haven’t written a post in 2 months, and considering my last post was in a way about Gandhi and Tagore, it seems fitting that this one is on India’s 60th independence day. i don’t think i have thought about the significance of the day much… and i feel sad about it. my parents came over during the partition and were amongst the millions affected by the events surrounding India’s freedom. my father had played a small part in the freedom struggle even though he was barely a teenager then. have i imbibed any of this?

well i do love my country, am not one to constantly crib about what’s wrong with it and look to developed nations as the beacons of all that is right. but do i really think about what it means to be independent? i think i am part of the billions that take it for granted. we tend to forget that at 60 years young, we can’t possibly accomplish what developed nations have taken hundreds of years to achieve, that too at the expense of other countries, deriving much of their wealth and power through conquests. its remarkable that in a few decades we have at least established our expertise in so many domains, and are consistently rated the country to watch out for.

does my father like the state of this country today? no he doesn’t… but he says politicians have always been corrupt and nothing better can be expected of them. but he does say one thing… this is a country of tenacious people and we will not let go… even if we are now more self driven than driven by social needs, its our tenacity that keeps us going. its made him re-build his entire life, after he came here with nothing, no assets, no earnings, no livelihood, no legacy. all of that was left behind in Sindh. its admirable that today he has a comfortable life, that it’s a life he has built from scratch at an age when many of us today are cushioned in B-schools.

that’s the true story of India’s freedom. if nothing else, it has made a nation of people who can build their lives through hard work and who revel in their own self-reliance.

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