Image Source : Computer-wallpapers
This year the world's largest democracy celebrates it's 65th independence day. It was many moons ago on the 15th of august 1947, that India's freedom struggle against the British finally ended, and the British left India for good.
I am actually proud of what India has achieved since independence, considering that they'd been robbed of so much for so long, by the British, and also considering the humongous sized population and the kind of diversity there is in the nation.
We have shown that democracy can work well, in such a big and diverse nation, no incidences of military coups, or powerful dictators overtaking the government. In the 64 years India never really had any problems with the democratic setup, the only exception being the period of emergency, but that too passed and we managed to emerge relatively unscathed.
Today India is rapidly becoming a force to reckon with, no longer can the world ignore India, they have to take notice.
Ofcourse, we still have long ways to go, with a lot of problems still to overcome, but I'm sure, with the impetus the last couple of decades have given us, the future is bright.
Being an NRI is kindof bitter sweet on such occasions, when I lived in India, I seldom took the time, to attend any of the independence day celebrations being held around me, and I was just a little blase about it all. After living out of my homeland for a few years though, I became much more patriotic than I ever was in life, appreciating whatever little I could get of India in the foreign land, even a small commercial or image of India on the tv would excite me. I wanted to talk to every Indian (looking) person on the street, as though he/she was a long-lost friend, I guess as they say 'You can take a girl out of India, but you can't take India out of the girl' ...LOL. I don't think I'm alone in what I experienced, there are many like me, who go through similar feelings/stages. In another post I'll write more about the aspects I miss about India the most.
One more change about my outlook towards India although relatively small has been that, many of the little things I would criticize earlier about my country, became not so bad afterall, and I saw both the good along with the bad of my country, where earlier I would pretty much focus on just the bad. I had read somewhere that "to see what's wrong with India will take you a day (or less), but to see what's good with it, may take you a year (or more), and conversely, to see what's good in the west will take you a day (or less), but to see what's bad with it may take you a year (or more)". I could not agree more to this statement today .
In the US, most desi associations organize incredible independence day celebrations, and a lot of the NRI community in US, takes an active part in the celebrations. So a lot of people like me, who may have never attended even a flag hoisting back home, will go out of their ways to attend the celebrations, here when they are thousands of miles away from home. I think it's a part of the journey of living in a different culture as one's own, we go through phases of distancing ourselves from our roots, to try and mingle with the new surroundings, only to go back to those roots to find comfort.
So this independence day, as I remember my beloved motherland, I wish all my fellow Indians scattered across the globe a very happy independence day. I feel blessed to be born in a nation as great as India . Jai Hind !!
There is so much I wish and hope for my country's future, but words fail me, so I take refuge in the words penned by the great Indian poet and philosopher Rabindranath tagore :
"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake."
--- Rabindranath Tagore
I leave you with two of my favorite songs, that I love to listen to sometimes, when I'm feeling extra patriotic, and missing home :