On the eve of Independence Day, people get busy preparing for flag hoisting ceremonies, parades and garlanding the statues of national heroes. Social workers plan to distribute food and clothes among the underprivileged. Some youngsters enjoy patriotic songs and videos on their mobile phones, but others feel that there is not much to celebrate on Independence Day as we are still facing issues like poverty, poor law and order situation, corruption, and unemployment. Orissa POST asked some youngsters how they intend to commemorate Independence Day.
Baijayanti Prasad, a student of Social Communication, from Bhubaneswar says, “India got freedom from the British and became a democratic nation. Yet, whenever I see a child selling our Tricolour on the streets, the question that comes to my mind is: has our country really got independence? Why are our people still struggling for food, shelter, education and employment? Child abuse, rapes and murders are common now. There are cases of senior citizens being thrown out of their homes by selfish children. Sometimes, soldiers don’t get the facilities that they deserve post retirement. Often, the government and the society ignore these issues.
“We celebrate Independence Day with joy and pride. We conduct parades and have sweets. But after the celebrations we find the flags abandoned on the road and the grounds. These things hurt me.
“I celebrate Independence Day with a vision that I have to first make myself independent so that I can make someone else independent too. I would like to extend a helping hand to children who need it because I believe that if I can educate them, they can find a way to make themselves independent.”
Beerat Sukla, a model from Cuttack, loves to come up with some fashionable attire on the occasion of Independence Day. “I am proud to be an Indian,” he said. “August 15 is a memorable day for the whole country. This should be commemorated with something new. I love fashion and hence I come up with new photos and videos related to fashion. When I was in school, I would regularly take part in the parade. Then, I did not understand the value of independence. It was just a celebration for me. But as I grew up, I realised the struggles our forefathers had undergone to make the country free. I salute all the heroes of the independence movement, as I feel today we are celebrating the day with joy only due to their sacrifices.”
Ipsita Mohapatra, a student from Bolangir, waits for Independence Day because she gets a chance to show her singing talent in college. She said, “I get emotional when I read about the independence struggle. On Independence Day, I bow my head at martyr memorials in our town to show my respect. I also make it a point to distribute sweets to children. And last but not the least, I take part in the college function in the evening where I sing patriotic numbers. Of course, on this day nobody from the audience asks for a film song.”
Himanshu Guru, OP