Today is Independence Day in India. 75 years ago, the India that existed was divided into parts – India and Pakistan. 75 years ago, the British colonial rule over India ended. From the ramparts of the Red Fort, our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, spoke eloquently of the dream for a new India. A dream of cutting a path into tomorrow – the future.
75 Years of Independence
Here’s is a part of his memorable speech:
At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her successes and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of il fortune and India discovers herself again.
The achievment we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?
That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we might fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It mean the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe may be beyond us but so long as there are tears and suffering. So long our work will not be over.
And so we have to labour and work hard, to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for India. But they are also for the world. For all the nations and peoples who are too closely knit together today for any one of them to imagine that it can live apart. Peace has been said to be indivisible, so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this one world that can no longer be split into isolated fragments.
Cutting A Path Into Tomorrow
It had been a hard fought battle for Independence. And while we did finally gain it, there were many things sacrificed on the way. Communal differences, as the two countries were divided, saw terrible riots and bloodshed. We continue to live with these differences, fanned into flames by politicians and regligious fundamentalists.
Then there’s so much of disparity between the rich and poor. Corruption is rife. And violence on the increase. Journalists and others who dare to speak the truth are being jailed on false charges.
Patriachy is alive and well and women often treated like commodities. Rape, assualt, marital rape, domestic violence – we see all this.
We also carry the old baggage of the caste system that till this day includes untouchability! Just a couple of days ago, we had a horrendous incident – a little boy beaten so badly that he died – killed because he attempted to drink from the water pot meant for ‘upper caste’ children.
I’ve painted a grim picture, haven’t I? All of it is true.
What is also true is the fact that we can continue to dream and hope. Just as the freedom fighters and the first gaurdians of our country did. They fought, they sacrificed careers, gave up on family life and a lot more in order to right bring freedom.
Now it’s our turn. Are we up for it? Can we dare to be people of hope? Will we take responsibility to bring change? Can we stand up for the truth and lead others?
Will we be instrumental in cutting a path into tomorrow?
Be the most ethical, the most responsible, the most authentic you can be with every breath you take, because you are cutting a path into tomorrow that others will follow.Ken Wilber
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