Remember how every year on 26th January and 15th August we were supposed to reach in schools very early for the republic day/Independence day celebration? We hated every second of it as yet another day for sleeping was ruined. But when the Flag was hoisted, flowing high in its glory with the wind and the echo of everyone singing the National Anthem in unison, the amount of pride we felt, that feeling, that was feeling was inexplicable.
We were pestered to listen to the same speech every year, but that made sure we knew and honoured the people who have made tons of sacrifices for our constitution, for our independence, who fought for our rights. How our innocent eyes would light up with pride when we heard speeches about those brave freedom fighters.
And then we grew up. 15th August merely became another day for partying. Of course we begin the day by blasting the speakers on full volume for playing patriotic songs as everyone should know how patriotic we are. Everyone looks adorable wearing clothes having the colours of our flag and miniature flag pinned to our chest, smiling, posing for pictures that we will keep as our display picture for a day and showing to the internet world how we ‘celebrated Independence Day’. And on the very same evening, the very same flags are found lying on the ground getting crumbled under the cars.
Now every society keeps breakfast, lunch on these days; why so? Understanding that is beyond me. So now everyone is excited for these days, but oh no, not for the flag hoisting though, just because they won’t have to cook for that day. The speakers which were initially used for playing patriotic songs for about two hours then are used to play ‘Dj vale babu’.
We’ve stopped respecting our flag; just the 70th Independence day and we’ve already forgotten what those freedom fighters did for us. The days when we would wake up with excitement to see our flag touching the clouds are long gone.
I do not mean to highlight the negative aspects only as there are people who genuinely care about these days. These are the people who might not necessarily care about what attire to put on or whether there is free food being served, these are the people who wake up with zeal to watch our tricolour dance along with the wind, to pay tribute to our freedom fighters. The togetherness seen during the parade, people seeing Independence Day as another opportunity to help those in need instead of partying gives me hope, that we have not entirely become ignorant.