16th August

The definition of Independence Day changes with age.Every decade in a persons life represents a different Independence Day significance.

It started as a holiday,then changed to a dry day, moved on swiftly to a long weekend plan,then a family outing, meandering into a family get- together,watching television,spending time discussing how time flew in your morning walks and finally perhaps silently watching the PM speech lying in a hospital bed.

In our mostly capitalistic lives,chasing our own “goods” we kind of take the independence day as  just another day.Yes we are reminded of the sacrifices and the pain and the suffering that gave us this freedom..but somewhere this information  has stopped reaching where it should – the heart.

Just like today, Aug 15,2010 is a Sunday.Tomorrow is yet another Monday and we get on with our lives.No one will talk about freedom fighters tomorrow. Thats how quickly we move on…

For some it doesnt even matter or bother. They dont even know what Independence Struggle was or how difficult it was to get it.Why would they care? They ve not seen blood shed,mutilation and dried tears. Perhaps only on  Wolfestein, or Red Dead Redemption.

So what does one do ? One has to earn a living ? Has responsibilities. He/she cannot leave everyday work and think about freedom right?  These are probably some of the justifications we give to ourselves.This is our mantra to shut-eye the I – factor.

There are two ways we can learn to appreciate our independence.

1.the country gets ruled by some one else again. or

2.the democracy changes to autocracy.

Then you will see a new realization of the word freedom.Certainly either of these scenarios will lead to catastrophic situations.Pulling the situation back from there would probably be impossible. However improbable this situation might be in todays world, let us not forget that this ignorance and over confidence led to our downfall the last time around. The erstwhile British took advantage of exactly this callous attitude towards our land.I can hardly blame them now.

The solution is simple. We as intelligent,educated civilized society need to contribute in our little way towards the well being of our nation.Identify opportunities in your own work sphere to contribute to the nations growth.It need not be big donations or work or time commitments that I am asking here. I am saying change the way we think about our nation and educate those who are ignorant around you.

Just a few hours back, there was a status message on Facebook saying please give me links to download a movie. Last checked there were 10 responses suggesting torrents and other download links. now my point is – if you really wanted to see that movie so badly – why wouldn’t you want to shell out some money for it ? Why do you want to be a free loader? you come from a respectable family with adequate means then why resort to piracy ?

This but a small example of how we take our freedom for granted.Now if there was massive crackdown, your ip tracked and you arrested.I am guess you would never download a pirated movie ever. So what lesson or message does this give you ?  It tells me, till such time we get screwed – we will not understand or appreciate freedom.

Independence day is an uncomfortable reminder to me – of how little I am doing for my country,and how much I’ve grown to extract from it. Being in a foreign land,I realise every bit of freedom that my country offered and how little I valued it when I was in India.

As a principle I have stopped questioning how my country is being run…I will question again, when I am doing something about it.

Till then I am thankful and will be eternally grateful to those who chose to take responsibility. And will find ways within my sphere of work or life to make small changes which contribute towards the growth my country.

Jai Hind.

  1. August 15, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Couldnt agree more sir.

  2. August 15, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Like Gandhiji, Independence or Republic day is loosing its relevance because no one has inclination to find out what it means? Now people look forward for these days to relax and going for outing. Burning public properties, killing innocents, day light looting and murders for gain are part of the independence misused!

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