Saturday, August 16, 2008

62nd I-Day after 61 years, right?

Every time there is a festival or an occasion and we have a barrage of emails/sms-es that we are 'spammed' with (by the way, should we still call it 'spam' - when we're bombarded with unwanted and unwarranted sms-es??)

In fact, this year, instead of being a mute spectator and at the the 'receiving end'; I decided to initiate a message and 'spam' everyone else.

Here's what I sent out...

"Have we really built the country that people died for 61 years back? If NOT what are YOU doing about it? Let's not stop at 'Good' and go for .. 'Great'! Don't just read this SMS & stop...DO
something!!.. & well, a Happy Independence Day, anyway! - Sandeep Ohri"

I was attending my kids' school function when this came to mind and it took me less than a minute to come up with this and send it out.

Within seconds I received a response (make that responses) I thought it may be a good idea to just document these - after all a blogpost will survive a lot more than the stored sms on my cell.

I have reproduced them here (in toto, typos and all) and since most of the co-spammers are my friends, their identities have been protected...

1. Dis is sumthng u hav written?

2. :) Bhes badla par des kab badlayenge. Happy Independence Day.

3.'Falak ki zid hai jaha bijliyan girane ke, hamein bhi zid hai waheen ashiyana baanane kee'. Fight against terrorism. HAPPY 61TH INDEPENDENCE DAY JAI HIND.

4. This day reminds of the liberty for all that still eludes. Let's keep doing our bit to assert our liberty. We shall overcome.

5. Freedom in the Mind. Faith in the words.. Pride in our Hearts and memories in our Souls..Let's salute the nation on 61st Independence Day! Vande Mataram.

6. Thank you and wish you happy indipendence day. Give me a call,will join you for a good cause. Regds.

7. No more words. :-):-) let our works speak. :-). You are absolutely right.

Go on .. feel free to add some more..I know you are dying to :)

And just for the record, its our 62nd Independence Day after completing 61 years of independence.. do the maths. Last night, Sagarika Ghosh on CNN-IBN very boldly stated it is the 61st independence Day .. while the scroll at the bottom of her screen said, 'nation celebrates 62nd Independence Day".

I began to wonder whether I had committed a faux pas in my morning sms, so I sat back and did the calculations. 15-8-1947 was our 1st I-Day, then on 15-8-1948 we had our 2nd I-Day after completing the 1st year ..and so on... Therefore, on 15-8-2008 we are celebrating our 62nd I-Day after completing 61 years...right?

Well, 61st or 62nd, the fact remains, what have we really achieved? Have we really done justice to the efforts of those who actually DIED for this?? Think, just think... what were they thinking of when they actually took a bullet for the country's freedom? ..what was the thought in their minds and in their heads, when they gasped their final breath?

I was in dual minds when I heard the children at the school make the (mandatory?) laudatory speeches in English, Hindi, Marathi & Sanskrit, extolling our nation's achievements (incl our latest poster boy, Abhinav Bindra).

I realised, I had done the same when I was in school - and actually believed that our country had been progressing at a fast pace. But as the age of innocence gave way to age of disillusion and then the age of reasoning and now the age of understanding, I really wonder whether we should 'fix' this or not.

Should those children have been corrected and told that we are a nation suffering far more ills than our achievements? Should their 'bubble' be burst? Should we take away their zeal and their
innocence? Should we tell them about the harsh realities that they are going to face as soon as they step out of their cocooned comfort zone? Should we tell them about the big-bad-world of politicians and underworld dons and how they muscle their way around?

Or should we let them hang onto their dreams of a resurgent India, the India that has produced the likes of ...Rabindranath Tagore, Sachin Tendulkar, Kalpana Chawla, Sunita Williams (?), Abhinav Bindra, Subhash Chandra Bose, Nehru, Sardar Patel (notice how the post-Independence ones are mostly non-political?)

Woke up at 6am and started typing... I am still in a dilemma .. and just can't stop thinking of it!

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