Just like the previous August 15s, is today going to be the same? The same as in, August 15 is just another holiday where malls will be jammed, new films to be watched, delivery men and women fight the traffic to deliver online purchases and the middle and upper classes will eat out as if they’re not going to get another opportunity to have a sumptuous meal. And you, you are one of the millions who make it so. Or is it going to be different for you?
Well, even if you are one of these crowds or someone who decides to do something different, we have listed 8 things you can do differently on Independence day.
1. Write an essay about what independence means to you.
Think about it. Our life is made livable, comfortable, and tolerable by various people. Our groceries are taken care of by strangers. Our food for that matter is grown by people we don’t even know. We spend half of our ‘free’ time fiddling on keyboards-- browsing, chatting, shopping. We reveal private spaces of our lives to others with whom we do not incline to know a bit and nobody bats an eye. Is this being independent?
Or does the word ‘independence’ only apply to a nation, free from any rulership or dictatorship, rather than an individual?
Well, I surely have a pretty good idea of what independence means to me. I know you have as well. So today, why not scribble a thousand words, at least, about it? Keep it with yourself as a keepsake meant to be re-read a decade after to see if your thoughts have changed, or you can share it with the world now. It’s your choice. Now, can this be considered independence and freedom?
2. Give the common people a voice and make a short documentary about it.
Isn’t it a good idea to listen to what the common people think about today’s occasion? I mean, most of the time only politicians and prominent people get the chance to speak their minds. And that too at the comforts of their own homes where everything is done and served for them. What about those people who don’t even have the time to think about what it meant to be independent because they are busy thinking about how to put food on the table? Perhaps, this is the best time to have them heard?
3. Support Made in India products.
Independence sales are amassing huge visibility this week. While you are waiting for this time to buy some things for you, your family/friends, choose products that are made in India. You are not only supporting local companies, but you are also boosting the Indian economy. Consider buying toys that are made in India. Let your child understand that products such as toys need not be made from foreign lands for them to be good. Let them have faith in their fellowmen. Make them see that Indians too are great craftsmen.
4. Ask the less fortunate for a lunch or dinner date.
Holidays are not always about pampering ourselves. I mean, aren’t we doing that almost all the time? Why not then ask some less fortunate members of our society-- the garbage pickers or the street sweepers around the blocks, the children of your house help, etc. for a date? I am sure they’d be delighted to see the malls or a place they don’t even know existed. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful change of scenery for them?
5. Sponsor a kid’s education.
Most of the time, it isn’t only willingness or hard work that makes someone successful in life. Sometimes, giving them the opportunity does. Many people, no matter how willing or hardworking they are if they aren’t allowed to show these characteristics, will surely struggle to even make a dent in their life. Sponsoring a kid’s education is a sure opportunity for a financially independent future for the kid.
6. Participate in cleaning drives in your locality.
While this should be an everyday affair, human psychology teaches us that people tend to get highly motivated in doing good deeds in service of the community when there is an occasion associated with the deeds. Today is such an opportunity. If there is none, create one. Initiate. Be the leader and do something good.
7. Pledge not to participate in any act of violence.
While we all agree that violence is wrong, we tend to turn a blind eye to the basic acts that we willingly participate in. So this Independence day, pledge to think a hundred times before we say or do something towards others regardless of species.
8. Attend activism.
People who stand for what is right made many revolutionary changes possible. They are the torch-bearers of change. Mahatma Gandhi himself paved one of the most powerful changes in the world and it would not have been possible had people not supported him. If you can’t be a leader, follow those whose values and principles are universally good-- ideals that liberate you from the traditions and beliefs that are not only wrong but also no longer valid and valuable in today’s world. If modern advancements have freed us from the shackles of the past, it's only paramount that other aspects of our society have to evolve as well. And it needs active participation.
Well, dear readers, Independence Day is the day we pay tribute to the men and women whose lives were at taken and threatened, and whose struggles have made the difference in freeing the nation from any rule. It is also the time to reflect on what we, as a whole society, can do to better our nation, ourselves and our relationship with the rest of humanity and other beings with whom we share this planet.
Happy Independence Day, everyone!