In the mumbo-jumbo of our current times, sometimes we forget the meaning of freedom and independence.
August 15- is a day of celebration, pomp, glory, loads of patriotic songs and good food! It is our way of celebrating Indian independence.
However, have we endeavoured to find out what independence really means? Our ancestors forsake their all for a generation that’s losing itself in being ‘western’, ‘modern’ and ‘right’. Sadly, that is not what being independent entails.
When we are unswayed by public opinion, untouched by hate, and confident that we can make a difference without getting carried away by what other people are doing- it is independence.
When PM Modi decided to encourage every Indian to fly a flag in every home, he was probably trying to teach us to look beyond the trimmings of society and follow the heart. What could be the true embodiment of the courage one carries but the country’s flag?
Modi went a step further by sending a gift to every household- a tricolour, nicely packed. He not only shared a vision. He also shared the resources to make that vision come true. That is what a true leader does. And here is how he wants to build more leaders like him- with compassion and generosity.
Patriotism is internal. No one can teach true patriotism. Yet it is infectious. When everyone stands up for the national anthem or sways a flag, don’t you itch to do the same?
This year, when you stand up for the national anthem, don’t do it because the constitution says so. This time when you pick the flag and raise it to the skies, don’t imitate the person next to you.
When you sing, “Hindi hai him, Vatan Hai, Hindostan Hamara…” feel the words, mean the words. Then pick up our beautiful flag and say it with your heart- “Sare jahan se accha!”
On this independence day, understand our leader’s inclination. He has sent you the gift of the national flag to tell you that this country belongs to you.
Thus nurture your country. Be the wind of truth that blows from Mount Kailash. Become the quencher of thirsts like the mighty Brahmaputra and Ganga. Be the bells of our sacred temples. Find the tiger in you. And be proud of being an Indian just like a peacock.
Strut honestly. Move with pride. Walk with conviction not to get an international VISA or to the airport but to build India stronger. This year raise your cup of chai to an India we so want to build.