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Friday, August 13, 2010

What does Independence Day mean to you?

India is celebrating it's 64th year of independence from the colonial rule on the 15th of August, 2010. That's right...64 years of freedom. Find it hard to believe?The one's sitting high up there in the position of governance may be the only one's who find that easy to they have been busy all these years in abusing their power and amassing wealth in the name of taxes and such. But what does this Independence Day mean to the common man? Me and you?

The British and other nations that ruled our country did their best to loot our natural resources and export them to other parts of the world for their own economical growth and power. The British Raj was also responsible for levying heavy taxes on the poor farmers so that the land could never be their own and they would forever be in debt to the landowners...

15th August 1947, was "apparently" a proud moment for all of the Indians for we were at last free from foreign rulers and the land now truly belonged to US! The British left, no doubt after looting all the treasures that they could lay their hands on and taking them along as mementos to their own country...Many valuable gems found their way to the "Queen's" treasure in London.

We keep hearing of the sacrifices and the amount of bloodshed that was involved in getting us this very "valuable" Independence and freedom for our country, where many many innocent lives were lost and many martyrs were born. But, does all of that really have any significance today? Do we truly value that sacrifice or the lives that were lost, in the name of our country? What does Independence Day really mean to you?

For most people today, it's just a day, like any other that is enjoyed because its a holiday. Some people feel patriotic just because they go to the flag hoisting ceremony in the morning and sing the national anthem...Just a moment of patriotism, after which it is all forgotten. A few guilty ones may even buy the cheap flags from the roadside beggars and flash them in their cars or homes or put it on their dresses to show their "so called " patriotic feelings. But, is that really being patriotic? What does Independence Day mean to you?

The politicians are busy ruling the people (or should I say imposing rules) that nobody is happy with. Inflation keeps the common man on the run to make more and more money that is never enough to feed the hungry mouths in any household. The prices of all essential commodities today are atrociously high..that includes the common man's food like dal, rice, sugar and vegetables. With the high rate of poor people in our country..I really wonder how they are surviving?

These politicians have replaced the Britishers and continue to loot the country and the poor man by levying heavy taxes, having rampant corruption in bureaucratic offices, and being involved in scams of all kinds. The common man bears the brunt of all that goes on in the parliament house. I wonder if Independence Day has any real significance for these politicians?

The farmers even today are committing suicide. Surplus grain is found rotting in the government sponsored go-downs in every monsoon and millions of tons of food gets wasted as millions of children starve in our country...but their prices never come down.

Independence Day comes only once in every year and that is the only time that any thought is given to the defense forces in our country. They are soon forgotten for the rest of the year...Till some calamity like a flood, storm, accident, tsunami, earthquakes or a terrorist attack threatens the country. I wonder why they are not given more respect and recognition for their undying dedication to the country?

I remember an incident where I received a call from one of those telemarketing companies offering me a loan or some such thing and then wanted the details of my husband. She asked me about his "occupation" and I said, "He is an officer of the Indian Navy". You will be surprised to know that she did not know what "Indian Navy" meant. She kept insisting on knowing the name of the "employers or the company"..and I kept replying.."Indian Navy"..! Then she says.."Is that a shipping company?"....?? How ignorant are we?

What does this country really mean to the common man? to you and me? Are we truly proud of our heritage and inheritance? Do we really behave like "sisters and brothers" in the hour of need or are we just pawns in the hands of the clashing political parties who rule and divide us (or divide and rule) in the name of religions, caste creed, color, regions and languages etc..

How many of us even remember the "Pledge" that we used to recite each and everyday in school and its significance? The Indian National Pledge, if you remember, was an oath of allegiance to the Replublic of India. This pledge was written by Swami Vivekananda. The National Pledge is recited in schools during assemblies, during the Independence Day, and Republic Day Observance Ceremonies. This is how it goes:-
"India is my country ,all Indians are my brothers and sisters.
I love my country and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage.
I shall always strive to be worthy of it.
I shall give my parents, teachers and all elders respect and treat everyone with courtesy.
To my country and my people, I pledge my devotion.
In their well being and prosperity alone, lies my happiness."
Jai Hind!

To me Independence Day reminds me of the fact that our country is in our hands now and it is up to us to save it from being lost or looted by the hands of foreigners or our own people. We have had enough of bloodshed in the name of Independence and yet we continue to fight for this same freedom from our neighbors like Pakistan, Srilanka, China etc..not to mention the inner turmoil that goes on in several states. 

We need to free ourselves from the chains that bind us...these are the chains of caste, creed, religion, languages and states. We need to unite and become "ONE" again...HINDUSTAN, BHARAT and INDIA should become ONE...The day each and every Indian in this country is proud to say "fearlessly" that "I am an Indian" ...will truly be the day of "Independence"...

But will that happen? Will you rise to the occasion and save India, when the need arises? Are you willing to give up your life for it? Are you willing to fight for your "rights" and true freedom in this country? It's time to think and reflect as to what Independence day truly means to you. Wake up, Citizens....Jaago.

Jai Hind

On the occasion of the 64th Independence day celebrations on the 15th August 2010, as usual the National Flag will be hoisted by the Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh, at the Red Fort, New Delhi and will be telecast live on the web at 6:30 AM onwards at this link:

This live Webcast is brought to you National Informatics Center...Watch Live Telecast of the Independence Day celebrations on 15th August, 2010...

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