“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.”
15th August 1947, the end of British rule and the dawn of a new India. The start of a free, sovereign and powerful India.
Indian independence was achieved after years and years of struggle. From the first rebellion of 1857, countless lives had been lost… but the quest had been won. The fight had been long and hard, 90 years of struggle to overthrow nearly 200 years of British dominance. India’s freedom was not achieved by any one person or any one kind of struggle or movement. India’s freedom was achieved by many leaders, many movements, many ideologies all with one aim, freedom! Freedom fighters and revolutionaries such as Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Sardar Patel, Pandit Nehru and many more had invoked a sense of nationalism and united the masses. People from different classes and backgrounds had all come together as one to fight for the country.
India’s freedom struggle was the ultimate representation of the true spirit of India. A coming together of people from all religions, castes, classes and backgrounds with a single aim, freedom. There was no division of purpose; although the methods may have been different the aim was the same, freedom. From Satyagraha and the Quit India Movement to the INA and revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, it took different kinds of movements and ideologies to win India’s independence.
It took 90 years, 90 years of non-violent protests, bloodshed, massacres, mass imprisonments and much more for India to finally break free from the shackles of the British rule. Hundreds and thousands of people had joined the fight for freedom with only one purpose in their hearts and minds – the country’s independence. India’s sovereignty was taken and the masses were determined to get it back.
And it was. Finally India was free. The British had been defeated and they were leaving India. On 15th August 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, stood at the Red Fort in Delhi and raised independent India’s flag for the very first time. India was finally free.
Today, India has travelled a long way from that brave but uncertain beginning. India is now a powerful nation with a say in world affairs but none of this would have been possible without the sacrifice of these brave hearts. The sacrifices of the leaders, the freedom fighters and of the unsung heroes gave us our independence.
We are a powerful nation but we can be better. We would be insulting the sacrifices made by the lakhs of people who fought for India’s independence if we are satisfied with where we are now and do not strive to be better. We can always be better, we must never be satisfied.
Let us vow to lead a life that would do all these heroes proud, a life that would make our country proud. Above all we must remember the biggest lesson of the freedom struggle, we can achieve anything we want only if we work as one nation and one people forgetting all our differences, real and imagined. After all, we owe it to them.
Wave your flag. Proudly.