Independence day is an occasion very dear to all the Indians. It symbolizes the sacrifices which have been done by our ancestors in order to achieve Independence from colonial rule. India’s freedom struggle is indeed a telling story of courage and determination. 21st century Indians should go through this story to realize that what India has achieved over a period of time is not an easy task. So many diverse cultures and societal fractions had to come together to achieve a common goal of independence from British rule. A century of struggle took place before we finally got Independence in the year 1947.From social reformers like Raja RamMohan Roy to Fighters like Rani Laxmi Bai, from Moderates like Gokhale to extremists like Lala Lajpat Rai, From young blood like Bhagat Singh to Mature personality like Gandhi; everyone of them contributed to the achievement of final goal of Independence. This reflects that nation building is a collective process where the individual ideas may be different but the goal is the same. India is a proud country where people of different cultures and hues have laid down their lives to get a nation where their posterity can live by their own will and not get subjected to will of some foreign country.
India’s story after Independence has been equally colourful like its story before Independence. India had existential questions of food security, internal security , external security and economic security. India could achieve its food security through green revolution and made sure that its population have enough food to eat without seeking foreign intervention. Internal security in India has also improved over a period of time. The regional aspirations played out in the form of separatists movement in Punjab, North-East and Jammu and Kashmir. While these regions have undergone painful times, it seems that most of the regions are on their way to stability and have recognized their future within Union of India. This is a very important development. Political stability is the first step to economic stability. On the external security front, the challenges have changed .Rather than Pakistan , it is China which is now posing a bigger threat to India’s external security and India has a lot of work to do on this front. Coming to economic security, India can proudly say that though it had a tough time with its economy till 1991 but after that the country has really picked up well and has become the software factory of the world. The services sector has really lifted many Indians out of poverty and created wealth for many Indians.
India’s Past is a reflection of its future. Our past shows that we allow various ideologies to work out but do not allow failed governance structures to get carried forward. Indians have time and again shown their maturity through ballot boxes as well as vibrant civil society culture and ensured that political or social deviations from national agenda are soon corrected by the concerned stakeholders. The 21st century Indians should see the freedom around them not only as co-incidence but as a contribution of their ancestors and the values which fundamentally the country holds. The freedom to move, freedom to speak, freedom from discrimination ,freedom to work are not only constitutional words in India but are the reality of Indian society .We have come very far from where we were and that we have come so far cannot be merely a co-incidence. It shows that the mind of our society is progressive and very conscious of what we want to become in future. Therefore, this Independence day, let us appreciate every freedom we have witnessed till now since we were born because not all humans are lucky to have even those. Compare our life with life in our adjacent countries like Pakistan , Nepal and Afghanistan and we can realize what we have is not available to all. Thus, it is important for us to show the gratitude to god and to wisdom of our society and take pride in what we have.
Astrologers may be studying the stars to tell India’s future but it is not required to do such a deep study of stars to foretell India’s future. India has only two ways to go: mediocrity as in the present or excellence that we deserve. There is no other way India can go because India as country has already become so aware that we resist anything that pushes us back. But we are still not pushing ourselves hard enough to move from level of mediocrity to the level of excellence and this one is not easy because it requires lot of fundamental changes in our polity, society and economy. India is at that stage today where decentralized control should be brought to its zenith and institutionalized is such a way that it promotes professionalism. An example of this is economic decision making which should be handed over to professionals with only limited political guidance. A high standards of transparency in our institutions is an absolute necessity to propel ourselves to next stage of development and this requires loosening of ideology over professional items. The ideology reflected by a party in power may have a role in cultural space and security space but has a very limited role to play in economic matters. No more world is facing a choice between socialism and capitalism. Economic centrism is a practical reality should be given decisive push through a strong professional mandate.
The choice is hard for Indians to make and will require lot of political will power but good things have never come easy. However, Indians have a lot of hope to gather from their past. Past has shown that what we have thought, we have achieved albeit the pace may not have met our expectations. Today, we are much better equipped than we were yesterday and this makes our chances of exceling even more. So let us pray to god this independence day to give us courage and determination to keep chasing the dream of becoming a better nation so that we can do justice to the sacrifice of our ancestors and to the future of our posterity.