Today India celebrates her 74th Independence Day, a freedom earned after a hard struggle of 200 years against the British crown. Every year the nation wears a festive mood on this day however this year is bound to be different with the Corona prohibiting large scale celebrations.
The nation attained independence but did the citizen’s achieve independence in true sense especially from the old mindset, the old beliefs and traditions which are so deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds. In the present times physical occupation of the land mass is not a necessity to enslave a nation; capturing the minds, the thoughts, influencing the decision making, ruling the economy are what matter.
As a nation we are even after 73 years of independence still obsessed with jobs abroad, still prefer fair skin to be superior to dark, still consider that proficiency in speaking/ understanding English language is a must for achieving success in any field, are struggling to contain the caste/ communal/ economic divide between the citizens, still refusing to give the youth the right to make their own decisions, blindly offer donations at temples and not bother to do anything for improvement of our educational institutions and still struggling to end the quota system. Is this what our freedom fighters laid down their lives for?
On 15 Aug 1947 we just got independence from the British, but our still struggling to free our mind from the old thoughts, it is high time we made sincere efforts to change our mindsets.
The same people, irrespective of the caste, creed or social status who are so disturbed by the necessity to wear face mask have hardly ever made efforts to remove the blinds they have been wearing since ages on their minds restricting the thought, vision and imagination. Till we change our way of thinking the national dream of ‘Aatmnirbharta’ (Self dependence) will continue to remain a dream.
I am reminded of the beautiful thoughts expressed by the great Rabindranath Tagore in his work ‘Let my Country Awake’….
“Where the mind is without fear,
And the head is held high,
Where knowledge is free,
Where the world has not 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 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.”