Independence Day – Respect our ‘New Mother India’

India celebrates independence day today

DUBAI 15 August 2017: India is celebrating its Independence Day. All Indians and friends of India are invited to join the Independence Day celebrations on Tuesday, 15th August 2017 from 0800 hrs to 0930 hrs at the Consulate General of India, Al Hamriya Diplomatic Enclave, Dubai. The flag hoisting will be at 0830 hrs, followed by a brief cultural programme.

Below is a an article related to Independence Day written exclusively for Emirates New 24|7 by Mousumi Roy, an author and Visiting Professor (International Relations), based in Muscat.


We have marched a long road from Indus, but we pause to ponder over centuries which have gone by. We are reminded of the dancing girl in bronze from Mahenjo-daro excavations in Indus Valley revealing existence of an old civilization in the Subcontinent.

Maurya’s, Gupta’s, Kushan reigns found place in our history as the ‘Golden Ages’; Kanishka, Harshavardhan and the like left their marks as efficient rulers. Then came Ghoris, Khiljis with chaos, it was followed by law and order as peace was the prime focus of the Mughals. Rulers like Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan strived to be the best of architects. But could they keep India united?

Then came the British, the French and the Portuguese and in the process the British ruled India for about two centuries, with their policy of divide and rule. It was eventually through the “Freedom Movement” led by Gandhi, Nehru, Netaji and others, that attempted to bring unity and patriotism among Indians. Netaji opted for an aggressive path with “Azad Hind Fauj”, while Gandhi, longed for peace through symbolic “Dandi March”, Nehru eventually became the leader of Independent India and declared freedom “A dream come true” on August 15th,1947.

History cannot be undone. But we can at least recognize what has been done to the people and then strive to honor them. The British came to the Subcontinent in 1608 AD for trade and eventually established their rule. Our freedom fighters faced much hardship, brought freedom for the country. Gandhi had once commented during India’s freedom movement from the British colonial rule, “the system is designed to serve the wealthy in the colonial powers while subjugating the poor”. Colonialism gave rise to capitalism.

Colonial minds are colonized – decolonizing a mind is a very difficult task. In Indian context too, after 69 years of Independence, not much has changed for the poor. While 69th Indian Independence Anniversary is being celebrated, we are still facing poverty, deteriorating law and order situation, growing corruption, uncertainty, economic disparity and political chaos.

We Indians have always been easy victims to the traps laid before us by others. Our blind trust on ‘British Traders’ led to the colonial rule in India. We continue to be victimized by the electoral traps of the politicians. When shall we become patriotic citizens? What is the reason for us not being able to defeat the corrupt politicians in elections?

Many countries their have own story of struggle against alien rule to achieve Independence. However, our freedom struggle was outstanding. No freedom movement united so many people. Never before history saw the weapon of ‘non-violence’ so powerful.

When good things happen in our life, we hardly recognize their presence. We only enjoy the rewards. This clearly shows the lack of understanding of the concept of freedom. We do not care to reflect back on the sacrifices made by our brave fellowmen years ago. The present young generation of discotheques, video games, shopping malls and mobile phones, let out a groan at the thought of having to come to school to celebrate Independence Day. To them Bhagat Singh is not a picture of patriotism but boring chapter in history text books. The essence of being an Indian has to rise from within for every Indian. We have to teach ourselves the fact that we are Indians is a thing to be proud of.

“I know there is an India, but I wonder if there are any Indians”- this sad statement was made by an Indian, none other than Pandit Nehru himself. A nation which has been unfortunate enough to be a slave to the varied rulers ranging from the British to our own avarice, it is painful to see the great divide that segregates the rural and urban panorama.

We live in a country where a rustic earns barely enough to live from hand-to- mouth while some in the city is affluent enough to zoom past the streets in a swanky new luxury car. This great disparity has given a false sense of progress and sophistication to the urban class who are on the verge of auctioning the heritage that is responsible for initiating education and dispelling the darkness of ignorance.

It is not only a matter of concern but also matter of shame to see the urban Indian teenager unable to speak his mother tongue with the same distinction as he can rattle off a rap song by ’50 Cents’. Every nation is not fortunate enough to boast of a heritage like the Indian heritage.

Promotion of secularism and independence freed the nation from the clutches of colonists. Thousands of lives were sacrificed for the single word ‘Independence’ for a single identity that of an Indian.

Sri Aurobindo once wrote “The soul of India triumphed first in religion” and this religion is nothing but our nationality ie, “Indian”. Swami Vivekananda gave a clarion call to the Indian Youth “Arise, Awake and Stop not till the goal is reached”. These inspiring words echoed in the ears of our forefathers as they broke past the fetters of slavery to gift the eternal glory of Independence to their successors.

What is ironic is the fact that in spite of being well-aware of our history, the Indian youth does not care. A sinking feeling inevitably erupts within me whenever a little boy is seen begging, perhaps for some coins, perhaps for life and to know that we are callous enough to do nothing about this apathy that surrounds us.

Learn from our history, appreciate the struggles and sacrifices made and imbue the past nationalism that beat in every Indian heart

Let us pray for the future, stability and prosperity of the country and congratulate all Indians on this happy occasion.


By Mousumi Roy