Let me honestly confess that I always used to feel very elated on the Independence day as a child. More because of the march past in our school, the sweets which were distributed on this day and the blaring of loudspeakers armed with patriotic songs.
In our Hasan Manzil locality in the old city of Allahabad where I spent my childhood, I remember it was Gulzar halwai who used to religiously mount loudspeakers atop his house and the whole mohalla used to reverberate with Rafi and Mukesh patriotic numbers.
Somehow I never felt proud on this day as for me it was an occasion for celebrations unlike today which I see on Facebook and other social media where the notion of patriotism is displayed in abundance.
I was born as a proud Indian and will die as a proud Indian.
Every moment of my life and every day, I feel so proud to have been born in a country that is India and I thank Allah the Almighty that my grandfather and Abba took the right decision to remain here.
Never in my life and not even for once, I lost hope on the richness of our national ethos that is so assimilating, that is so plural in heritage and that is so accommodating for all stream of thoughts to flow and grow…
Our rich diversity where dialect changes every hundred kilometers, languages changes from region to region, our culture and traditions change colors and hues and yet we remain one. This makes me so proud to be an Indian as Nehru said Unity in diversity.
Aberrations like hate campaigns, lynching, violence have never disturbed me for history teaches something else. The agent of hate never survived on this soil, the Britishers had to force leave and their plan that India will collapse by its own inherent contradictions totally fell flat. We have survived as a nation, more powerful and more united even after some forces have been plotting for 71 years to prove the Britishers right.!
I feel proud to be an Indian for this very reason that we have not splintered because of our own strength and the strength of our national ethos. This will always guide the national destiny whosoever remain in power, the rulers will perish and not India and its richness.
All my life I never thought of giving up my nationality in the lure of dollars or pounds or in the name of future and I have no love for those who forsake their Indian nationality. How can anyone born in India and brought up on this soil can think of adopting any other nation as their karma bhoomi.
My salutations to Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru and all freedom fighters on this day