I want to return to the era where the students were enthusiastic about the celebration of Independence Day. The week long preparation for the march past ceremony, saluting the hoisted flag, watching kids perform on patriotic songs, that marked the celebration of the big day.
Every school, every college, every street decked up with the tricolour, smell of fresh flowers, crisp white clothes was the way of paying homage to the martyrs who sweated out in the revolt of Independence. The long never ending speeches were regarded as boring. But still the students bared everything to get the chocolates at the end of the speech. The hoisting of the tricolour, saluting the flag gave a sense of pride. The simultaneous singing of the National Anthem- Jan Gana Man, gave goose bumps to almost all the individuals. I haven’t heard the experience of every citizen of India, but I am pretty sure that irrespective of age, sex, and caste each one of us have witnessed this feeling.
With the 21st century, we have been busy in the monotonous lives. Every one craving for a weekend at the end of the week, yes this week Independence Day falls on Saturday. Some work professionals crying that they lost their one holiday, as this day fell on Saturday. Some MNCs celebrated the day on Friday itself. It is saddening that today this day has lost its importance in the citizen’s lives.
The Independence Day celebration doesn’t say that wearing India attire to work marks how patriotic a person is. This celebration demands respect for the freedom fighters, who walked miles in bare feet to earn a free India. The social networking sites being flooded with selfie posts to mark the big day. This celebration demands respect for the tricolour, some fighters didn’t even live long enough to see the free India of their dreams. The food joints offering discounts on meals to mark the social gathering on this day. This was not the vision of the national heroes who starved in the jail, trashed to death by the British. The e-commerce sites are offering huge discounts on the product line to mark the celebration. This was not the vision for which the fighters gave up their lives. Partying on the Friday, dozing off to sleep and getting up late, living the day as just another Saturday. The early morning breeze freedom is unable to wake the spirits of Indians. When we should have freshened up, wore crisp white clothes and stood by the tricolour singing the National Anthem. We were off to sleep, after updating the status of Celebrating Independence on Facebook. We should have risen to the tune of National Anthem; we were busy texting people on WhatsApp, Happy Independence Day. When our children taught us to stand during the programme on the television, we were greeting our relatives over the phone, Happy Independence Day. Are we really living in free India or even today we are slave of one or another rule, corporate or technology.
We definitely, take pride on this Independence Day. The over hyped social network status that troubled me inside. A post that said- “Happy Birthday India”, there are some people who are literate illiterates living in a myth. The Independence Day marks the end of the British Colonial Rule. This is not the birthday or foundation day of India. It is a day when we celebrate the success of our freedom fighters, amendment of laws and rights of free India. This day we started breathing as a free nation, not a slave of any colonial rule. Are we really living in free India or even today we are slave of one or another rule, corporate or technology.
The patriotism should not be a matter of one day or two. This feeling should be flowing in the blood of every citizen of India. The social networking site updates, status does not prove the patriotism inside an individual. Yes, it is a way of expressing our feelings to the world. This is no harm in updating a status, selfies or posts. The update would matter when it pay the tribute to the nation and the freedom fighters in the right way, with all the respect and dignity. There is one thing that the technology or advancement has done to the country and the world. The creative minds work hard in celebrating the journey of freedom with pomp and glory. The tricolour laser fountains, tricolour themed rangoli, tricolour themed drapes around the shopping malls, tricolour food at the restaurants, decorative lights illuminating the streets of India have given a new definition and innovation to the celebration of freedom. The patriotic songs being played at the shopping malls, social gathering sites add a sense of pride towards the nation. The nation has decked up for the celebration of the 69th Independence Day. I hope the next year would be a better Independence Day. I hope the nation learns to pay respect to the women. Every year, we hear long speeches on the abolishment of crime. Even on the 69th Independence Day, we see cases pilling in the courtrooms for rapes, dowry, honour killing. One day, we pay respect to Mother India, the next day a boy rips a girl naked with his eyes. One day, our PM inspires the youth to pay respect to the women. The next moment, a father kills his daughter for marrying a guy from different caste. Every year, we dream of safe India and every year we land up as unsafe land for the women. Every year, we promise to treat the women with dignity and every year we end up lashing the women soul. Every year, we promise to be a responsible citizen of India and every year we turn out to be irresponsible rebellious Indian. Last year, we had taken an oath for a cleaner India “Swaacch Bharat”. This year still we are living under the pile of garbage.