Have you ever felt suffocated? Suffocated, in spite of plenty of air to breathe; suffocated to your very being. Suffocated of your surroundings, in a relation, amidst some people, in your work. Have you ever felt suffocated and disrespected at the same time? Not for an hour or a day, but for years and years in continuation. Have you?
Well, they had and that is why they fought with all their might and sacrificed all they had, including their precious lives so that ‘we’- the future generations of India, don’t have to bear the same suffocation and insult.
‘We should have but one desire today – the desire to die so that India may live. The desire to face a martyr’s death, so that the path to freedom may be paved with the martyr’s blood.’ – Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
However, after 73 years of living freely, once again our country is struggling to breathe contently. It’s suffocating with the sheer foolishness of its own children. Foolishness which makes it easy for the opportunist and selfish to manipulate them for their personal good. Foolishness which fails to learn from its past and perceive that yet again they are being divided in the name of caste, color, region and religion; divided to be misruled again.
It’s not just one person or segment, but the entire nation suffers when idiocy of this extent prevails. People burning public infrastructure created from their own tax money. Every other region demanding their own state. Every other community asking for reservation. Each and every group sharing a strong feeling that they are being wronged and are not respected in their own country.
Once there existed a room in which everyone felt oppressed and wronged. When asked who was responsible for their situation everyone in the room pointed finger to the remaining others; ‘the others’ who in turn had their fingers pointed towards the rest.
Our forefathers had an easier fight, at least they were sure who their enemy was. They knew they were fighting against the Britishers. However, in our times people are just focused on the ‘fighting’ part, ‘against whom’ they are still to figure out.
Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel had said – “Every citizen of India must remember that he is an Indian and he has every right in this country but with certain duties.”
Today all of us want the privileges and the facilities, but only a handful bother about their duty towards the nation. How many of us are involved in any kind of community service? Be it cleaning of beaches or streets, educating the under privileged kids or planting trees. On the contrary majority of Indians are still struggling hard to not litter and spit on roads. All this for the sole reason that majority of us lack the feeling of belongingness and dedication to our country and our fellow beings. People spoil the public property because for them there is a vast difference between their home and streets of their country. They hurt feelings of other segments and resort to violence even at petty matters because for them there is a vast difference between their family members and their countrymen. All they fail to realize is that in a room where everyone is suffering the same and is pointing finger at others for the same reasons, then it is not because the people in that room are different, it is because the people in that room are exactly alike. Alike in their shortcomings, alike in their foolishness, alike in the hurt they feel. Alike, because they all are born of the same soil, breathe the same air, share the same sky. Alike because they are all Indians.
The only way of making this room a place where no one feels suffocated is very much in the hands of the ones who live in this room. This Independence Day let’s free ourselves from the illusion of our differences and celebrate our similarities.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!