- Shirish Gupta
Free Soul of India
"At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.”
These were the magical words of our first prime minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru on 15th August 1947 when India got its freedom after a long struggle against the British that invigorated a nation of 33 Cr people.
Today we celebrate our 72nd Independence Day as a Nation of 130 Cr people. We are a young nation with aspiring young minds and a demographic dividend second to none. I have always believed that we are a very blessed country. I have been fortunate enough to be born and brought up in India and got an opportunity to travel across India and always find intriguing the different cultures across India. Take for example Punjab and Kerala, People in Punjab are completely different from people in Kerala. Both have their different tradition, different taste, different language, and even people have a completely different mindset.
To put these differences in perspective, India has an estimated of 1652 different languages across 29 states and 7 Union territories. It seems very easy for India to collapse with such differences. But even with so much of diversity what unites us all? It is what I call the feeling of “Indianness”. You may go to any geography of India. Different people celebrate different religions, different occasions with different ethnicities. But 15th August (Also 26th Jan) unites us all. It is the global Indian festival which every Indian celebrates and is proud of. 15th August truly represents “Unity in diversity”. India is the epitome of unity that the world sees bonded by our constitution adopted on 26th Jan 1950.
Apart from “Unity in diversity” there is one more important thing that 15th August represents. It is the feeling of freedom which we as a nation take for granted. Having gone through stories of tyranny in British time, it is absolutely paramount that we value the freedom for which our ancestors fought and gave up their life. Independence is truly a wonderful feeling to cherish. We are independent we can go to any place we want in India, do anything, speak our mind without fear and can have a difference of opinion. We can debate and discuss practically any topic in our country in an open forum. We can go to malls to do shopping, watch movies, work anywhere we want. Basically, we are free. It is extremely painful for me to imagine the condition when India was under the British rule and the hardships people would have faced where no one could do anything without the permission of the British rulers. So this overwhelming feeling of freedom is what represents 15th August for me.
I know today in India we have a plethora of problems which we are fighting as a developing country. As a country which has been long looted by invaders, it is very natural to have such problems. But I truly believe a platform has been set for India and now it’s time to take off. Today we are the largest pluralist democracy in the world. We are economically among the fastest growing nations in the world. If we as a country can tap our true potential of a young population and ample resources through proper optimization of skills and innovative technological solutions then I truly believe that the 21st century could belong to India.
As our visionary PM Shri Narendra Modi rightly said in today’s 72nd Independence Day address to the nation-
“Amber se uncha jaana h,
ek Bharat naya banana h.”
Let us all dream together to fly above the sky and make a new India.
“Only a dreamer can be an achiever." -- A hopeful Indian
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