The Teenager Today is determined not to break its chain of uninterrupted publication, despite the many obstacles on its way, and we are happy to bring you yet another issue coinciding with our Independence Day and Parsi New Year, falling on the 15th and 16th of August, respectively.
Independence Day generates a fresh sense of patriotism in the minds every Indian as we recall the great sacrifices made by our leaders who won for us freedom from foreign rule. It also rekindles in us a sense of belonging to a country as great as India, and prompts us to say again with some amount of national pride: “Saare jehan se acha Hindustan hamara” and “Mera Bharat mahan”!
More importantly, Independence Day reminds us of our responsibilities in nation-building, especially in nurturing the values of secularism, and brotherhood that finds its expression in the beautiful phrase “unity in diversity”, values that were uppermost in the minds of the founding fathers of our nation. We now see these values being thrown to the winds, particularly under the present dispensation. It is our responsibility, therefore, and in particular that of the younger generation, to bring these values back to the fore. This is the challenge we have before us and we have miles to go!
Irwin Almeida, a seasoned journalist and a close friend of The Teenager Today for many years, writes in his lead article Independent India: New Challenges, quoting Jawaharlal Nehru, on the eve of the first Independence Day: “The nation today ends a period of torture, and begins a process of discovering itself. The achievement we celebrate today is but the first step, an opening of opportunities to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us.”
The Parsis in India, in spite of it being a small community fighting extinction, has always proactively responded to the clarion call of the first Prime Minister of Independent India to the nation, on the midnight that brought us freedom. Freyan Bhathena, a young Parsi journalist of repute, painstakingly traces the origins of the community in our cover story and highlights the great contributions of the community to the cause of nation-building.
Significantly, the community celebrates Parsi New Year on August 16, the day immediately following Independence Day. The Teenager Today feels highly privileged to be able to feature the Parsi community and its stalwarts in our Independence Day Special. With a lot more of wholesome reading material to be read and enjoyed in this issue, we wish you happy reading, and a Happy Independence Day!