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Celebrating 60 years of Independence

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

First, I would like to congratulate all of you on independence day. This is one day when we actually think about our nation.We feel patriotic and say some nice words about the “nation”. After 15th August,life gets back to normal and all of us get lost in the humdrum of our daily lives.

All this set me thinking as if what can we do in our daily lives which might help ‘build a great nation”. It is obvious that what we do on 364 days of the year is much more important than what we do on this single day.Let me share what I feel we can do.

First thing I feel is that each one of us should feel proud of “India” and its achievements.At the same time, we should feel proud of our individual achievements.After all, India might not have achieved what it has without individual contributions from each one of us. I agree we have bad politicians and corrupt bureaucrats but also remember we also have a Narayan Murthy, Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh and a Sachin Tendulkar!

Being cynical of our nation, might not help.This doesn’t work,that doesn’t work, the system is rotten etc etc. Lets just focus on “how I can contribute”. All these brilliant individuals have contributed to “nation” building by being experts in their respective fields and not by taking the “big burden” of solving nation’s problems.

Another important thing I feel each one us need to focus on is-“Working hard and doing quality work” . I know many of us work hard but what about quality? Just because we don’t believe in quality we don’t demand “quality”. And just because we don’t demand, we don’t get the quality. if Japan is known for quality and US is known for innovation, what can India be known for?How can we as individuals contribute to building that “brand”? India’s brand in the IT sector was not built by some advertising campaign but by the hard work and productivity of all my fellow engineers in the technology sector.

Writing this, I remember an incident which I had experienced while on a trip to South Korea some years back. I was astonished to find that South Koreans worked really hard. 15-20 hour workdays was a common thing. Sometimes, it was difficult to keep up the pace with them. So I asked one of my Korean colleagues- Don’t you guys feel tired? Don’t you believe in enjoying life? What he told me totally stunned me. I am doing all this hard work for my country!Till then I had never realised that one could get the feeling of serving the nation just by putting your heart and soul into your work.

When I looked at their history- South Korea was economically similar to India in 60’s.Agriculture based economy and poverty all around. And today if you visit that country, you might be amazed with the progress they have made in last 50 years. They even had all the infrastructure to hold a World Cup Soccer tournament! All of us know about brands like Samsung or a Hyundai. Who had heard of a “Samsung” 10-15 years back?

Another thing that all of us can do is to “follow the rules”. In India, we make our own rules 🙂

It is a free country and each of us has the freedom to do things we like. But freedom without discipline and self awareness creates an undesired “chaos”. All of us shower praises about US -‘what a clean country’, ‘how everything works systematically’ etc etc.. Do you ever think about ‘cleanliness’ when you throw that empty pepsi can out of your car’s window on the road? Do you think of “rules” when you jump that traffic signal?Do you think of rules when you cheat on your ‘taxes”?

Lastly I feel all of us might do well to embrace a “caring and respectful attitude”. Let us make an attempt to care for others.Show care for your family and colleagues. Lets show love and generosity for the underprivileged. Lets be respectful to others and listen to others’ point of view. Lets embrace the motto that “we are not always right”!

Th above things might make us more “patriotic” than hoisting the Tricolor on our rooftops.Lets make a sincere attempt to improve our lives and make a difference in others’ lives.

Jai hind!

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Categories: News Analysis
  1. palak bilaye
    Monday, July 21, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    a very nice essay!!!
    thx for making us feel about nationalism and patriotism!!!!!!!!

  2. Tharik
    Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Well said and explained.

  3. Wednesday, August 15, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    I agree with all that u say, but for one thing…. Why should we think of this only on one day and not on 364 days. U know what.. I think we Indians should all put put up a summary of what we want India to be and how we as individuals will contribute to it as a write up at our work places and home and keep reading it atleast once in a day.. something similar to setting a goal and re-iterating it daily

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