The Responsibility of Being Free

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The Responsibility of Being Free.

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The Responsibility of Being Free

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A hardened cynic would say today was the bi-annual airing of our patriotism which seems limited to flag hoisting ceremonies, listening to the patriotic songs of yore and airing the few movies we have on the subject of “desh bhakti”. Add discounted sales in malls and we are sort of done till January. Patriotism then gets shelved while we as citizens go about our daily life, cribbing about what our country lacks and where our “leaders” are taking it. More often than not, we ourselves use the acts of others as an excuse to slack off doing them at all. There is a lot we CAN do. We just tend forget the small stuff that WILL count in the bigger picture of the country and make it more appealing.

The most hardened cynic cannot withstand the beauty and dignity of the Tricolour.

Tiranga

Tiranga

It would do our nation and consequently us a world of good, if we were to remember what the Tiranga embodies and live by it a little.

 “Bhagwa or the saffron colour denotes renunciation or disinterestedness. Our leaders must be indifferent to material gains and dedicate themselves to their work. The white in the centre is light, the path of truth to guide our conduct. The green shows our relation to (the) soil, our relation to the plant life here, on which all other life depends. The “Ashoka Chakra” in the centre of the white is the wheel of the law of dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principle of those who work under this flag. Again, the wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change.”

As explained by Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Which brings us to Change. Which is perhaps always a process brought about by the resolve of the masses. The strength of a country lies in its people. Their attitudes, values, beliefs and actions are the warp and weft in the fabric of its existence. The more responsible the people, better the quality and durability of the weave that is India.

As this song says…

taaqat vatan ki tumse hai, himmat vatan ki tumse hai

izzat vatan ki tumse hai, insaan ke hum rakhwale

taaqat vatan ki humse hai, himmat vatan ki humse hai

izzat vatan ki humse hai, insaan ke hum rakhwale”

Takat Watan Ki Hum Se Hai

 

While the song is the sentiment of a group of motivated soldiers, nothing really stops us from embodying it too. (I recommend listening to this and all our patriotic songs. Each has a little thread of glory we would want to restore to the fabric of the country).Perhaps it is time for us to become foot soldiers of change and march towards a transformation . Follow that traffic rule diligently. Respect women. Don’t litter. Don’t bribe your way out of a mistake. Keep visitors safe. There are hundreds of ways.

Yes -I can see some indulgent and some amused smiles at the idealism of this write up. “It’s not so simple” and I should know better. Right?

You see the thing is that I truly want to bring some change to the way India is perceived negatively by the world and by fellow Indians. As a small cog in a huge wheel, am I expecting a revolution of responsible behaviour? No. Of course not. (Though if it would be brilliant if it did happen).I only share these thoughts in the hope that even if one person reading them agrees and acts, I will have succeeded. Remember-the small stuff building up? So there you have my reason for this rhetoric.

Then again, I am writing all of it down to be able to re-read it occasionally, as a reminder of my resolve, lest I forget.

Our freedom came to us through the relentless efforts of many. The least we can do is responsibly preserve this legacy of our forefathers and leave a worthy bequest to our youth.