India will be celebrating its 72nd Independence Day to pay tribute and remember all the freedom fighters who had contributed a lot and fought for the Independence of India. On this day India got freedom from the British rule after long years of slavery. Independence Day is celebrated to commemorate the freedom of India from the British rule in 1947. August 15 is the day of re-birth of India. It is the day when Britishers left India and handed over the country to its leaders. It is the most significant day in the history of India and celebrated every year with great enthusiasm by the Indian people. We all know that Freedom is not free. It took years of efforts, non-violence and other movements by our national freedom fighters to attain Freedom.
Our PM Narendra Modi has invoked the Quit India Movement again (after Mahatma Gandhi) in order to encourage countrymen to use the same spirit to expel problems like corruption, communalism, terrorism, casteism, poverty, as well as dirt forever from the country by 2022. This day also inspires us to follow the teaching of peace and non-violence that was preached by Mahatma Gandhi, the ‘Father of our Nation’ and it reminds us of our duty and responsibility to the country.
Have we ever given a thought that had the British left without Partition, Hindu-Muslim antagonism would have escalated into civil war, leading ultimately to an even bloodier Partition? The civil war would have converted India into a hotbed of Hindu communalism and violence, with secularists sidelined as traitors or worse. Partition, warts and all, has been a better outcome.
Winston Churchill once said, “India is just a geographical entity. It is no more a country than the equator.”Unity in India was created after 1947 by the statesmanship of Nehru and his colleagues. Many British critics sneered that an independent India would disintegrate. Nehru proved them wrong. Leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri instilled a love for India in the hearts of their followers.
On Independence Day, one can find a number of people on television giving lectures about the nation. During these speeches, they often give vent to their patriotic sentiments. One has to be empathetic to the sufferings of one’s countrymen and stand up for their rights. India is a diverse nation; this plurality should be used to the people’s advantage. Religious conflict has to stop, and the people need to fight social evils together. We got our freedom at midnight but still look forward to the dawn. Of late, Independence Day has just become a means to enjoy a holiday and watch some Bollywood programmes on various television channels. The glory is forgotten and the memory of the freedom fighters have gone with the wind.
Everyone knows that our country got freedom from 300 years of British Rule at the stroke of midnight as India moved towards August 15, 1947. How our nation has fared over the last 71 years is something we cannot change but the future is in our hands. India’s Independence Day is a day of great significance for the people of India. Don’t we forget the importance of this day soon after the evening? Aren’t we attaching too much importance to our individual freedom rather than to the national independence? Why is there a little sense of pride in the country about what our parents and grandparents managed to achieve against all odds? Today, our country is a well-established democratic country all over the world. Gandhi dreamed of an independent India with the non-violence and peace. Let us ensure that we exercise our rights and proudly participate in our democracy so that our nation heads in the right direction. The Celebration of Independence Day is the same throughout the country and this is the day when we find the whole country celebrating and rejoicing but the real celebration is to worship those patriots who shed their blood for achieving Freedom.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)