75 years of Independence – A Letter to India

Image Credits – Latestly

My beloved India,

76 years ago today, you made a tryst with destiny. While the world slept, you woke up to life and freedom. After years of colonialisation, you were free. In the process of moving from an enslaved to a free nation, you lost many of your brave children. Children who gave up homes and an easy sleep, who endured lathis in prisons some losing their lives in the process, who toiled miles and miles away to highlight the atrocities their brethren faced and most importantly who chose freedom of their motherland over subjugation. These children might have had different ideas of how independence should be attained, but all of them were true patriots and I want to remember and thank them today for their blood, sweat and tears.

At this critical juncture while the nation celebrates ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ (Elixir of Freedom), I want to congratulate you for disproving everyone who thought you would perish and could not govern yourself. Winston Churchill the barbaric British Prime Minister once remarked,  ‘If the British left India, it would fall back quite rapidly through the centuries of barbarism and privations of the Middle Ages’. You proved him and many other like him wrong by emerging and continuing as the single largest democracy in the world. A democracy that is vibrant and diverse befitting the saying ‘Kos kos par badle paani,chaar kos par baani, par ek hai jo nahi badalta vo hai Hindustani’ meaning ‘Taste of water changes every 2 miles, language changes every 4 miles, but Indians still don’t change.’

Today I want to share my aspirations and hopes from you. Atop the Red Fort, Pt. Nehru had remarked ‘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.’ Today, on the eve of 75th Independence Day, I remind you that this moment has come again.

I hope that we achieve equality in letter and spirit. We shed barriers of caste, race, sex, religion, income and welcome one and all as citizens of India. India where everyone is equal, and no one is discriminated or preferred over the other unfairly. An India, where family lines don’t dictate or shut doors to a profession and the Aam Insaan (common man) can aspire to lead the nation or contribute to its growth. An Aam Insaan can aspire to be the Prime Minister like Lal Bahadur Shastri, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh or the incumbent Narendra Modi, the President like Abdul Kalam or the incumbent Draupadi Murmu, and the Chief Justice like the incumbent Justice NV Ramanna. I hope India sheds barriers of nepotism and lets everyone grow on their merit. I hope we respect everyone irrespective of their origins whether humble or noble.

I hope that we uphold the rights enshrined in our Constitution. Untouchability is actually abolished; manual scavenging becomes a thing of the past and we treat everyone with dignity irrespective of their profession. I hope freedom of speech is not selective and we protect even those with whom we disagree. I hope that in the battle of the Left v. Right, humanity does not suffer, and relationships are not sacrificed.

I hope that the respect our political institutions once held is restored. Parliament is a forum for debate and discussion, and not for exchanging barbs and evading responsibility. The vote of the people and their mandate is respected, and policies are not thwarted just for the sake of opposition. Prime Minister Vajpayee Ji had once rightly said, ‘सरकारें आएंगी, जाएंगी, पार्टियां बनेंगी, बिगड़ेंगी मगर ये देश रहना चाहिए’ (governments will come and go, parties will be created and destroyed, however, this country should remain forever). One must remember that even in the middle of war Prime Minister Nehru responded to the calls for convening a session of the Parliament, and appraised the nation accordingly. I hope we return to such times where the Opposition both opposes and lauds the government where needed. Mere opposition for the sake of it, is not what our makers envisaged for India’s democracy, and neither is it healthy.

I hope we take good care of our children and protect them from social evils. At their tender age they are exposed to quality education, morals, love and not torture. They flock schools and not the streets begging to make ends meet. I hope children are not made subjects of any ideology but are made responsible citizens capable of forming their own informed opinions. I hope teachers resort to love and care, instead of a stick to teach these children.

I hope that we Indians are proud of our nation. I hope we acknowledge that India might have flaws, but you are still ours and we stand for you. I hope the trend of criticising for the sake of it dies down and criticism is only genuine. I hope we respect our culture and are not slaves to a colonial mindset or hangover.

Finally, I hope that when we are celebrating the 100th year of India’s Independence, I sit down to write another such letter, one that is full of new hopes and aspiration for my beloved India, since the ones mentioned above stand fulfilled.

Jai Hind!

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