At the outset I would like to wish all proud Indians a happy Independence Day. It has been 70 years since we gained Independence, the result of our freedom fighters’ struggles, sacrifices and patience. We were ruled for over 250 years, a lot of blood was shed to accommodate the demands of the colonizers, many generations were wiped out and in the end after a long struggle here we are celebrating our 70th Independence Day. Before we get into the Independence Day Celebrations hysteria don’t you think we should ask ourselves a few questions; have we achieved what our freedom fighters wanted us to? What is our individual contribution to the country which we can be proud of, however small it is. And other questions as such.
India has a very unique culture which is appreciated all over the world and here we Indians are busy aping the west. Well, I am not saying we shouldn’t, but shouldn’t we respect our culture and heritage and be proud of it in the first place. One of the main points of the freedom struggle was identifying our Indianness and be proud of it and many of our freedom fighters promoted the same. During the time last phase of the struggle the middle class became proud learned western educated men and women, everyone wanted to be educated in English and be intellectuals in the society, something which we are following dangerously right now in a faster pace, knowing English is equated with knowledge of an individual. Our family system which is unique is fast losing its value, we want to break it apart and form nuclear families. India is becoming a dumping ground of failed ideologies worldwide. One of the main differences between India and China is that they are sticking to their roots, they are following their Confucian model which gives the utmost importance to their families, families form societies and they in turn make up the country, so if we want to be strong as a country, we should make sure the very roots are strong. There is this ridiculous propaganda these day such as ‘XYZ’ incident has happened, I feel ashamed to be an Indian, yes, we should hang our heads in shame as a society, but why should we bring our nationality in the context? Is it that crass incidents happen only in India? This is not a justification of various incidents, as I told, we should hang our heads in shame as a society.
India is a country where little importance is given to its’ history, though we have a glorious one. Let’s begin with the modern history and go back in time. Our freedom fighters as we read can we finger-counted, how many freedom fighters have been glorified in our text books? Certainly, it is not just Gandhi and Nehru who fought for our freedom, right? If any other fighter’s name is brought in, it is termed as ‘Saffronisation’ of our history. The revolutionaries are termed as ‘terrorists’ and the reason stating that ‘for not being able to find a better word’, so what is the difference between our historians and the Europeans? The biggest weapon as far as I think is perception creation, you don’t have to wield a sword when you are able to create a perception which changes minds, thus supporting your ideology. Our history has always been manipulated, we are shown as a country of barbarians and then there is the ‘AIT – Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory’ which has been debunked time and again, only to be put down again by the aggressive left leaning academia. Next, how many of us know about the Vijayanagara Kingdom or the Chola Empire, ofcourse other than the snippets which we read in our very elaborate textbooks. Both these kingdoms were pioneers in their own right, Cholas pioneered in naval expeditions and Vijayanagara had one of the best administration set-up in the world at that time. We give importance to the Mughals and the Delhi Sultanate who have raped our women, looted our wealth but ignore sections of actual history which made our country great. Every individual should know his history and be proud of it. Our forefathers are constantly looked down upon by us, though they have given us sciences which have helped in the growth of technology, one such important export is ‘0’. We have Ayurveda and Yoga which are our country’s pride, the west have fallen for the beauty of it, and we are falling for something which they have abandoned. The world is slowly inching towards spirituality and we are slowly moving towards materialism. Coming to the point of feminism, we read on a regular basis that Indian women are always looked down upon in this patriarchal society, but they won’t tell you that the entire freedom struggle revolved around one woman ‘Bharat Mata’. When a new wed bride enters her new home, she is considered as ‘Lakshmi’, who will bring good fortune to her new home, and yet they tell that women are being looked down upon, how ironical, isn’t it? Yes, there are very very disturbing incidents which we read almost every other day, but what we don’t realize or read is that ‘India is the only country which stands up for its women during such atrocities’. Have any of you read any such incident where men have stood up for their counterpart against any such atrocity, I am sure you haven’t, that is the amount of respect we give women in India. India was one of the few countries in the world where women didn’t have to fight for the right to vote, whereas women in the present day developed countries had to fight hard for that particular right, that was the beginning of feminism, which has taken an ugly form in the current day and Indian women endorse that which is a pity.
We have failed as a country in many other aspects, especially sports and in the point of development. We have a population of 1 billion+ and yet how many medal winning athletes have we produced? We have always sat back and haven’t given importance to sports, thus the obsolete training machinery which seems to be like from the stone age, when compared to the latest equipment’s. We have given importance to only game, which is very obvious thus the lacklustre spirit of sportspersons who know that their effort will be ignored. We keep reading the state of medal winning athletes who don’t have enough money to support their family nor have the very basic funds to support his/her training training, therefore failing to make it to the competition the next time. We, the public also should be blamed for our apathy towards such athletes. There was this very disturbing article which I read a few months back where an Indian squash player wanted to sell his kidney to fund his training and participate in tournaments, such is the state of sports in India. When India gained Independence, one of the major talking point was to eradicate poverty and uplift the downtrodden, 70 years now, that is still the election promise and I’m really not sure how many more years is that going to be the election’s talking point. Our politicians are surrounded with scams and yet the youth don’t want to talk about politics, it is this mindset which emboldens them, only when we begin questioning will they realize that we have woken up from our slumber and keeping track on their governance. I hence beseech you to wake up and participate in the governance of the country, which is your right and most of all the boon of democracy. Every individual is responsible for the development of the country, along with the govt. We can’t blame the govt. alone for all mishaps, its our negligence which has made them what they are. Let us not mince words, let us keep the country above everything and move in the right direction, ask questions where it should be asked and support the govt. where it is necessary keeping in mind that the nation’s welfare is of utmost importance.
As I have already mentioned above, India is a dumping ground for failed ideologies of the west. If India has to be a superpower which our freedom fighters had dreamt of, we should stick to what we are, and not become someone else, just for the sake of it and China is the biggest example of it. We are in such a state that we can’t actually think good of our past, if there was something good, it definitely wasn’t Indian, we should come out of this first. We accept the same only the west certifies the same, after all we depend on their certification, don’t we? Our very education system is their blessing, we are no more than products of the west. We love their lifestyle and want to become accustomed to it and they are falling in love with India and it’s culture. We might take an entire generation to realize our fallacy, but by then it will be too late. We should begin realizing our mistake now, rectify it now and teach the next generation what our country truly is. Let us not fall for fake propaganda and let us not make our freedom fighter’s sacrifices go waste, that is the biggest sin one can commit. If you want to right the wrong, it is the opportune time now, don’t forget each one of you have your own individualistic specialty, make it count.
“I have faith in my country, and especially in the youth of my country. My hope is in you. With an immense amount of feeling and enthusiasm in the blood, will come heroes who will march from one corner of the earth to the other, preaching and teaching the eternal spiritual truths of our forefathers. And this is the great work before you. Each one of you has a glorious future if you dare believe me. Have tremendous faith in yourselves, like the faith I had when I was a child, and which I am working out now. Have that faith, each one of you, in yourself — that eternal power is lodged in every soul — and you will revive the whole of India. Ay, we will then go to every country under the sun, and our ideas will before long be a component of the many forces that are working to make up every nation in the world. We must enter into the life of every race in India and abroad; we shall have to work to bring this about.We must go out, we must conquer the world through our spirituality and philosophy. There is no other alternative, we must do it or die. The only condition of national life, of awakened and vigorous national life, is the conquest of the world by Indian thought.” – Swami Vivekananda.
Let us not disappoint him and work towards making his words become true. Again, wishing every proud Indian a very happy Independence Day.
This post is contributed by Shri Nanjesh Patel.