This Independence Day, let's revisit all things 'India'
There'll always be complaints, something to be unhappy about, but we can't ignore the very significant event that happened 70 years ago: India became independent. We have come a long way since then. There's still much to do, but this one day, let's take a pause and think about all the things that make us feel patriotic, that make us proud to be Indian.
Sports, a religion by itself in India
Sports have a way of bringing Indians together. When Saina Nehwal or PV Sindhu is swinging the racket, or when Dipa Karmakar and Sakshi Malik were standing at the Olympics, we prayed collectively. Cricket matches are another celebration altogether. Did you know that the June Champions Trophy India-Pakistan ODI had a viewership of 201mn- the highest ever for any ODI since BARC's inception?
ISRO: Connecting Indians like no other
We take pride in our prestigious space agency. When the ISRO breaks records- with Manglayaan, India became the first nation to enter the Mars orbit in the first try; this February, it launched a record 104 satellites at once- we can't help staring in awe.
Communities in India are much more united than we think
Despite fringe incidents of communal violence, inter-community love thrives in India. In fact, there were 8,391 marriages in 2015-16 under the Special Marriages Act that facilitates inter-religion/caste marriage- up from just 2,624 in 2013-14! After the Uri attack, the Hindu-Muslim bond grew stronger in neighboring areas: villagers swore not to abandon each other. Such examples make us glow with pride about our beautifully-diverse country.
When Bollywood becomes a unifying thread
Bollywood might not be making many great films lately, but show us a 'Border' or an 'Airlift' or a 'Rang De Basanti', and we will not be able to stop ourselves from feeling an immense sense of pride. Patriotic movies do so well that 'Dangal', one of the latest entrants to the list, became the first Indian film to gross over Rs. 1,930cr worldwide!
The places that make us feel alive as Indians
Wagah Border is a cornucopia of all things patriotic. Despite high temperature and long queues, we are there in thousands every evening. According to a BSF officer, in contrast to the capacity of the visitor's gallery (5,000), 10,000 tourists attend the ceremony everyday! The list isn't short- India gate, Jallianwala Bagh, Kargil War Memorial… we can't help feeling overwhelmed when at these places.
We pause, we take pride, and we walk on
As a country, we have a lot more to achieve: in terms of education, equality, justice and more. But we have made a 70-year journey, and we have made it well. Instead of cribbing about what we lack, we should learn to take pride in what all has already been done. With a boost from patriotic Indians, it is only uphill from here.