At the stroke of midnight on 15th August 1947, India made its own tryst with destiny. The two hundred year long standing British rule came to an end and India woke up to the land of freedom and independence. The Independence Act, 1947 declared India as a free nation and every year on this date the nation stands united in its fond remembrance of the line of soldiers who were felled down in their line of duty and earned us this independence at great cost to their own lives.
Since 1757, India had been festering under the British subjugation and became one of its most lucrative colonies in the world. Freedom was won the hard way after a sustained and arduous period of struggle in which young lives were lost and innocents perished. Pandit Nehru in his inaugural speech had spoken about the moment that India has shed its old shackles and stepped into a new morning of hope and ambition, where misfortune is left behind and prosperity beckons.
Post-Independence the need to establish the nation and build its economy was an uphill task but year after year India, achieved new laurels and put across its foot with confidence and aplomb in the field of technology, agriculture, industrialization, education and economy.
Seven decades down, India is now one of the most formidable nations in the globe yet certain statistical figures leave one disheartened. The stark reality of poverty, unemployment, the disparity between rich and the poor, the muffling away of freedom of speech in certain quarters, illiteracy are as much alarming in today’s state of the nation as it was pre-Independence.
Dick Cheney, once mentioned that it is easy to take liberty for granted if you never had to lose it. Today’s generation has never felt the pangs of living under subjugation. They woke up in a free, booming India and they feel this is the way it is always going to be. However, it won’t take long for the ground to give way under their feet and darkness to envelop them, if due steps are not taken in time, to re-build the nation in keeping with the principles adopted at the time of unfurling our National Flag at Red Fort for the first time on 15th August, 1947.
Independence Day, should not and cannot be considered as just another holiday in our Annual Calendar to while away in frolicking and mirth. The sanctity of the day can only be realized if this day and all other such days be dedicated to national service in social sector. Gaining independence from the British rule was just one part of the struggle, more important it is today to free ourselves from the caste and religious biases which still has us in grip. Freedom means a free mind which allows for a wide range of diversity of opinions to flourish without feeling offended and causing antagonism. A broad vision which liberate the thinking and sets the mind free, is the only tribute we can pay to our ancestors who fought hard to earn this honor for us.
It is noteworthy to remember that this juncture that we did not earn this freedom, we were born into it but the need for upholding, preserving and protecting this freedom is entirely our doing.