By Esther Cabral
15th August 1947, a historic day of an unforgettable event. This was the day when our country, India, was free from colonial rule. The struggle that began from 1857 had reached its desirable closure.
With unity and respect for one another, the citizens of this country fought for our motherland. They collectively stood for each other. The patriotic fervor was immense. The British tried adopting divisive methods to destruct the social fabric of the country by trying to divide Bengal in 1906. But the people resisted this Divide and Rule policy. Later with Gandhi the path of non-violence was chosen to achieve freedom. The achievement of freedom by this means is in itself a triumph of the righteous and the good doer without the use of violence.
Sixty three years later, today, we are independent and become citizens of this country but love, peace and harmony is absent. The evils of injustice and divisive politics that we fought against have become dominant in the recent time. Why is there hatred and resentment? Why are there minorities in religion or gender in our country, when we consider each other equal? What threatens their freedom of expression? Where has our freedom of speech gone? Where is brotherhood among us people? Why brutal murder is called ‘honour killing’? Where is unity, love and respect for each other? These answers are as complicated and twisted as the minds of our country citizens. It is easy to fight with one another rather than forgive. Words of anger come out more often than acts of kindness and love. It is easier to restrict the voice of other’s than face opposition. The solution is love.
Rather clichéd but love is stronger than hatred…with love for one another you can automatically be respectful and tolerant to people irrespective of caste, religion, sex or even educational differences. It starts with us; generic conversations with your house help that can sensitize you towards their problems. A thank-you to the auto/cab driver or even to the bus conductor that can make them feel appreciated for the service they provide. A simple smile to the many individuals you encounter in trains, buses and on the roads rather than you walking with your headphones plugged in your ears indifferent to the world around you.
India hasn’t changed…the people have.