Rolling into 62

Another year, another Independence Day. Every year I get excited to celebrate India's I.D and while this year should be no different, I find myself saddened. How much has happened in the last year; hit by the most massive Terror Attack on Indian soil, followed by a complete fallout within the the Indian government, Indian students being attacked in Australia, a small voter turnout in some areas during voting season, the IPL being moved to South Africa and the ShineyAhuja raping his maid-servant.

But what still doesn't fail to disturb me are the images of 26/11/08. I still find myself crawling back to those dreaded images and more so now, when we come up to 62 years of Independence. My memories of I-Day are normally repeated every year. As a child, we would spend all our summers in Bombay (Mumbai now). Ultimately, this meant 15th August was a day of immense celebration which began a day or so before when I would buy heaps of Indian flags and decorate my grandparents Ambassador car with them. My grandmom was convinced someone would think the car belonged to a local politician and would shoot us down. To this, I often laughed. On the morning of August 15th, my grandfather would drag us down to the society podium in our pj's and insist on us watching the rolling of the flag. He would reiterate the importance of the flag, the meaning of the tricolor banner and remind us of how lucky we were to be Indian. And that's all it took for me to be a patriot.

From then on, there was no looking back. I was mesmerized by everything Indian and have never stopped. And I don't think I ever will. I see the faults in my country just like every Indian but I also believe that it has more good than bad. Amidst the bad, I see a country united by secularism, filled with great culture, amazing developmental power and the potential to make it to the top. The speed at which the country has moved up the ladder has been phenomenal and India clearly is competition to many other powerful countries around the world.

But 62 years later, we are still looking for ways to destroy and eliminate corruption. Still finding methods to protect our citizens and yet we find film industry at its ultimate peak. How ironic. Priorities must be shifted to making India a place to beckon with -- which it will be, I'm sure. Until then, the wise have said, "If there is paradise anywhere on earth, "It is here, it is here, it is here."

Happy August 15th!!! Jai Hind!

Photo Credit: Naresh Agarwal

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