Let’s not take our freedom for granted
For today’s generation independence is natural, a way of life because they haven’t had to fight for it.columns Updated: Aug 12, 2018 12:07 IST
Most of us take India’s freedom for granted. While the generation that went through the freedom struggle was fiercely protective of the values and ideals of the then leaders, the subsequent generations slowly forgot about them.
Not that it was something wrong. It’s quite natural for those who don’t have memories associated with those traumatic moments to allow dust to settle on the past slowly.
However, poignant stories of soldiers’ valour and victory move us all. Soldiers actively participate in the mission of guarding the country, while others closely connected to them by bonds of blood and brotherhood often spend sleepless nights praying for their safety and well-being.
The moving words on a war memorial of 13 Kumaon (Regiment) near Rezang La Ladakh for the 1962 India-China war, bear repetition as long as there are wars and there are brave soldiers: “How can a man die better than facing fearful odds; For the ashes of his father and the temples of his Gods.”
For today’s generation independence is natural, a way of life because they haven’t had to fight for it. Moreover, it has always been hard to define what being a patriot or what being an Indian is. Nationalism is an abstract concept, a palpable emotion felt by us whenever the National Anthem is played. Being an Indian holds symbolical and spiritual meaning. There is always an emotional bond one feels for the motherland.
In an increasingly globalised world now it is time to show that we are not only independent but also a power to reckon with. The present generation is innovative and brimming with confidence, with the youth wanting to carve a niche for themselves and set new objectives to conquer the world. They have keen awareness of the political, economic, social and environmental concerns of our times. So it is not fair to judge their patriotism that is not applicable in this technologically advanced era.
One can safely say, however, that though preferences, sensibilities and lifestyles have changed, yet the true spirit of nationalism and passion to take the country to new heights and glory remain the same.
Indian culture today: Our practices, rituals, heroes, stories, philosophies and world view are enriched by the confluence of progressive ideals which are woven into the warp and weft of our culture. We have been accretive. Whenever politics of hatred has polarised our society, people have stepped up to keep the faith, bridging communal divides.
As we gear up to celebrate 71 years of independence in our nation’s journey, let us pay tributes to our all the brave soldiers who laid down their lives for the country. The epitaph at the War Cemetery in Kohima says it all: “When you go home, tell them of us and say; for your tomorrow, we gave our today.”
Independence Day is time for us to learn from our soldiers, put our shoulders to the wheel, reform what needs reforming, build what needs building. I am not blind to all that is wrong but like a true Indian, I look for the best in limited resources with the conviction that all will be well soon. So we need to strive for a better India and beat back what is unacceptable. Nevertheless, I am proud to be an Indian. I love our glorious past, epics that bind us, our positivity, charity, spiritualism, warmth and resilience. Jai Hind! Glory to Mother India.
The author is associate professor in English, MLN College, Yamunananagar
First Published: Aug 12, 2018 12:07 IST