Intro: Yesterday, Kunal Hariani, Samara Fernandes and Martina Bhoya went around asking people what the 73rd anniversary of India’s Independence meant to them and what made them happy about their country
“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny”, said Jawaharlal Nehru in a speech at the Constituent Assembly the night before India gained independence. Have Indians arrived at the destiny they wanted?
Today, even children have a good sense of values and pride for the country. Kyra (9), shopping with her family at Title Waves, the boutique bookstore on the campus of St.Pauls Institute in Bandra, described India “a big country and that she particularly liked living in a joint family wither parents and siblings and her cousins. Of course she liked Indian food as well, though the monsoon was a difficult time, with everything “always dirty”.
Retired chairman of the Association of Mutual Funds in India A.P. Kurian, had a different perspective. He appreciated the glorious traditions that India has and described the democracy as functioning well. He was positive about the demographic advantage the youth have over the elderly and said he believed that India has a well-structured economy and has great potential for the future. But he deplored India’s has “unnecessary communal crisis”. He expressed his displeasure about the lack of broad-mindedness of politicians and the government. He also insisted that the government should ensure fairness and liberty.
Further down the road, Vaishesh Jadhav (26) a solid waste management worker with the BMC, spoke highly of the great people who led the independence movement like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Gandhi, and many others. Smart and articulate, he declared that he admired Babasaheb Ambedkar for establishing the Constitution but expressed his dissatisfaction about the rampant corruption which he considered is the main problem in India.
Closer home, Sagar Tiwari (18) a B.Voc Journalism student, was all praise for Indian history and culture, but he despised the way communal violence is happening around the country. Fully patriotic, he also insisted on speaking in Hindi.
Outside Duruelo Convent, Priyanka Prasad, a homemaker, was waiting for her child, but she took time off to speak. She said she valued the unity and brotherhood that India has but was disappointed with the dirty surroundings and how it affected health. She also positively expressed how people were generous in helping the poor and underprivileged.
In the same area, Rehman Qureshi, (45) a rickshaw driver who was buying fruit, expressed his despair about peace, which according to him, has ended years ago. But he also spoke with hope of the brotherhood and unity among Indians in general.
Finally, there was Mehboob Pashan (40) a floor manager working at the St. Paul’s Book Center for many years. He mentioned how India is a fast developing country entering the digital age with enthusiasm.
Overall the message was clear. There is need for improvement, but with a desire for a peaceful and secular nation at the heart and prayers of the people, there is room for hope and optimism.
Written by Journalism students Kunal Hariani , Samara Fernandes, Martina Bhoya
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