It was a very long journey to freedom. After 100 years of struggle, it was finally on August 15, 1947 that India became an independent nation. Millions of lives were lost, families broken, hearts torn asunder and lives shattered, but finally our dreams were realised - of freedom, of independence, of being able to live with dignity. We had to pay a heavy price, but we got our self rule and self-dignity back.
But as with all other things, familiarity breeds complacency. And after 61 years of Independence, we are beginning to take our freedom for granted. This is something that all Indians need to guard against. We, as the post-Independence generation, have the responsibility of realising the dreams that out freedom fighters visualised for us, of making good the promises that all those who gave their lives up with smiles, had believed us to fulfill.
On this day, we need to stand back and ask ourselves if we have taken the nation forward or not, if we have fulfilled the tasks allotted to us, if we have made our martyrs' sacrifices worthwhile, if we have made our forefathers proud of us, after all these years.
"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..... We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again" - This is what Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had said on India's most significant day.
And today, it is the responsibility of all Indians, to ensure that we take the nations from the old to the new, towards a bright future.