Happy Independence Day

15th August 1947 - India's tryst with destiny. 60 years ago, Pt. Nehru made an historical speech (text, video, YouTube) and time has come to take a stock of achievements and gaps.

This year instead of sending regular Independence day wishes, I sent the following email to a few people ...

As we turn 60 tomorrow, I thought that instead of sending regular wishes and cards, I will ask a few questions.

I am sending this to a select few in my list. I am hoping that some of us will actually take time off our busy lives and ponder on things that have largely been ignored.

Ok here are the three questions, the ones I want us to think on.

Three questions
1. What is India to you? Are you proud to call yourself Indian?
2. What does independence mean to you?
3. If you could change one thing about India, what would it be?

Taking a lead, I thought about each of them and here are my honest answers.

India to me is more than a country. India is my identity. India defines me. I am as Indian as anyone can get. I am crazy about cricket. I am insecure. I am boastful and like to show off. I am hungry for appreciation. I think about society twice before I do things. I crib. I can find everything wrong with the system. I can talk but when it comes down to action, I take the back seat.

I am proud of our achievements. Humble they may seem compared to rest of the world but none the less they are achievements. They are what we have done in past. They are what we have not done in past. They are precedents and they are the benchmarks. Time has come to now actually raise those benchmarks.

To me, independence is about borders, boundaries and constraints. Freedom is about looking beyond these imaginary lines and aspiring to explore things beyond them. It is about thinking, trying, fighting and in few cases, actually achieving. Personally I would say I am still not free. I am still bound by constraints. I think twice before I take any step – big or small. There are many a stones that are still unturned. There are many a frontiers yet to be conquered. There are many a lives yet to be lived.

If I could change one thing, I would change the literacy rate from 50 odd percent to 100 percent. In my view, illiteracy is mother of all evil. Conquer it and rest of the demons shall be conquered. Easier said than done.

Please see if you can share your thoughts with me.

Warm Regards,
Saurabh Garg

I got a few responses and with their permission, I shall post them here over a few days. If someone is reading this and has an opinion, please share. Email me at septemberthe22nd@gmail.com.

15th August over the years
15th August 2006
15th August 2005
15th August 2004

Independence Day Wallpaper

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