As we approach the 72nd Independence Day, a question comes to mind. Have we as Indian’s started taking Independence Day and freedom very lightly. Probably yes…
The spirit of celebrations of the past has disappeared. Today’s Independence Day celebrations are starting to take the form of a day-off from work, a day to sleep, a day to get over the previous night’s hangovers. What a pity!
I was also not born back then, 15th August 1947; but history stands testimony to the fact that as the clock stuck the mid-night hour on 15th August 1947, our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru spoke of India’s ‘Tryst with destiny.’
The Indian tricolour was unfurled, and it stood still like a silent sentinel witnessing the joyous festivities marking the end of an era and the beginning of a beautiful journey of India’s self-discovery and Independence.
There were instant celebrations and the country came alive with groups of people rejoicing at the very idea of being able to lead a life of complete independence. Patriotic songs like ‘Vande Mataram’ filled the air and people paid homage to the freedom fighters who had laid their lives at the altar of the nation.
People in the late 90’s, on Independence Day woke up to patriotic songs, children dressed up in new clothes, rushed to school for the flag hoisting, march past and the sweets.
Saffron, White and Green were everywhere, and so was the feeling of patriotism.
Forward to 15th August 2017; almost 69 years later, as they dawned, we decided to celebrate Independence Day in whichever way we could, and we managed it well, however, small the celebration.
The rest of the day was spent in making plans involving visiting the best picnic spots, an outing to the beach, the latest in fashion, the favourite restaurants to be visited, the best movies in town, and thus, it went on.
Over the past years’ freedom has indeed started to take on a different meaning for different people.
Indeed, for the new generation it, as things look, is nothing more than just another holiday. They consider Independence Day as yet another holiday, when they can sleep late. Before writing this, I spoke to few young people around a corporate office, most of them not exactly aware of the essence of 15th August and the 26th January. But surprisingly the boy who serves coffee at office explained the significance of I-day.
So a question revolving in mind, have we taking Independence and freedom for granted? Probably yes. We are celebrating I-day and R-day to just enjoy a lazy day, and to spend with friends and family.