"It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you." Any person who has lived through the traumatic two years between 1975 and 1977, when the Indian Emergency was imposed by the then Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi will mention this point.
Today, as we celebrate our sixty-third year of Independence, something occured to me. Most of us have no clue what it means to not be independent. We were born free and have always been fortunate enough to take it for granted. We don't know what it's like to live with tyranny and we've never felt the frustration and despair that comes attached with it.
In school and my junior college years, I had the opportunity to study history. I wasn't the topper or anything of the sort but I was pretty interested in the subject. I remember the way I used to feel when I read about the struggle for independence from the British Raj. The laws and taxes imposed by the British in our country were nothing short of discriminatory and insane. It was plain for all to see. All except the people who were in power. I'm sure you are aware that salt was taxed. Just imagine eating food without salt. It used to drive me into a tizzy just merely imagining about it, so, would you be able to imagine what it was like for the people who actually lived in that era? No wonder, the entire nation united as one and rebelled. They were pushed to the breaking point.
The entire country consisting of ordinary middle-class people like you and me, stood up and fought for their rights and even though we don't exactly how many of them actually contributed to the freedom struggle as no statues or monuments were built to honour them, they were ultimately freedom fighters. Each one is responsible for the freedom we enjoy today. These people fought and died for the chance to do something that we can do today: choose the candidates who will lead India by voting thus ensuring we will have a better tomorrow.
I'm afraid that we have forgotten the sacrifices made not so long ago. By our grandparents and our parents. We lived free for all our lives and have never had to defend our freedom from anyone. Thus, we have lost the value for it. It no longer seems like something that needs to be cherished or even maintained. But the truth is, it must be maintained.
We do have to stand up and take responsibility for the state of our country today and the state it will be in years from now. Whether you realize it or not, that power is divided equally amongst every single one of us. It's really up to you; are you going to continue sitting back and be content with what we have? Or will you uphold the tradition of those nameless freedom fighters who fought for something larger themselves: their country? On that note, here's wishing you: Happy Independence Day!!