"Bharat Mata ki Jai!" How many times have you said that? "..I love my country and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage. I shall always strive to be worthy of it.." How many times did you take that pledge? How many times have you stood in attention to sing the National Anthem? How many times have you read the news that India won in any sport event? How many times have you thought that why do we need to feel 'Indian' only on '15th August' or '26th January'? Probably many times. That said, but how many times have you felt the flow of emotions through your nerves and veins when you said "I am proud to be an Indian?" How many times you felt that sheer happiness coming through, that sense of belonging, that sense of involvement in every phase that the nation undergoes? You may have pondered on that or you may not have given a thought at all. Whatever might be your answer, this is the right time to think what Independence really means to us and to think whether we are really free in our country.

Let us see the contemporary India. A Professor is booked because he shared a cartoon mocking a Chief Minister. A farmer is branded Maoist and booked under different sections of IPC, just because he said to a CM that her promises were not being fulfilled. Where is the Right of Expression? Ethnic clashes erupt in one part of the country and entire north-east is cut-off from India. A section gathers in another part of the country to protest those clashes. That protest turns violent leading to the loss of life and of public and private property. States fight over safety of a dam and also on their share of the water from a river. Maoists create so called free zones and when security personal enter those zones they become an easy target. Allegations of large scale corruption have become so common that they aren't any breaking news now. Growth rate of the country is at its lowest in last ten years. Prime Minister, a seasoned economist accredited for the liberalization of the Indian economy, and his colleagues promise every day to improve the situation, but to no avail. There are looming threats of downgrading by rating agencies just because they say that our government is corrupt and indecisive. Houses of Parliament are adjourned on big and small issues, as if adjournment is a solution to anything. Large scale protests are carried out against corruption, even though no one is listening to them. Terrorists cross borders and carry out attacks like one in Mumbai in 2008 and even after four years we could neither bring the perpetrators under trial nor there do exist any guarantee that such incidents will not happen in future.

What Independence Day Means

When we gained Independence there were problems like demand of new states, water-sharing between states, demands based on ethnicity and languages, economic challenges etc. After sixty five years of the Independence these problems still persist. You can hear the voices being raised in different parts of the country for creation of new states and sometimes those voices take violent forms. So one might be tempted to think what we have achieved on these fronts which have a potential to cause problems in future also. Only a solution to all these issues can bring independence in real sense to a large part of the country.

So when you say again "Bharat Mata Ki Jai", just think for a moment that how can we be the part of the solution? How can we contribute to the growth of the Nation? That contribution will be the real celebration of Independence Day.

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

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