Friends, are we really independent?

1. Bharatiyas, descendants of the British !

We (Bharat) got independence on 15th August 1947; but a question remains, ‘are we really independent?’ The reason behind this is that we try to imitate the British in every possible way. The British committed so many atrocities. Brutal killings at the Jalianwalabaug, tying a patriot like Savarkar, as if a bull, to the oil-mill and whipping him. Many sacrificed their worldly life for the freedom of our country. Many of them were taken to the gallows. Despite all this, instead of getting furious for their behaviour towards us, we have become their slaves mentally. Under the guise of progress and science, we have forgotten our culture, God, our country and patriotism. In fact, by our gestures we try to prove that ‘we are the descendants of the British’.

2.Swaraj (self-rule) as expected by Lokmanya Tilak

Lokmanya Tilak had declared that ‘Swaraj is my birth right and I will definitely get it’. He had expected a Nation consisting of people taking pride in their own Dharma, Nation, Culture and Language. But today we see quite an opposite picture. When we look at this, we are forced to think, ‘are we really independent?’

3.This is the way we imitate the British !

3 A. Dressing like the British : Despite having achieved independence, we still move about dressing like the English. Boys wear tie, shirt and pants; whereas the girls are seen wearing jeans and T-shirt. We feel it is creditable. If anyone asks the boys or young men whether they have a set of kurta-payjamas, the answer is ‘No.’ We should realise that we live in independent Bharat. To prove that we live in independent Bharat, we have to wear Bharatiya dress at least at the time of our festivals.

3 B. Addressing teachers as ‘Sir’ : If we are really independent, then we should address our teachers as ‘Guruji’, instead of ‘Sir’. Rather than greeting them with ‘Hello’, we should greet them respectfully by bowing down to them with folded hands (doing Namaskar). The British were addressed as ‘Sir’. So must we follow it even now?

3 C. Feeling proud for taking education in English rather than in mother tongue : We still feel proud to say that we have received our education in English, even though the British had perpetrated atrocities for 150 years. It means that we are still the slaves of the British mentally. We should awake the pride for our language and take education in mother tongue.

3 D. Film stars being our ideals rather than the revolutionaries : We should have revolutionaries like Bhagat singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev and Savarkar as our ideals. They had renounced everything for the sake of achieving freedom for the Nation. They embraced the gallows in their young age. We should remember them all the time. Their sacrifice should always be a source of idealism, not the film stars.

3 E. Prideful of the British for all inventions, not getting informed about the original inventors : We are informed today that all inventions were made by the British and that is why we consider them to be superior to us. In fact, all those inventions were made by our sages much before the arrival of the British.

Inventions of –

1. An aeroplane – Sage Bhardwaj

2. Astronomy – Aryabhatta

3. Chemistry – Nagarjun

4. Botany – Jivak

3 F. Celebrating birthdays with Western style : Nowadays birthdays are celebrated by blowing a candle and cutting a cake. Is this freedom? If we celebrate the birthday by the Indian custom of performing an aukshan (the ritual of waving a lit lamp in front of a person) then we can say that ‘we are free’.

3 G. Consuming food like the English : Bread, butter, burger, pizza cannot substitute our Bhartiya food like rice, dal, curry, bhakari and poli (a type of Bharatiya bread). Our thoughts are moulded by the food we eat. If our diet is like the English, our thoughts will also be like them.

3 H. Addressing our parents as ‘Mummy-Papa’ instead of ‘Aai-Baba’ : We like to address our parents as ‘Mummy-Papa and not Aai-Baba’. This symbolises our slavery of the British. We should address them as ‘Aai-Baba’ right from today only, then we can say that we celebrated our Independence Day.

3 I. Feeling blessed by celebrating ‘Days’ like English people do : The Bhartiya New Year falls on the day of ‘Gudhi Padva’. But by celebrating it on 31st December, we show our slavery towards the British. We should take a vow on this Independence Day that ‘we will celebrate our Days and Holy Festivals, and not those of the British’.

3 J. Inappropriate actions while taking an oath, singing the National Anthem, National Song, tantamount to insult to the Nation : Nowadays some children crack jokes, talk irrelevantly, take to writing at the time of taking an oath. This amounts to insulting the oath; in other words, it is dishonour to the Nation. The National song is of 6 stanzas but it is never sung completely. We should be determined to sing the complete ‘Vande Mataram’, and not just 2 stanzas.

3 K. Causing dishonour to the flag on the Independence Day : Some children play with our National Flag; some tie the flag to their bicycle and roam around; some attach it to their shirt/blouse. In the evening flags are seen scattered on the ground. Selling plastic flags and wearing a T-shirt having the tricolour painted on it cause dishonour to the Flag. We all should take an oath today that, ‘I will never allow dishonour to the National Flag’.

4.Resolve to experience freedom by
changing the current situation of captivity !

Though we are independent, yet we are living in a kind of mental slavery. In short, we are not free but still in captivity. To celebrate an Independence Day in the real sense is nothing else but to resolve to change this situation.

Shri. Rajendra Pavaskar Guruji, Panvel