Me, and India @ 75

Independence Day celebration has become a matter of curiosity for me
Aaradhya with her grandfather
Aaradhya with her grandfatherSpecial arrangement

BY AARADHYA GUPTA

I am a child born in the year 2012, almost after 65 years of Indian independence.

For me freedom struggle is an important read in my text book, and despite my desperate search I couldn’t find anyone who fought for freedom around me. I’m third generation privileged born in Independent India.

In the last few years I have been watching Prime Minister Modi speaking at the Red Fort on every 15th August.

For me it was an annual ritual watching him going to Red Fort in a colourful turban, and saluting our brave soldiers and freedom fighters.

For me, participation in school play on independence struggle, and advertisements about Har Ghar Tiranga and Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, IndependenceDay celebration has become a matter of curiosity and study.

I tried my best to search people who saw British rule in India, and the search ended with my grandfather - my loving Nanu.

After listening to the Prime Minister’s speech, I dialled my Nanu to check if he could give me some knowledge about pre independence India.

After usual greetings he displayed his displeasure in his own style for not calling him regularly, and scolded me for not remembering him. Finally, after all this, I told him about the reason of my call.

I asked, if he can tell me about his experiences of British rule and India. He got excited and narrated the whole story.

“There was no expression of freedom. We were not allowed to speak a single word. Result of any statement against Britishers was hanging, brutality, or insult. There was no self rule and we were asked to follow all their rules and regulations. Public beating and open firing was a regular feature in pre-independence India. We were not allowed to step out of our houses without their permission, and it was only for essential purchases. Without reason Indians were jailed, that too without food and water”.

These are the words I heard from someone who spoke very passionately and painfully. I could feel his pain while talking about India. This is one example, and I know that many more freedom fighters are still alive; those who fought and went to jail for this big day.

I’m a child born in free India with lots of privileges. I go to school in a car, my father drops me there, and mother picks me back home. Now I realise, there are many who don’t have parents and some don’t have money to go to school. I see kids selling balloons, and begging on roads. Now I realise these kids are still not independent, because they can’t have their food freely; they can’t get their education.

When I asked Nanu what he expects from me, he said, “we have to make our country prosperous, and take this country to the pinnacle of development. We have to hold our flag high. India should be number one always, and we should all work hard for this.”

Nana ji, I can’t make promises to Gandhi Ji and Nehru Ji. But I want to assure you that I will work hard to fulfil your dreams, and the dreams of our great leaders. As you told me, we are part of this generation, and the future custodian of this country. I assure you that we will work very hard to build ourselves, and build this nation. This is my promise to you on 75th Independence Day, and my endeavour for India’s 100th Independence Day after 25 years.

Jai Hind

Aaradhya Gupta is class VIth student of Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Delhi.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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