They say patriotism is something which declined over years. They say people then had the sense of patriotism running through their veins and that now people are more interested in money, movies and careers to care about things like patriotism. They sometimes even say that there are people now who know not that August 15th is our Independence Day. This can be the truth. Anyways who am I to say yes or no to this.

There can be such people somewhere. But in my case and in that of most around me it’s not like that. There maybe people who say Independence Day should be celebrated in sample Quit India movements or Boycott movement and even by going to a beach and ‘manufacturing’ salt. But I am not for that, so is not most of my generation. I have always felt that those indulging in the above said activities got to be called politicians than Indians. When Mahatma Gandhi did those, there was an aim in front of him. It was to drive the British out of here and to free us from the foreign rule. He succeeded and we are now free. What’s the aim of these politicians in doing these? There can be a lot of things that can be done for people now. But they prefer doing these ‘sample’ things which can never go wrong and can never do anything good.

I know what I say is a bit too much. These people may be doing this to make us remind what struggles our Freedom Fighters took at those days. But I would hate to call Gandhi our National Father if he had came in a car with police protection to the Dhandi beach and went near a stage with a stove. I would never had been proud of him had he just lit the stove with a lighter. That’s how the politicians show us how Dhandi march was. I don’t believe this show can do anything good for us mainly because this is not what happened. Gandhiji didn’t come in any AC car. He came walking a LONG way. He too had police protection. That was not to protect him from the mob but to prevent him from coming there. There were many to help him but I know he would have declined their help and did things alone and set an example to those following him. Else why would they call him the Mahatma?

I have managed to get the patriotic sense even without going to these processions. I have always felt the sense of patriotism on Independence Day by going to the school for the Flag Hoisting Ceremony and by watching those patriotic movies on TV. I still remember how thrilled we used to on this day at the Independence Day celebrations at school. I often get reminded of those patriotic songs, long speeches that somehow managed to be not boring and at times even interesting, flag hoisting and then the Flag Salute. There used to be sweets distribution which made us nostalgic cause the sweets given looked to be bought at sometime around 1947. I wouldn’t have been surprised had someone told me that those sweets were actually bought by Gandhi himself.

Today, on the Independence Day, we have a lot to be proud of. One of our fellow Indian, Abhinav Bindra has given us the first gold medal in Olympics in an individual event for India. This year’s Olympics can be called the best Olympics but I prefer to call it the worst yet. Indian team failed to qualify for the Olympics in Hockey. Hockey was always ours in the old times. I have read about the great Dhyan Chand and how he used to dominate every single game. Somewhere we let other countries overcome us.

Abhinav has certainly made us all proud. But do think, China the largest country has around 35 medals with 22 gold medals. We the second largest country are stuttering somewhere in the below with just one gold. India is the most diverse country and the one from where most results can be expected had there been enough facilities for the sportsmen. Corruption stops development. A lot of money has been spent on sports already. But most of it went to the pockets of the politicians and officials and very little was used properly. This is just one reason. Laziness is also another reason. I personally don’t enjoy getting up early in the morning and running. I can never say no to a cozy bed in the morning even if I know running is good to health. I have at times felt there is another reason which is lack of status in the society for sportsmen. We do give extra ordinary support to those who succeeded. Success stories are always beautiful. But there ought to be failures too. Failures should don’t be considered bad. Atleast they tried. That means they are better than us. We should also be proud of them and should support them. We always see many examples for sports people who are neglected. Saying one is a sportsman is not a fashion anymore. These are a few reasons I felt was obvious. There can be many more.

Here is another Independence Day and this shall be over in another 24 hours. But this one should be made different. We should decide to change ourselves for the better. This is a statement which all say but till now have never produced any effect. Even if we can’t change the whole setup as it is, we should try to change atleast our attitude. That can make a big difference. Especially on this Independence Day, when the whole country is on a festive mood also due to the first individual gold medal in Olympics, we should come up to improve the sports and games in our country. Each one of us can do a bit for the cause. If we could encourage someone interested in sports, it’s the best we can do. I do sincerely hope the Independence day of 2012 shall be celebrated on even larger spirit with India on top of the Olympics points table. Happy Independence Day to all.



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