HAPPY REPUBLIC DAY, DEAR FELLOW INDIANS!
Even as my family and I hurl the national flag atop our little house my eyes turn moist. My twelve year old son is amused.
“After all, it is just a flag. And we are showing respect to our country by hoisting it, that’s it” he thinks.
But, it happens to me every time I hold the national flag. Even patriotic songs do that, something stirs within – I feel great pride for being an Indian, warmth for being part of a nation with the oldest democracy, joy for belonging to a country that houses people of so many different religions and faith and yet stay united, pride for the nation that created Ayurveda, Chess, Charkha, ZERO (where would the world be without this number?), proud to be part of that spectacular country that gave to the world Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus,the list can just go on.
It is like an ocean of emotions that spring out just like that. Makes me want to believe that in some incarnation I was a freedom fighter fighting for my country. No! No! I am not elevating myself. It is a genuine feeling that sweeps over me. My mother saw to it that I learnt my history and civics well, that I read Amar Chitra Katha comics on all our freedom fighters. Maybe, that sowed the seed. Maybe I did indeed march forward with sword, gun and lathi to protect my land. Maybe…
But then, there is also desperation when I perceive people wringing the goodness out the nation and giving back nothing in return. There is hurt when people treat the nation like dirt, only wanting to use India for their selfish wants. There is anger when I see many, both among the very young and the older people being ruthless and mean when it comes to treating their fellow Indians with equality. India continues to give, to its citizens and to the world.
- When will WE learn to feel gratitude for this mighty nation?
- When will WE learn to convert this gratitude into action?
- When will WE take the first few steps towards transforming this beautiful nation into a land where every man, woman, child gets to eat, has shelter, is able to understand with the aid of basic education?
- When will WE do little things that can make a difference?
This day, this republic day I salute all the heroes, real life heroes, our soldiers – army, navy and air force who have been protecting our country from strong winds and storms of terrorism that try to spread the virus of hate, terror, selfishness, violence in our peace loving nation.
This day, this republic day, I salute all the unsung heroes, the ordinary people, the aam aadmi who continue to work unconditionally for the society, for the country without expecting anything in return.
Wishing You A Very Happy Republic Day 2012.
Wishing You a Year That Makes You Make A Difference, for Yourself and for the Nation!