This year, Indians all over the world celebrated 67 years of Independence. Speeches were delivered in states as well as in communities by local leaders highlighting freedom struggle and notion of independence. Children as well as adults celebrated with kite flying, radio stations played patriotic songs while TV channels showed uncountable movies and coverage of war of independence. Some of you would have also read the story covered in daily newspapers while some would have opted to travel as this year’s Independence Day holiday marked an extended weekend, so why not whiz away with family or friends for a brief weekend getaway? All is well, since all is being done in the right spirit of independence of one’s own thought, desires and actions.
But have you paused for a moment to reflect on the sanctity of the term independence. When you look around yourself while driving to your college or workplace or buying groceries from market, do you look at the child who is the rag picker, or the one who performs nautanki at the traffic signal and begs for alms. Or do you know people in your own family who employ a young girl or boy and make him do household chores while their own sons or daughters wile away their time. Considering this is all happening real-time, here and now in our society then whose independence are you truly celebrating? Can you be independent without emancipating the person next to you and further next to you?
This simple fact can be explained by the theory of domino effect. The domino effect is a chain reaction that occurs when a small change causes a similar change nearby, which then causes another similar change, and so on in a linear sequence. So if you emancipate your maid, or maid’s children, or the rag picker, or the car cleaner’s family or the office peon’s boy, you inevitably have initiated the domino effect!
When Pt. Nehru gave his famous speech tryst with destinyhe outlined for us a path to recovery, reconciliation and reconnaissance. Considering that August 12 was the International Youth Day and India is the youngest nation with 43% of our population being in the age range of 13- 35 years by 2020, each citizen of independent, urban and educated India has a moral responsibility towards ensuring that the cake of independence is divided as equally as possible, that the rights of every child are duly taken care of, be it reservation for economically weaker section in schools, right to free and compulsory education or abolishing child labor practices. All of these initiatives are only a success if they are supported and facilitated individually and independently.
After all, everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way and this is the beckoning call for our nation’s growth and our society’s well-being.
Written by: Ms. Sugandh Gupta