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India celebrates it’s Independence Day today.
In the grand scheme of India’s long history, a few centuries under the British rule and then subsequent independence therefrom is not that big of a slice of time.
But the reason it is so celebrated is that before the British came India was never a single administrative entity. There were Kings and Kingdoms prior to the arrival to the White Sahibs from France, Portugal & Britain. And there were the Mughals prior to the British.
The Rajahs & Maharajahs & the Mughals had their own administration over their estates, their own defenses against the other armies, and married / warred with one another.
The arrival of the East India Company and subsequently the taking over of the rule of India by the crown in 1857 is possibly the single factor that led to the creation of the country of India as a single political entity.
While ‘India’ came into being in 1947, Goa joined India only in 1961 and Sikkim even later in 1975.
And since then we have never looked back.
So we, the current generation, see 1947, the British Raj and the feudal social model pre-British as a remote memory that touches our lives only through the fading memories of our grandparents.
But every now & then an author shows us a world that we only just escaped a social structure that seems totally alien and mostly unacceptable.
This only goes to show that the previous 2-3 generations of Indians have taken such large strides in their lifetimes that we have progressed distances that render those struggles distant. And we remain unscathed by the world that they struggled in.
We cannot pay it back, but we can pay it forward.
We owe it to life, to give back more than we received and to personally engage and do at least one thing in our lifetimes that will contribute to the making of our world.
In Ram Rajya the social rule was that one contributed daily to the development of the ‘self’, the ‘family’, the ‘community’ and the ‘country’. It is time to bring that back.
Let us each make our lives live on after we die. Let us each leave behind something that we will be remembered for by those whom we never knew. Let us each build India.
Along the same theme is an inspirational film by Rajan Raju – “Jiye Mera Desh” a personal project.
Happy Birthday India!
Aug 15 2014
by jaina mishra