Don't forget where you come from, contribute to the nation's growth, cherish its unique cultures and diversity, and save its youth from the drug trap. These are the messages that a cross section of prominent faces of Punjab has for the country's youth.
Each year, Republic Day and many other national days are celebrated with much enthusiasm. However, amid the feverish patriotism, people often dilute the very meaning of these days and forget those who fought for achieving the country's freedom, says the panel of prominent people HT spoke to.
Don't forget the nation's freedom fighters
I would like to extend my best wishes to every Indian. My Republic Day message is that even if you are a leading writer, actor, sportsperson or entrepreneur, remember that you are an Indian first and, at the same time, never forget those who freed our country from the British. For sportspersons, my advice is that they should steer clear of drugs, match-fixing and any other unacceptable activity. Most importantly, never give up despite any odds.
Milkha Singh, legendary athlete, Chandigarh
Let's eradicate social evils
I wish all my countrymen a happy Republic Day. To rise in life is every youngster's aim. But, except will, they also need elders' support in achieving success. We have to ensure that our nation becomes the best in the world. All of us need to work together for removing the evils plaguing our society. It is high time we put a stop on female foeticide, child labour, drug abuse, domestic violence and many more such issues.
Navneet Kaur Dhillon, Miss India-World 2013, Patiala
Need to give our youngsters a chance
As youth is the future of every nation, it is important for society to understand them, their virtues and above all their talent and aptitude. I personally feel that most parents today persuade their children to take up engineering or medicine. They don't even think if the child is interested in making a career in these fields. This is not fair and a reason why our youth is confused today. Lucky are those who get the platform to polish their talent.
Jaswinder Bhalla, comedian and professor, Ludhiana
Need to embrace our culture, not look down upon it
It is important to celebrate national days with fervour. But, we also need to love our country's rich culture, music, languages and traditions. I personally feel that our 'modern India', especially the younger lot, is more fascinated by the West in every way. Even our mother tongue is being ignored. We have to change our mindset. If the Europeans, especially the French, Germans and Italians, can love their culture and mother tongue, then why can't we?
Malkit Singh, singer, Jalandhar