Saturday, August 16, 2008

A word called India

At 11:30 am, I got up from my deep slumber fully rejuvenated, and thanked GOD for providing me this holiday. I loved being free for a day and that too a weekday. After doing my business of the morning(which was now tending to afternoon), I broke my long gap of 14 hours(for me its really really long!) by signing in my orkut account with my strange ID - quantum.harsh and an eleven-lettered password(which everyone pronounces incorrectly). Orkut homepage took 3 seconds to open, and what I observed was that there was a new scrap from a friend of mine, he scrapped me, “Happy Independence Day”. I realized, “Its Independence Day that bestowed me a 10 hours of sleep”. I wondered why the hell is this guy wishing ME? After all, it isn’t so special day of my life.

After 10 minutes of wandering in the profiles of the ‘few’ people in my friend-list, I saw about hundreds of profiles on orkut which had the Tricolor as their picture; which said “Happy Independence Day” with two smileys enclosing the caption in their profile. I was impressed by the patriotism of my friends, their love for the nation was extraordinary, for they got up this day quite early inspite of it being a national holiday and also they are utilising this leisure time by wishing their friends and bigwigs - Happy Independence Day. Strangely, where does this love for nation go in the remaining 363 days of the year? (one day subtracted considering Republic Day)

Sincerely asking, how many of us, in the remaining days of the year, have even thought about our nation? We just have one task to do in the remaining time of the year and that is to criticize the system, to disrespect the motherland by comparing it with other nations, to abuse our motherland for its prejudiced society, becoming more and more inclined towards western style of living but we have no time to contemplate on this freedom which was stamped on our personality right from the day we began to exist. India has become just a word for a vast majority of population living in this country, with the feeling of love for it being aroused only during national holidays.

Today is 15th Aug. If its not your birthday, then certainly you can think of something else for which this day holds some importance. It’s about it being the day of freedom. Freedom once it was achieved became a commonplace straightaway. We took it for granted. But the bitter truth is we still do not value this independence, we don’t still know the meaning of this word freedom.

The meaning of this word ‘freedom’ needs to be elaborated. The lexicons have found the meaning of freedom as the ability to pursue what we want without any second thought. But I personally think that is a very superficial definition. This word freedom has many hidden meanings which need to be stressed. If I ask a straight-forward short-answer question, “Is India free?” The one-word answer that will splatter out of the most mouths of Bhartiya Nagarik would be “YES”. But the question of the moment is - Are we really free? Still we are over-burdened by superstitions and prejudices, still there are stigmas like caste system and regional discriminations in various parts of the country, the political dominion is majorly motivated by personal goals and nepotism and yet we are rejoicing for the fact that we are free. Freedom means being free from all these biases and irrationality. Freedom means freedom to dream big and even bigger and our surroundings encouraging us to capture that dream. Freedom means freedom from hate, anger, violence and jealousy; freedom to do anything we like but taking the consideration of society also. Freedom does not imply having 10 kids and still be in the arena of ministry of the country and thinking for the progress of the nation. Freedom has an ingredient in itself of personal fulfilment as well as social responsibility.

It’s not about becoming respectful to the nation on a particular day but to change the course of our entire actions so that it affects our nation in a positive way. That action maybe as simple as throwing a chewing gum wrapper in a dustbin to returning a lost wallet to the person who lost it; it can be helping destitute with their medicines or stopping bribery wherever it occurs; from removing a brick lying in the middle of the road or preventing embezzlement of hostel funds; from having true insurance claims to speaking truth to your life-partner about your previous relations. The list goes on, these things are very simple and straightforward but it requires immense grit to be able to do them. The effect these actions have on this country may be very subtle to notice, but it will be quite visible in the long term. I am not an idealist who loves writing essays to provoke the mind of people, but I just want you to be aware of your nation and your responsibility to it. Just scrapping “Happy Independence Day” in my scrapbook and thereby incrementing my 5000 scraps by one, does not make me(and even others) feel happy, but your actions in some way or the other has the ability to make the entire nation happy. One day patriotism is like a new chewing gum which loses its taste as time progresses.

P.S. If you have read it, then I appreciate you a lot. Thanks for reading it. Please do comment to make me know who amongst my friends truly value their nation and did not get bored reading about it.
P.S. It was not meant to hurt some real nation lovers, it is just meant for fake people for who INDIA is just a word.
P.S. Country needs you. You just have to look up.


aman said...

i won't say much but just few things-- well thought article,great feelings for your nation and very minutely pointed details . and one thing more you atleast took some time out to think and write these things ,many other people like me didn't bothered to give time to these thoughts,, definitely you are a person who loves your country and want to see it change,, hats off man

Raviteja said...

JAi Ho!

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