The hoisting of the National Tricolour atop the Red Fort in Delhi on 15 August 2022 by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, marking the 75th Anniversary of India’s independence from British Rule, is a matter of great joy and pride for every patriotic Indian! Indeed, what Independence Day commemorates is not the history of some people of some place but it is our history, the history of selfless service, heroic sacrifices, perseverance and determination of a great many people belonging to a diversity of cultures, religions, social and economic backgrounds.
This celebration marks 75 years of democratic governance, progress and achievements on various fronts, whereby we can hold our heads high with great pride looking back on the strides we have made in the industrial, agricultural and technological evolution of our country. We have certainly made remarkable progress in the education, health, science and many other sectors, even as our defence personnel stand tall among the best in the world, their selfless dedication and heroic sacrifice guaranteeing the country’s security.
However, today we hang our heads in shame at the increase in crime and corruption, and the corrosion of our social and moral fabric, and democratic principles. Many citizens of the minority communities, the schedules castes and the tribes live in fear and uncertainty. The bias towards them is evident even in the mainstream media. On 12 August, youth the world over, including India, will observe International Youth Day. It is high time that our youth roll up their sleeves and set to transform India into a progressive and fully-liberated haven for our countrymen, both of today and of the future. This involves ensuring that our hard-earned freedom is used for the happiness and welfare of all, whereby there is total freedom from poverty and illiteracy, child labour and bonded labour, caste system, child marriage and atrocities against women, as well as inequality and injustice of every kind.
Writing about the administration of the kingdom, Kautilya wrote, “In the happiness of the subjects lies the happiness of the king, in their welfare, his welfare. The welfare of the king does not lie in the fulfilment of what is dear to him, but whatever is dear to his subjects constitutes his welfare.” This advice of Kautilya to the kings of ancient India is all the more relevant to the rulers in a modern democracy like ours.
We would do well today, along with Rabindranath Tagore, to pray, “Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake!” Until then, India’s ‘freedom struggle’ will be far from over.
We dedicate this issue of The Teenager Today to the glorious memory of those youth who played a leading role in the independence struggle of our country, and to the vibrant young Indians of today who will with determination and fervour realize our vision of true independence!
Happy Independence Day! Vande Mataram!
Vincent Carmel brings with him years of experience in working with young people, and was actively involved with the Indore-based Universal Solidarity Movement (USM) for more than three years. A great lover of the North East, he was the Director of the North East Social Communications (NESCOM), organising motivational programmes for the youth of the region.