Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The "I" Day

When we say Independence Day, what pops up in our mind? May be a holiday. A day for rest. If the day is a Friday or a Monday then an extended weekend. Let us plan a small tour to a nearest holiday destination. Right? So this is the only significance of the Independence Day left in our lives ??
The other day I was discussing this subject with my friends. I asked them whether they felt bad that Independence Day has been reduced to just another holiday in there lives and thought process. At this, all of them gave me a look of
?has it ever been anything else since we were born?. How true !!! I must admit that I was surprised by this sudden realization of a fact. Even without speaking it aloud, mention of the subject had led us to this strange understanding about how we take our national festivals and anything related to national interest.
One of my friends surprisingly shrugged it off. ?Why and what should I feel bad?? was her quick reply. So what exactly did she think about this day? ?Well, I just remember that lots of great leaders made lots of sacrifices for the independence we are enjoying today? .That?s it? Just the leaders? What about the countless common men who sacrificed their lives for it? What about the countless people that are still not enjoying the fruits of it in the real sense ? I again got a shrug for an answer. One of them told me about her hostel days. She liked to go to the flag hoisting ceremony which was held on the terrace of the hostel. ?I would wake up early, take a bathe and then go up the terrace for saluting our national flag?, she said with pride. Wow! That was quite unusual thing to do for a hostelite and that too on a holiday. I tried to probe their concern a little further. Don?t you feel that we should do something for our country?. I asked hoping to stir some part of their conscience. I was mistaken.
?What should we do yaar? Just drop this ok. Its enough that we stay here and are not running away to become just another NRI. Doesn?t that count??, was her curt reply. Hmmm. So that?s it. . Isn?t it? She had a point.
Fair enough.
This is what I got from some young girls my age but I m sure its not much of a difference if we try and ask people in other age groups, unless they are very old freedom fighters. The fact is we take our freedom too much for granted. It doesn?t make any difference to us if we are celebrating 62 years of our independence and still we have not realized the significance it holds in every individual?s life. Imagine if we were denied to enjoy the simple pleasures of life like traveling, investing, purchasing homes, talking, expressing ? Yes I know we can?t imagine it. And there are two reasons why we can?t imagine it.
One: we can realize that that?s really an awful situation to be in so we fear to even think about it.
Two: we are too na?ve to think that it could ever happen.
It?s the second reason that most of us would be thinking. Right ??
And this alone constitutes that we should value our independence more than anything in our lives. For valuing our independence we don?t require a reason or a day, just if all of us could spare some time and give it a thought it would be sufficient. Some simple duties like keeping our surroundings clean, following traffic rules, objecting to corruption, helping the poor can bring about a considerable change for our country so that we uphold our independence and eventually make us feel happy and proud that we live in a free, independent country.
Come on guys, Ours is really a very beautiful country. . . we all know that. But it is high time now that we start feeling it that way for each and every aspect of this country.
I find Independence Day quite similar to one?s birthday. We think of what we have done for ourselves in the last one year on our birthday. We do plan for the next year. Similarly, on the Independence Day we can introspect about all that we have done for our country and fellow country men. And I m sure the day wont be far away when Independence Day would cease to be just a holiday for all of us.
Have a thoughtful and enriching Independence Day.

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