Sunday, August 14, 2011

The 65th Independence Day

Tomorrow is August 15, 2011: the sixty-fifth Independence Day. A day when we remember those who gave their life, materially and literally, to the cause of the nation's freedom. The day we recall the horrors of Partition that followed Independence and renew our pledge to prevent such a thing from ever happening again.

The thing about Independence Day is that although it is a day to celebrate, the scar of partition remains. It is worth recalling that Mahatma Gandhi did not celebrate this day precisely for that reason. Yet, this need not be a reason to feel dejected at the way an ancient land was divided along false borders.

Indeed, if we look at how far we have come from Independence, and what challenges face us in the future, it gives us a great sense of joy. For, a country that was born one of the poorest and least developed in the world stands on the brink of becoming a superpower today. Yet, it is also faced with the challenge of hunger, poverty and unemployment. However, the very fact that today we have the power to solve those problems by ourselves, which we certainly did not have in 1947, shows us how far we have come.

Independence Day is a day of mixed feelings, for it marks not just the culmination of a great struggle but also the start of an even greater one. Yet, I am confident that we will come out on top. We did not take our Independence to be destroyed at our own hands; we did it to take us into a brighter future. That we must, and will, do.

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