“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.

Today, 15th August is one of the 3 National holidays you get every year, and of course one of the most important days in Indian history. This day was mourned and cherished at the same time. It took approximately a century of revolts and protests by our, our very own freedom fighters to get the ‘Independence’ we enjoy today.

We are proudly celebrating our 73rd Independence Day. The children in their white-uniforms in schools all across India must have enjoyed the poem of Subhash Chandra Bose, the speech of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, understanding the importance of Independence Day, would have sung the National Anthem in sync. The adults with the newspaper in their hand, a cup of tea by their side, sitting in front of the television, would have listened to the Prime Minister’s speech followed by the roaring 21-gun salute at the Red Fort. Every Indian today had a glow of patriotism on their face, a feeling of pride and honour as our flag, the tricolour was hoisted in Delhi.

More than the every-year tradition, and the goosebumps that arise with our National Anthem, I would want to speak as to why this day needs to be highlighted. Our country has had its own ups and downs, and we still do. Our ‘Unity in Diversity’ has helped us come a long long way. It is seven decades of freedom now- to choose whom to give power to, to speak, to live the way you want, and we need to be grateful for that. Being the world’s largest Democracy, India today, owes it all to the people who have sacrificed their lives for the ‘free India’ throughout these years.

So this year, apart from the routine, the flag hoisting, the speech, and the ‘motichoor laddu’, let us take a moment to thank our forefathers for the freedom we enjoy today. Let us take a moment to wish for the wellness and happiness of those who protect us on the borders and their families.

When the world goes gaga over the Marvel and DC heroes, I would like to take pride in our everyday superheroes, who save lives wearing uniforms of different colours with different badges. As some parts of India are going through a tough phase, the two-liner that went viral over the Internet was ‘Mandir masjid doob rahe hai, bhagwaan wardi mein ghoom rahe hai!‘, and we know why.

For a change, let us learn to remember more than celebrate. From the hardships of the darkest days in the Indian history our freedom fighters overcame to our protectors in the present era, let us not take this ‘freedom’ we have today, for granted. Together, let us walk towards growth and development with peace and harmony, as a tribute to every hero without a cape.

Prathiusha Poduval