“At the midnight hours, when the world sleeps, India will wake up to life and freedom”. [from first speech of Independence Day delivered by our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru].
It was our first history class after Independence Day celebration. Our history teacher wanted to discuss about the history of Independence Day with the students, so he read out the above lines of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India. These lines were the part of his speech on 15 August 1947, at the historic Red Fort in New Delhi.
During the discussion, he asked the importance of Independence Day. He wanted us to express our thoughts and information about this national festival. Students responded with general answers, some said that we got freedom from British rule on this day, some said our Prime Minister hoist our Tricolor flag on Red Fort on 15 August for Independence Day celebration. The teacher got disappointed after knowing that young generation do not have enough knowledge about their country’s past and they are not interested to know that what struggles and sacrifices that our country has made to achieve freedom. So he gave assignment to the whole class to gather the information, facts of historical events related to Independence Day and then we will have to give presentation in front of the whole class.
On that day I asked my grandfather to tell me about Independence Day in detail. He said that he was around 18 years old at that time but till now he remembers so many incidents of that time and told me that era is always refreshed in his mind, as it was a difficult and tough time for every Indian, so many people had to leave the country during partition. He told me about the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and the movements of freedom struggle that were going on. He was keep telling about all the incidents and I wondered that how much have done in our past and we do not have any understanding on this. We thought that it is just a one day event which is celebrated by hoisting our national flag. But now I know that it is associated with a long series of historical events.
Our country has been ruled by the British for about 150 years. It was a difficult period for Indians and we were treated as slave in our own country. We did not have our own recognition or identity as a citizen of a country. Our previous generations had no other option but to bear tortures for years under British rule.
After a long tyranny of British rule, Indians finally decided to break the shackles of slavery, to end the tyrant rule and to raise their voice against injustice, which led to the first fight for freedom struggle in 1857. After a long struggle with British army were forced to leave India in 1947. Independence Day is marked as the day of victory of Truth, end of tyranny and injustice.
Many freedom fighters had to sacrifice their life in India’s freedom struggle. Freedom fighters such as, Bhagat Singh, Chandra shekhar Azad, Rajguru, are some the greatest examples among the martyrs who had to pay their blood in order to get freedom. They fought bravely to defeat British force. Their sacrifice of lives for the sake of nation is the best example of patriotism. On the one side there was fully armed British force, while on the other side, unarmed Indians with non-violence principles of Mahatma Gandhi fought in the limits of morality, truth and honesty. M.K. Gandhi played a vital role in India’s freedom struggle. He held the torch of freedom in his hand and lighted up in the darkness. Through the non-violent protests, Indians had successfully achieved their mission, for example, Civil Disobedience movement, Non- cooperation movement, Quit India movement etc. M.K. Gandhi’s philosophy and principles have always proved that the fight against injustice cannot always won through weapons and hence we should always remember his teachings while facing any difficulty. Freedom fighters have so much charisma on public that public followed their every single order with unity. The martyrs of freedom struggle gave the lesson that we should always be courageous in order to fight for our rights and we should never tolerate any injustice to any of the citizen.
15 August 1947 was a revolutionary era in Indian history, a revolution which showed a new picture of tomorrow with a better future. Independence Day marked as a golden day for Indians. It gives message that from now, people can lead their life with freedom and they can make effort in contribution of nation building. Now people are able to make their own recognition. Independence Day came with an authority that from now citizen would not bear and tolerate maltreating or tyrant rule and they would make effort on not to divide and discriminate each other on the basis of caste, gender, religion, region and language. Our citizen would realize their duties and responsibilities towards nation and we would make ourselves strong enough to sacrifice life for the nation. All the citizens would be treated equally irrespective of caste, religion and gender. During freedom struggle, Indians stood against British force with solidarity and that is why we were able to force them out of our country. Our country have diverse population in terms of religion, language, region etc. but we have to live united, only then we can say ourselves to be independent in the real essence. All these duties and responsibilities are well mentioned and recorded in our constitution. We should make efforts in order to give quality and moral based education to our young generation. We should try to make them courageous and try to develop love and patriotic feeling in them towards nation so they can grow as a responsible citizen.
During British rule, Indians were treated as slaves and restricted to show their potentials. Independence Day opened the doors for Indians to grab every opportunity to show their talents and abilities. After independence, India started progressing in many fields, such as agriculture, technology, theatre and movies etc. Many Indians have made their identity on international level in the fields of Science and research, medical advancements, teaching professions. These are the fruitful outcomes of freedom struggle which we enjoy today.
After a week when I gave my presentation on the topic of ‘Independence Day’, all my classmates were amazed that how deeply I have gather the facts and information and how nicely I presented it. My history teacher also appreciated my efforts and he was so happy that he motivated me to present all these historical facts, and concept of this national festival in the conference hall of our college on the occasion of next Independence Day.
Now I have also realized that today’s generation is so busy in enjoying their life that they do not show any interest in knowing that the time which we are enjoying with our families and friends and are leading our life with freedom is the outcome of century long struggle, bloodshed and sacrifice of lives. After knowing so many facts and incidents, I have developed more respect for our soldiers who sacrifice their lives, leave their families and are standing on borders for 24 hours for the sake of our protection. Their sacrifices are priceless.
The Tricolor flag which hoist on Independence Day is not just a flag but a symbol of our freedom which is earned by sacrificing of brave Indians. On Independence Day, we enjoy to fly kites with our friends. Those are not just a kite of paper but an inspiration which inspires us to fly with freedom and live under the open blue sky and lead a happy and prosperous life. I am feeling blessed to be a citizen of this country. Every Indian should be proud to know that how India’s Independence has proved a milestone for nation’s progress. Really, I am Proud To Be An Indian.
Author Bio : HUMERA KHATOON, 20 years old student from JAMIA MILLIA ISLAMIA UNIVERSITY, OKHLA, NEW DELHI. A participant of International Essay Competition, October.