To the People of India, Happy 75 Years of “Independence”

Dear readers, and fellow citizens of this proud nation that is India. Happy 75 years of independence to each and every one of you who has displayed absolute devotion to the ideals of patriotism and nationalism in building this country to its glorious self today. I owe a special thanks to all of your individual contributions, which brings me to write this message from the heart today. 

To our ardent government which time and again reminds us to respect our rich cultural heritage and promotes secularism painted in the shimmering colour of saffron, thank you for gifting us our identities in the form of Aadhar Cards for we were absolutely lost without it. You have fervently protected your citizens from all the media channels presenting the harsh realities of our country as you know our feeble hearts cannot handle tales of caste atrocities and communal violence.

To all the police who leave their stations that hang huge portraits of Gandhi on their walls, thank you for being such ardent devotees of our nation’s founding father and taking care of the youth. Physical punishment for children by elders has been our legacy since time immemorial and we must proudly carry it forward. The bruises on our backs and the scars across our chests are only a reminder of how much the elders care about us and wish to keep us from going astray.

To our esteemed educational institutions which have saved us the trouble of actually using our brains and offered a beautifully coloured depiction of our nation’s history that is easier to remember when we are writing our exams, thank you for passing all the students with flying colours. From deciding our daily outfit for us to reminding us of our positions in life as girls and boys, you have taught us better than freely expressing ourselves for the real world does not really need that.

To our thoughtful parents who always scolded us for displaying any negative emotion, thank you for teaching us to smile through our pain and never be vulnerable. You kept us safe at home away from the perils of the world and decided our careers for us so we would not have to bear the burden of choice. Thank you for always being there… always.

And finally, to us – the Millennials and Generation Z – who always raise their voices on social media for inclusivity and against all societal evils, even if they may stray from their words in reality. But honestly, it is not easy being politically correct all the time. So, thank you for persisting through this generosity of our authorities, and at least trying to make amends for our flaws, while continuously running in a rat race and never reaching the finishing line of societal expectations. This so-called era of independence has perhaps bound us more than ever before. But thank you for maintaining the hope for a freer tomorrow every time you raise flags on the 15th of August, year after year. One battle for freedom was won by our forefathers 75 years ago – the next victory shall be ours.

*This article was originally published in our Independence Day Issue – Volume 15| Issue 02. 
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Aditi Gutgutia

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If you're looking for discussions on cinema, music, literature or pan-Asian food (or any food tbh)... Aditi will probably avoid your phone call but won't stop talking if you meet her in person.