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India: Seventy-Three years of Freedom

by Shehnaz Gujral
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India - 73 years of Independence

One nation, one dream and secular faith; that has been our dream from the times immemorial. On this seventy third year of Independence, let us pledge to bring pride to our mother land. We are a glorified nation with the golden past. We were the wealthiest land in the ancient times. Kohinoor to Ayurveda, farming to Himalayan Peaks, we had munificent wealth.

Our contributions to the world have won us accolades. Academically India paved the way to the world’s first University. Hien Tsang, in his diary had mentioned about ‘Takshashila University’ which had 10,000 students and 200 Professors. Numeral zero, Game of chess and Leprosy treatment are just a few gifts to the world by Bharat.

Persistent and relentless efforts for 190 long years paved the way to freedom from colonial rule. The uneasy path to freedom struggle began in 1757 after the Britishers defeated the last Nawab of Bengal. Though the freedom fighters were no less than a ball of fire, yet they had to lay their lives to bestow a free country to the citizens of India. I bow in reverence to the ‘Folk hero of the Indian Independent Movement’, Shaheed Bhagat Singh who at a tender age of 23, was martyred for the motherland. Before and after his martyrdom, the freedom fighters Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Mangal Pandey, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Sarojini Naidu and many more reverend leaders diligently fought with all their might to let us breathe in free air.

We have been celebrating our glorious achievement ever since. Year after year, the Prime Minister of the nation unfurls the National Flag at Red Fort followed by parade and folk dances from different states. The tri-colored kites symbolize the freedom. Is this the India our freedom fighters had visualized? After 73 years of gaining Independence, are we free of the social ills, the social reformers B.R. Ambedkar, Baba Amte, Vinoba Bhave, Swami Vivekanand, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar struggled for, to establish the very foundation of Modern India? Who gives a fig to the values imparted by the great leaders of the past? According to ‘The Corruption Perceptions Index’ (CPI) 2019, India ranks 80th out of 180 countries. Is it rampant corruption that has stunted the country’s economic development? Excessive regulations, Complicated taxes and Opaque bureaucracy are the prime factors affecting the economic growth. Female foeticide, Dowry deaths, Rapes, Nepotism, Illiteracy, Suicides, Minorities are a few of the murkier issues which are a part and parcel of our lives. Freedom of speech was one of the Fundamental Rights which was enjoyed in the past. Sadly, in this web world, this right too is curbed.

As India completes 73 years of Independence in the Pandemic year 2020, we see our country from a new perspective. Despite facing the crisis at Indo- China border, lack of medical aid and infrastructure, still the zest to fight in true patriotic spirit brings constant hope to survive. It is a tragic phase of the century, where sadly there is no advance booking yet the waiting queue in the mortuaries is long. In such despondent times, we see a ray of hope when we encounter such humanitarians, who selflessly are burying the abandoned bodies, putting their lives at risk, feeding the sick and destitute, sheltering the stray dogs and cats, helping the migrant workers commute back to their hometowns is a collective effort done by NGO’s, social workers and individuals. This brings hope in these hopeless times. Diversity is a double-edged sword. India became weak under the British Rule because of diversity, whereas in these pandemic times, diversity is the true spirit of endurance.

HOPE

Someday, somewhere in my land

Saviors of soil will reincarnate

As the sons and daughters of this soil

Shahid Bhagat Singh and Rani Lakshmi Bai

Once more, will lead us from darkness to light

A dream of a nation free from

Caste, poverty, sickness and prejudice

A person or an institution is not to be blamed for the follies and failures. It is the system that has become carcinogenic. It needs to be rebooted. Let us not forget the relentless efforts of our magnificent pioneers and strive to revive the essence of Bharat- Of the people, for the people and by the people.

JAI HIND!

#independenceday2020 #IndependenceDay #India #JaiHind

 

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