Happy 75th Republic Day!
It’s easy to take freedom for granted when we haven’t had to fight for it… when it has never been taken from us. On the threshold of our 75th Republic Day, maybe we should take a moment to reflect if we’ve justified our freedom as citizens of India, and as a community that India looks up to. The very birth of our community is contributed to a fight for freedom – as our forefathers risked their lives to escape the tyrannical barbarians and death, in order to keep alive our sacred fire and uphold the freedom of our religious identity.
Republic Day celebrates the coming into effect of the Indian Constitution which sets the framework of Indian laws, governmental principles/procedures, citizens’ duties and more importantly our Fundamental Rights – the basic human freedoms – universally applicable to all Indian citizens – irrespective of race, religion, caste, economic status or gender.
As a community, we seem to have put a revolutionary spin on the great social reformist, Tilak’s famous line, with, “Entitlement is my birthright and I shall have it!” Yes – we’ve reduced the privilege of freedom into the mediocrity of entitlement. Our ancestors fought for freedom repeatedly – first, as Persians who had to escape religious persecution to retain the freedom to live and practice our glorious Zoroastrian religion; and later, as Indians who had to ward off the British, so we could live with freedom and dignity as citizens of an independent, democratic nation. Maybe it’s time to honestly answer what we have done to honour that sacrifice and sustain that glory we were bequeathed.
It is said, “Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.” Let’s not take freedom for granted by mistaking privilege for entitlement. Let’s replace our constant demands from the nation and the community, with gratitude and a promise to give back. Let our common love for freedom become the binding factor for us, as Indians and as a Community, recommitted to justify our title as ‘the jewel in the Indian crown’.
Have a lovely weekend and Happy Republic Day! Jai Hind!