It’s Independence Day. A day when the brands share ‘celebrating ___ years of freedom’ posts, while others come up with discounts or ‘freedom sales’.
A day when the ‘cool’ pages on Facebook will ask questions like ‘are we really free?’ or say stuff like ‘this is not real freedom’, while others will post any lame video about today, just to capitalize on the trend.
A day when people talk about how India is a hellhole, while others will post videos about how it is the greatest country in the world.
A day when politicians will lie to your face and you wouldn’t mind because it’s life as usual.
And also a day when you’ll feel, even if for a fleeting moment, the love that you have for your country.
I am not going to pretend that India is the greatest country in the world; it’s absolutely not. And if any of you have read my previous articles, you know how critical I am of our country, our government and of us. However, in this article, I am not going to talk about any of them; we have the entire year for it. Today, I will tell you why India is still worth fighting for.
No, I am not ignorant about the condition of our country. I am not blind to the rising extremism in this country, nor am I oblivious to rapes, lynchings or our dying economy. And no, I am not some crazy nationalist, who can’t accept that there is something wrong with his country.
I am just your regular IT guy, who works like a slave for a salary that’s barely enough to survive. Who goes to work everyday cutting through the traffic and pollution, on a bike that I have to pay the EMI for. Who has to give in to the corrupt traffic police, mad autowalas, and crazy bikers, on a daily basis. Who goes to the mall on weekends and has to think twice before buying tickets for that new movie.
But I am still here, telling you that India is still worth fighting for. And here are the reasons why –
India has taught me to stand up against hate
Image Credits: Deccan Chronicle
India has taught me that humanity goes beyond religion
Image Credits: India Today
India has taught me that you don’t have to actually go through their problems to help others
Image Credit: Telegraph
India has taught me that you can beat the odds, even if life wasn’t fair from the beginning
Image Credits: Youtube
India has taught me that you can reach for the stars (or Mars)
Image Credits: Livemint
India has taught me if we all come together, we can change the course of nature
Image Credits: Free Press Journal
India has taught me that we can sustain ourselves, without killing the planet
Image Credits: Business Today
India has taught me how to take care of our children
India has taught me how to take care of our guests and that there is no shame in letting them help us
Image Credits: The Logical Indian
India has taught me how we can all come together when times get tough
Image Credits: ADGPI Indian Army Facebook Page
India has taught me that there are people who believe in it and are ready to give their lives for the country and for us
Image Credits: Yourstory
I know that you can show me 100 other articles and news pieces for each thing I have mentioned here and prove how reality is different from the pretty picture I have painted here. And you will not be wrong. There are a billion things that are wrong with our country. But we have a billion people that can solve them if they want to.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of our country. But as an Indian, we can and should do our part in creating something that we can be proud of. And I am not saying that we all work towards making our country a superpower. I am not even saying that we have to make this country better than everyone else. I am just saying that we can make our home better, by looking beyond things that divide us, and help each other when times get tough.
I know it’s easy to call it a dump and leave as soon as you can to a better, more developed country. As an individual, that would probably the saner choice too. But sometimes, we have to think beyond ourselves. I am not saying you don’t have to look for yourself, you absolutely should, but there is a big chunk of people who cannot even move to a more developed state, let alone a country. While we have the privilege to move, there are people who don’t. And we can either choose to ignore them or work towards making our home better.
I know it’s a long article and doesn’t tell you anything new. Some of you can dismiss as naive and a crazy optimist. But I believe India is still worth fighting for. I believe we can rise up against hate and bigotry. That we can feed everyone in our country. That we can teach our children to not just become proud, but responsible Indians. And that we can give each other something to be proud of.
Happy Independence Day.