My Dear Students
I wish you all a very happy independence day and I wish you young boys and girls go on to achieve whatever you wish for in life.
But, on a slightly different note, I want you to ask yourself the following questions:
Apart from a day off, does this day signify anything more to our generation?
Why were people like Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Tilak, Azad (by the way do you know that the real name of Chandrashekhar Azad was Chandrashekhar Sita Ram Tiwari) common in India before 1947 and how did they get replaced by the corrupt people who represent you?
Are you truly independent?
You are all such big fans of Bhagat Singh!! What do you think he would feel like looking at you and what you are doing for your country, your society, your family?
This independence that we so enjoy and ultimately misuse was earned at a very heavy cost. there is perhaps nothing more valuable in life than independence. But what is independence? Is it a freedom to do anything you want? is it the freedom to get up and go to sleep at will? A freedom from duties and responsibilities?
Freedom is much more than all that. Freedom is the privilege to do what is right. Freedom is control over your own actions. Freedom is the lack of insecurities and complexes. That person is free who is clear about himself or herself and is comfortable with whoever he or she is.
I have often seen youngsters use the word “responsibilities” and “lack of independence” in the same vein. That is a mistake. Your duties are your life, the reason for your existence, your differentiation from a mere animal existence.
You loose independence when you loose the courage to do what you know is right. You loose independence when you become slaves to money and success. You loose independence when people tie you down with their agenda because you did not have any.
This year make the following resolution.
“I will always strive to make a true positive contribution to people around me. I will not talk about my own country in derogatory terms. I will not harbor extreme views towards any country or religion. I will respect people. I will respect knowledge. I will respect learning.”