Inhibitions of Freedom
For last 8 years, 15th August is not the same day anymore for me. Since I changed my base to Europe, it appeared to be like any other day of the year. Obviously, you don’t seem to get those vibes of Indian celebrations & hustle-bustle out on the streets to sensitize your emotions. But a big thanks to Social Media which keeps me updated & ready to roll on for the Indian events in foreign land. Without it, at least I would have got lost in my daily life. This year also was no exception.
Being a Nationalist, Independence day holds a very special place in my life. Even if I don’t do much to celebrate it here, the feeling itself is so rejuvenating that I make sure to do something small yet special to mark the day. Like dressing up in Tri-color, a Tricolor sandwich or just a small flag at my workplace to satisfy my nationalistic appetite. For the significant part, we try to live-stream or watch the Prime minister’s speech at Red Fort on YouTube. Due to different Time zones, its becomes a bit difficult to tune in at the same time but we do make sure to watch it in the evening. During the day I try to scroll around various Indian news websites to get updates & highlights. Well, that’s the most I can do while at work.
Unlike many previous year, this year was quite different or rather I should say a bit disappointing. Even for the sake of 70th Anniversary of this momentous day, it failed to draw the much-needed dedicated sentiments from its citizens. For last few days / weeks, many tragic developments had overshadowed this year’s celebration. & I do agree with most of the issues. Topmost being the unfortunate death of 63 babies due to sheer carelessness & lack of responsibility of Hospital management in UP, just days before the celebration.
Also, the grim situation of Floods in Assam, Bihar, Bengal & Gujarat didn’t give any respite to the same. On top of that nearly 2 months old standoff between India & China over Doklam has been casting its vicious shadow time over time. Rest aside the frequent news of martyred Army personnel defending our nation in Kashmir. & not to forget the ever going communal & regional tug of wars across the country. Amid these depressing incidents, it becomes really difficult to find that one ray of hope which can reason with the spirit of freedom.
Having said that what really disappointed me is the fact that some people are still busy in finding faults & highlighting the failures of the government/state in the nastiest way possible. I do admit that we have a number of shortcomings in terms of social & developmental aspects, but it shouldn’t restrict to open one’s mind to embrace the free spirit of Independence. It is one of those few celebrations in India which marks the significance of great sacrifices by our freedom fighters. It is due to their virtue of struggle & martyrdom that the future generations are privileged with precious freedom. Celebrating 15th August is just a small token of love & respect for those who laid their lives for a better country. For once at least, shed the veil of excuses to embrace the nation as one & all.
Taking advantage of a national tragedy & politicizing it with opportunistic vendetta on the occasion of National Ceremony is something of the worst ever move one can think of. Especially exploiting the death of infants & lost lives in flooded areas was appalling. One has to understand that linking these tragedies to Independence day is downright crap. One might be disappointed with the governance & system, but using it as an excuse to degrade & disrespect the national sentiments of freedom is another level of absurdity. To put one’s point forward, proceeding with right approach & through proper channel is the key. Mixing these two different events is only going to add more chaos & indiscretion.
Since India is a developing nation, we still have to walk several miles to achieve our goals. Being the largest democracy, managing a population of more than 1.3 billion people with different ethnicity & beliefs is not at all a cake walk. With so much diversity in place one can’t expect to be all perfect in few years. After BJP led NDA alliance came into government, things are changing for betterment under Shri N. Modi’s leadership. Growth needs time & demands conviction. Things are not going to progress overnight. It is a continuous process. It might take decades or even a century to keep up our pace with the world. No government is perfect, even this one. But playing the blame game is not going to help either.
In addition to that, one has to understand the difference between the governance/system-errors & natural calamities. At one hand where former might be held responsible for Babies untimely death, the flood situation can be regarded as latter. Even though one might debate the role of the government’s policy & lack of infrastructure on flood situation, it still very much remains a fact pertaining to developmental issues. Under either circumstances, these incidents are horrific & unfortunate. And no amount of excuse could fill in/replace the void caused by it.
But as they say, “All’s well that ends well” – is all what matters. By the end of the day, news pouring in from flood-hit Assam state is what turned the sulking upside down. Pictures of people celebrating Independence day in spite of being drowned until waist line proves to be shining star among all. This particular event witnessed the love for country above all political grievances & personal hardships. The spirit of freedom finally prevails & I am left with pride & satisfaction even though not content. Of course, the plight of their misery couldn’t be ignored.
Another event that made me smile just when I needed it the most was the viral tweet circulated by the US envoy MaryKay Carlson seeking assistance to choose for Indian 6-yards attire (read it Saree) to adorn on Independence day Celebration. Her humbleness & gratitude to observe the Indian national event in one of the iconic Indian outfits is indeed generous & commendable. Also, Canada’s Prime minister Justin Trudeau attended the 15th August celebrations organized by Indian diaspora in traditional white ‘Kurta-Pajama’ & shaked his leg on traditional Bhangra beats. Although this is not the first time he graced himself in the same publicly, but he does gets the brownie points for this. For this courteous gesture, Justin & MaryKay definitely earns my respect & millions of hearts too.
To wrap up my day, various pictures gushing in from different parts of the world to mark this day was overwhelming. Many skyscrapers & famous Landmarks around the globe lit up in tricolor to tribute 15th August had definitely instilled the sense of delight & restored my faith of dignity & honour. Being an Indian living across the globe, holding on the patriotism is all I can do to pass on to my next generation. Even though I know it is not enough, it still imprints its own mark on the sands of time. It needs to be duly nurtured & cherished in order to instill and grow through generations. After all, this is what my & our Identity is.
Long live the Tricolor. Long live the Freedom. Jai Hind.