It is since 4 decades I have not attended Independence day in India and have not sung the National Anthem. The last time I sang this is in 2012 when I last attended the celebration in our office organized by Community and Social Responsibility committee. I came to India in between but for only couple of days. I heard several times that India has changed but never bothered to explore. I always thought, if India will changes then the greatest that can happen is, it will become like the developed nations of our times. They even claim that India is now world leader in all aspects. These emotional people will say everything good about India despite the fact that it is the dirtiest, terror prone and corrupt country on earth. Like mother will never say anything other than good about her children although the child might be the dangerous criminal in the world. I was unfortunate to let my children study in Indian schools and my wife insisted on staying here in India.
For the first time I felt like going for a walk on early morning. It was a coincidence that today is 15th August. I thought I will get to hear some funny speeches in nearby ground so I walked there. Suddenly I heard a voice, “Sakti, Abe kitna budhdha ho gaya hai be?”. First of all I am delighted to hear somebody calling me ‘Sakti’ because I am so tired of people addressing me as ‘Uncle’. But immediately I was upset because I have been tagged as ‘Budhdha’. But from the tone, I could realize that he must be my old friend. And to my surprise he is my old colleague and dear friend. After little chat he invited me to come to the ground for independence day celebration. Not to my surprise there were only old people like me on the ground. I said, “I predicted this 40 years back that when 2050 Independence day will be celebrated, there will be only oldies. Younger generation at that time would be enjoying the holiday to take some extra hour of nap or some other entertainment.. The same was happening then as well but at least couple of people used to come.”. All oldies there looked at me with great surprise. I can understand the reason they are surprised. They must be guessing how this guy knew this situation 40 years back. I felt proud of myself.
My friend said, “You are partly right that youngsters did not come during independence day celebration at ground but the reason they did not come is different from your assumption.
In 2021, when the 75th anniversary of Independence day was celebrated then the country took a pledge to celebrate 15th august differently. Entire nation took the pledge to work for 18 hours on this day every year. There is no limitation or rule on what you work you must do, but whatever you do must be for the betterment of the humanity. They can do the same work they do everyday for living or any other social activity.
Ohh I forgot to mention that they do not speak today. Today entire nation takes mauna brata.
Interestingly we observed that productivity in this one day is equal to one weeks productivity. “
Independence day is a holiday anywhere in the world, this is weird. Independence day is the day to give speech, mauna brata on this day is extremely strange. Then I realized why those old men in the field were surprised and did not say anything. I asked my friend, “Then why are you talking.”. He replied, “because I knew that you do not know about this. It is not a legal restriction but a personal restriction by every Bharatiya. In there is a need you may speak but limit it to convey the necessary message”.
I rushed home to see what my children and grandchildren are doing. I found that nobody is there except my wife. She informed me that kids have gone to clean up the water in nearby river. That is the dirtiest thing I would ever expect my kids to do. We both went there to see this. Vishwamitri river was looking so beautiful. I remember when I used to stay here it was no better than any drain but now it was having so clean water that you can see fishes. Kids did not speak anything and continued measuring water toxicity and then putting some herbal solutions into it. I was proud of my kids. Then suddenly I heard,’National Anthem’ playing from somewhere. I stood straight and started singing. But noticed that all were busy working. I was bit angry with this behavior and whispered to my wife asking, what is going on. My wife said ,”The rule now is not to stop working and stand straight to pay respect to the national anthem rather to continue working with more concentration when you listen national anthem. National anthem is not to make the country stand still rather to make the country progress forward with great zeal and enthusiasm.”.
Many popular beliefs were broken and it was tough to accept it. But youngsters rule the world so I am just an odd man out.
– Stray Dog