An Ode to Indian Independence

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~ Tejas Bobe 

15th of August, 1947 is a significant day in the history of India. It was the day that marked the end of over two centuries of the oppressive rule of the Britishers in India. It was then when the decades of struggle of the people came to an end. It was then when the Union Jack was lowered, and the Tricolor was hoisted for the first time. It was at that moment when we gained our Independence and became a free nation.

The day holds a special place in the heart of every Indian. It is the day that marks the end of the suffering of the people. The reason we are free as a nation and as an individual today is due to the sacrifice of millions of people who gave their lives for the freedom of the country. Today is the day when we reflect upon the past and remember the brave and beloved and express our gratitude towards them.

One of the earliest memories we have of this day is while in school. As children, we all liked attending the flag hoisting early in the morning. The early morning mist, singing the national anthem together, the sound of drums beating as you march towards the flag, the way you feel as you walk past the flag saluting it, all the memories are fresh in our minds. It is one of the first instances where you feel the pride of being an Indian. All our lives, we get to hear about the deeds of our freedom fighters and their sacrifices. All these tales of heroism we get to hear about freedom fighters like Mangal Pandey, Mahatma Gandhi, Rani Laxmi Bai, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhagat Singh, Subash Chandra Bose, Maulana Azad, and many more have inspired us in a way or another throughout our lives.

Celebrating Independence Day is not just about remembering the past, but also taking lessons from it. We didn’t achieve our independence in a single day, nor did we get it due to the sacrifice of a single person. It is a result of over two centuries of struggle at the cost of millions of innocent lives. Our independence is the result of the combined efforts of the entire nation, irrespective of the caste, creed, race or religion. It is what makes the struggling special, a nation united as one towards a common goal. It shows us how the unity and integrity of the people is the backbone of the nation. We should ensure that this integrity of the nation is maintained forever.

For me, an independent India signifies the freedom of each and every citizen of the country. It is a symbol that the people and the government enjoy autonomy, and a foreign power cannot influence them. Our ancestors dreamt of a country where people enjoy complete freedom but often there are disputes among the people based on language, religion, caste, race etc. Such disputes show us that even though we live in a free country, we are yet to achieve freedom from our thoughts and stereotypes. We have seen on many occasions what a united nation looks like, what it is capable of. Today, on this special occasion,  let us all take an oath to set our differences aside and strive together to achieve a common goal: a country where people from all walks of life can live together in peace and harmony. Until then, we cannot say that we are truly free at heart. We know the real value of our freedom, what it costs us, we cannot let our differences set us aside. Independence day reminds us to set aside our differences and come together as one, let us stand tall together as Indians and work for the betterment of society.

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.

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