“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most constructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” So said a well-known figure in the field of literature, Mark Twain.
Celebrating 73 years of Independence, India has been an epitome of diversity, uniqueness, and magnificence in tradition and culture. It’s not just the diversity in languages, dance forms, food, religions, and art that define our mesmerising country. It’s us- the citizens of this majestic piece on the world map that genuinely represent it.
After more than seven decades of Independence, do you think we have attained true freedom? Are we really Independent? We broke ourselves free from foreign rule, but don’t you believe that there is still much more India needs to break free from?
How can we, as citizens of this country, contribute towards the attainment of true Independence? Let’s self examine ourselves in the light of the golden sayings and beliefs of the “Father Of The Nation,” Mahatma Gandhi. Some of his quotations will give us the introspection we need.
#1 “The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane.”
So very often, people from a different religious background, or who are believed to be from a so-called inferior section of the society or who are merely following their own beliefs and traditions are being exploited.
Some are being cruelly beaten up or even worse, killed. Where can one see the humanity in such actions?
The word humanity does not imply the idea of existing as a human. Instead, it means cultivating and showcasing qualities like love, tolerance, and patience. Just because a fellow citizen of the country has a different religion, colour, or what many people think of as caste, we do not get the right to exploit such ones.
They too are humans like us. Like us, they also have the freedom to choose. Being citizens of a country known for its diversity, we have the responsibility to be humane towards all. Exploitation at all levels of Indian society should be stopped to gain true freedom.
#2 “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”
So well said! Trolling people on online platforms, spreading hate, judging and criticising others for their choices and not dignifying them for who they are and what they believe- do you know what these thoughts and actions reflect?
They reflect a spirit of cowardice. Love is the quality of the brave. As Indian citizens, let’s be bold. Let’s not spread hate by abusing people on social platforms. Let’s cultivate the spirit of acceptance and tolerance. Let’s spread the love by being respectful while voicing out our opinions.
Let’s not demean others just because their ideas about particular issues vary from ours. We were able to break free from the foreign rule because brave people sacrificed their lives. Today, let’s be bold and help India gain true freedom by generously sacrificing our egotism and negativity.
#3 “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
One would have heard this quote a million times. We want clean air, freshwater and, good produce. The planet is giving us everything we need.
What are we giving it in return? Careless litter? Plastic dumps in the ocean? Irresponsible use of appliances? Isn’t it greedy? India is known for its diverse natural beauty, and it is our responsibility to take care of our Natural Heritage. We need to stop polluting our soil and water.
We need to be responsible and respectful towards the environment. Only if we strive to make our country more hygienic, we can say that we are working towards achieving true freedom.
#4 “To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman.”
Seventy-Three years of Independence- yet women in India are regarded as inferior, weak, and are very often objectified. Rape and sexual abuse have become a joke. Marital rape is now termed as a “right.”
There are several households in every nook and cranny of the Indian Society where women are still not allowed to voice their opinions, are still not allowed to work and are being abused and violated. Now’s the time to understand that woman is not the weaker sex. She has equal rights and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
India is the first country to send women for UN Peacekeeping missions, yet the women in our country are not able to live in peace. The length of the cloth and the time on the clock decides the character Of women in our country.
Such attitudes should be buried, no burnt! Only when an atmosphere that promotes equality, safety, and respect for women envelops our country, we can say that India is completely free.
#5 “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Let’s cultivate the spirit of service and self-sacrifice. Let’s help our fellow citizens who may not be as privileged as we are. Instead of wasting food, give it to someone in need. If you can afford another child or another person, adopt orphans.
Let’s be children to those dear elderly ones who have been left at the mercy of nursing homes. Let’s teach our children not to make fun of specially-abled ones. Let’s respect farmers and their hard work. Let’s make this country an abode filled with peace and tranquil by giving ourselves in service to others.
Did we get true freedom? We will. But only when we strive to be better citizens in every aspect of our personal and social life. Independence Day comes once in a year, but we can continue to work towards true freedom every second, minute, hour, and day of our lives.
Mahatma Gandhi also said, “The Future Depends On What You Do Today.” The way we think, speak, and act will decide the future of this country. If we don’t act now, we’ll celebrate Independence every year but never experience it. Just like it took us a lot of time to become an independent nation, it will take time to achieve and experience true Freedom ‘within’ this nation.
May we never give up! Let’s exert ourselves in bringing true freedom to India- a country that is unique, majestic, and magnificent!