GUEST BLOGGER: NEENA VILAS TALPADE
On the eve of India’s 70th Independence Day – 15th August 2016
We wake up with a sense of pride and excitement, eager to see the ‘Independence Day Special’ live and we feel passionately proud of our Mother India. So, let us all reflect on what feelings and thoughts the word ‘independence’ evokes within all of us?
A hundred years ago, Bharat craved, struggled and sacrificed scores of lives for Swatantra.
It may be meaningful if we introspect a little and recognize the ‘tantra’ of the ‘swa’- ourselves.
If each one of us looks within, we will realize that we require clearing out so many cobwebs; those of our prejudices, insecurities, fears, hatred, greed, temptation and pride, to name just a few.
Let us re-adopt and re-invent if required, those time-honored values that cemented us together – patriotism, commitment, sacrifice, brotherhood, integrity, honesty!
2.Independence versus Dependence:
There is a huge cultural chasm between India and other countries over this very issue.
In India, we are, even in these modern times, largely interdependent in our relationships between, say:
- Parents/grandparents and children
- Siblings (Raksha Bandhan celebrates this!)
- Servant and master
- Neighbours and community members
This dependence on each other is often a sweet bond of give and take, not necessarily and not always ‘business-like’; in fact, sometimes it’s an exchange of only positive feelings!
(The risk: soppy sentimentality and impracticality)
In spite of this however, let us not summarily dismiss the value of dependence.
3.The other side:
In most other cultures, it is considered a sign of weakness to not be self-dependent. At home- the parents; at school-the teachers; at work places-the mentor; all work towards making the child or individual more and more independent.
(The risk: self-dependence leading to self-sufficiency leading to self-centeredness leading to selfishness! Phew!!)
It’s hard to conclude which cultural norm is better. While one fosters self-confidence and individual thinking-even research; the other builds close relationships.
At a global level today, a sense of collectivity becomes an essential world-view! To wrap up, I can say that ‘Independence’ is more important if it signifies the independence of the ‘spirit’, an indomitable spirit that fears nothing, that can stand up to ‘truth’ with complete confidence and that can ‘love’ without holding back.