“Aye mere vatan ke logon
zara aankh mein bhar lo paani
jo shaheed hue hain unki
zara yaad karo qurbaani…”
Every time I hear these words, I cannot help but follow the command. I pause and remember those who struggled and fought for our freedom; I stop and appreciate those who guard us, today, from harm.
Hearing Lata Mangeskwar sing ‘Aye mere watan ke logo’ resonates within my heart, like I am sure it resonates with yours, reminding us, that the freedom that we enjoy came at a cost – blood was spilt and lives were lost. It serves as a reminder that ‘We are free because they fought and we should treasure our hard earned freedom.’
And we do!
We show our appreciation for this precious gift of ‘freedom’ with our words and actions. We stand straight and tall when the national anthem is sung. We display our deep love for our country by calling our country our motherland and our language as our mother tongue, which is significant because while our fathers are the head of the family but it is our mothers that command the most respect. We also take pride in our heritage structures, knowing they now house our own government.
Unfortunately, despite how much we love our country and appreciate our freedom, how far our country has come in the past 60 years but we still have miles to go.
Our forefathers won our freedom from foreign oppressors but we sadly lost a battle to internal corruption.
Today, our country is a hot bed for corruption and we the common masses perpetuate it further by offering bribes to quicken work processes. We are the root cause of corruption and if we want India to grow, to become an economic and political power, we as citizens must fight to eradicate the corruption from the root.
They say the war of independence gets the right direction only when the educated come together.
Today, we stand at the cusp of a new war, a war against corruption. We as proud Indians need to prove ourselves worthy of the gift of freedom our forefathers bestowed on us. We must look beyond the rosy picture offered, be aware of how the taxes we pay are utilized and raise our voices against injustice, discrimination and corruption.
So, that one day, in the near future, we can look at our National Flag and know that we deserve the freedom for which the freedom fighters fought.
On India’s 68th Independence Day, I urge each and every one of you to take the first step against the fight corruption by taking this pledge with me
‘I pledge to neither give nor take bribes’.