It was 15th august 1947 and Pt. Nehru said, "Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance......” The memories of the 1st Independence Day may have faded, but the power of that magical moment must never be forgotten. India became independent and it was an effort of many nationalist leaders. Freedom gave us hope, independence gave us courage, democracy gave us rights and responsibilities; nation-building defined our charter.
India has always been great because of its diversity. You can be a good Keralite, a good Muslim and a good Indian, all at once. We are what we are because we have the right to be who we are. As Shashi tharoor says," If America is a melting pot, then to me India is a thali, a collection of sumptuous dishes in different bowls. Each may not mix with the next, but combine on your plate to produce a satisfying repast ". For a long time America had its Latin motto ' E Pluribus unum ' - out of many one . If India had a similar Latin motto then it would be 'E Pluribus Pluribum' - out of many, many.
But still being so rich in ancient history and civilization there are some loop holes and we have to work collectively to make India a superpower of 21st century. India is not an underdeveloped country.
India is not as people keep calling it an underdeveloped country, but rather in the context of its history and cultural heritage, a highly developed one in an advanced state of decay. Our situation is just like half-filled glass of water. For an optimist it is half-full and for pessimist it is half empty .We can't pretend more that we don't have problems. We are having problems and we have to uproot them from very core level. There is an environment of dissent in our country and dissent is like Gurkha 'khukuri' ,once it emerges from its sheath it must draw blood before it can be put away again . I don’t want you to bombard the streets with placards. I don’t want you to do the dharna. I just want to tell you that doing such things doesn’t make you a good patriot. You are better one and you deserve best. Picking up a sweet wrapper and throwing it into dustbin, asking for a bill when you purchase any product: these are some basic things that you can do. These are the things that you should do.
India is a developing country and we Indians have to be optimist. Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and now it’s time to make grasses greener on our side of the fence. It will take time. Rome was not built in a day. We will wait and so are waiting billions of Indian hearts full of wishes, desires and patience.
Freedom isn’t free at all. It comes with the highest of costs. The cost of blood. Blood of martyrs and fighters that were drained away. And now after years of independence, we take our democracy for granted. We often forget that it was leaders like Nehru and Patel who ensured that this newly formed state may not get into the hands of any dictator. Their respect for the democratic conventions and institutions ensured our democracy and we need to sustain that. I just want to tell you that next time when you post a page long article on social networking sites questioning about your fundamental rights, do ensure that you may give a thought to your fundamental duties too. I know that these things are not going to raise your CPI or SPI just like inflation. I know that these things are not going to save your broken relationship. But somehow it matters. I know it’s late. But you have heard the saying. ‘Better late than never’. India has always mattered to you, to us and to everyone. Its time when we could matter to her.