowd will be simply actors or actresses, not heroes or heroines, as we presently know them.

These are few of the things I am looking for. 

 

These are not impossible. We have to bring the change. I know we can do it.

Yes, we can.

GLORY

Vincent Spada

Let it be understood: 73 years ago India fought and won an unusual war. It was a battle against the British empire, which had dominated the region and much of the country for the past three centuries. It was not a conflict of bullets or bombs, but rather, one of simple ideas. A notion that a people could stand up and resist without giving in to the more base elements of their nature. That is, it was not through violence that they succeeded, but rather, by sheer will, determination and resolve. It was civil disobedience and noncompliance, and it toppled a European giant in the end. 

 

It is to be remembered, therefore, as a momentous occasion in all the ranks of human history. Not just for India or Southeast Asia, but for the world at large. To think that a group of individuals, led by Mohandas, the Mahatma, could overcome such odds? The idea seemed destined for exile in the realm of the ridiculous, and yet, it happened all the same. It stands alone, then, in its unique stature, for no other victory can make such a claim. No other triumph, of equal magnitude, can even draw close in either weight nor comparison. For in all other instances, similar or alike in spirit, the final verdict was decided by blood. It took an act of degradation, in one form or another, to seize power or take control. Yet, this did not happen in India way back in the golden year of 1947. They won by a different and most compelling method: They persevered and proved themselves to be the better side.

 

Thus, one should celebrate and hold it in reverence, not just for the fact of right overcoming wrong, but also as a reminder of what is possible, and what can happen when the will of the human heart stands up and refuses to fall. It should be etched in the minds of every soul and every spirit who draws a free and living breath. It is a teacher which bears this pure message: There is truly nothing which cannot be done. Hence, we should come to understand and accept it as a noble memory, to carry with us as we fend off the darkness. If India overcame, then you can, too, and there is no such thing as hopelessness or wasted dreams. So that when doubt gains strength, and the black clouds begin to gather, let this thought enter your mind without hesitation: To succeed by force might be practical, but to succeed by virtue? That is glory…

 

So in closing, never forget, and be happy and joyous on the 15th of August. It was a special time and a special place, when something truly extraordinary and magnificent occurred. 

 

God bless India, and may the sun of freedom never set upon her shining shores. 

 

All Peace to All People.

सारे जहां से अच्छा

Ashish Kumar Trivedi

73 साल पहले 15 अगस्त के दिन हमारे देश को आजादी मिली। इस दिन कोई नया राष्ट्र अस्तित्व में नहीं आया था। बल्कि अपने भीतर हजारों सालों का इतिहास समेटे धरती की सबसे पुरानी सभ्यता ने एक नया चोला धारण किया था। तीन रंगों का वसन पहनकर भारत  ने विश्व के अन्य देशों के साथ एक नए युग में प्रवेश किया था। तीन रंगों का यह वसन तिरंगा हमारी पहचान है। 

 

हमारा रंग रूप, भाषा, धर्म व जाति कुछ भी हो परंतु भारतवासी के रूप में पहचान हम सब की साझा है। इस पहचान को हमसे कोई भी अलग नहीं कर सकता है। 

 

हमें हमारे राष्ट्र पर गर्व है। इस राष्ट्र का नागरिक होने के नाते हमें इस पर गर्व करना भी चाहिए। शायद ही विश्व में कोई ऐसा राष्ट्र होगा जहांँ इतनी विविधता होते हुए भी एकता समाहित हो। इस विशाल देश में विभिन्न धर्म और जातियों, बोली और भाषाओं के लोग कई सदियों से मिलकर रह रहे हैं। यह अपने आप में एक अनूठी बात है। हमारा राष्ट्र एक ऐसी बगिया है जिसमें भांति भांति के फूल खिले हैं।

 

पर एक सत्य यह भी है कि एक राष्ट्र के रूप में हमारे अंदर बहुत सारी कमियां हैं। अशिक्षा, गरीबी, लिंगभेद, जातिभेद जैसी कई बुराइयां हमारे देश में हैं। भ्रष्टाचार की दीमक ने इस राष्ट्र के तंत्र को खोखला कर कमजोर बना दिया है। समाज में संसाधनों का सही वितरण नहीं है।

एक तरफ सुविधासंपन्न लोग हैं। ये लोग एक आरामदायक जीवन व्यतीत करते हैं। दूसरी तरफ ऐसे लोग हैं जिन्हें मूलभूत सुविधाएं भी प्राप्त नहीं हैं। ये सारी कमियां हमें विकास के पथ पर सही प्रकार से आगे नहीं बढ़ने देती हैं।

हमारे राष्ट्र में जो भी कमियां हैं उन्हें हमें ही दूर करना है। राष्ट्र एक व्यक्तिगत इकाई नहीं है।

राष्ट्र एक समूह का नाम है। राष्ट्र उसमें रहने वाले नागरिकों से बनता है। नागरिकों की सोच ही राष्ट्र की सोच होती है। हमारे सामूहिक प्रयास ही राष्ट्र का प्रयास हैं‌। इसी तरह एक राष्ट्र की कमियां उसके नागरिकों की कमियां ही होती हैं। 

राष्ट्र निर्माण की जिम्मेदारी हम सब की है। हमारी सरकार हमारा तंत्र सही काम करे इसके लिए हमें ही प्रयास करने होंगे। जाति धर्म भाषा के आधार पर भेद रखने की जगह हमें एक राष्ट्र के रूप में सोचना पड़ेगा। 

सब नकारात्मक है ऐसा नहीं है। अंधेरे के बीच से कई उम्मीद की किरणें निकलती हैं। इसी समाज में बहुत से ऐसे लोग हैं जो बिना किसी स्वार्थ और भेदभाव के समाज के निर्माण में लगे हुए हैं।

इस समय जब देश कोरोना की महामारी से त्रस्त है तब बहुत से लोग हैं जो लोगों की अथक सेवा कर रहे हैं। 

इस राष्ट्र ने ना जाने कितने झंझावात झेले हैं। उन सबके बीच यह राष्ट्र अडिग खड़ा रहा। इसका कारण है यहाँ के आम लोगों की सहने की क्षमता। कठिन परिस्थितियों में भी यहाँ के लोग जीने की राह निकाल ही लेते हैं। 

 

कुछ बात है कि हस्ती मिटती नहीं हमारी 

सदियों रहा है दुश्मन दौर-ए-ज़माँ हमारा