My dear Parth, my wicked gumdrop,
15th August is Independence Day in India. This is the day that Jawaharlal Nehru took office as the first Prime Minister of the Republic of India and announced our independence from the colonial rule of the British.
Colonies were like little pockets of land, resources, trade routes, and political power that the early European nations would set up in what is largely referred to as the developing world. So, nations like those of Africa, India, and why, even North America, suddenly found themselves belonging to Great Britain, France, Holland, Portugal, etc. Over the years, as the people realized what was happening, they started voicing their views, and like in India, a freedom struggle evolved. The Indian Independence Struggle is one of the most glorious periods in our recent history, a time when people were actually willing to put aside personal motives and differences and work towards the building of our nation. Of course, every glorious period has its share of goof-ups and dubious characters, but then, in the end, we did get our freedom at the midnight hour of August 14, 1947. August 14, 1947 was also the day that Daisaku Ikeda, just 19 years old then, met Sensei Josei Toda.
It is 61 years that we are a free nation, but we still find it difficult to proclaim that our land is the land that Tagore wished it to be when he wrote, Where the mind is without fear, Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow
domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action -- Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
It is darkest before dawn, and in this age of violence, materialism, selfishness, violation of basic rights, and terrorism, it is the thinking person who is standing up and asking, what can I do to make things right. More and more young people are taking a stance for world peace, demanding that their governments stop creating arsenals of folly by arming the military to the teeth and building weapons of mass destruction "as deterrent only," and instead spend more on preserving the delicate ecology of the planet, education, health, shelter, and food.
More and more, people are waking up to the fact that we are more alike than different, that one future and one planet binds all of us together, that there is nowhere we can run away to, and that only a new awareness, a new human revolution can save us from the devils that we have nurtured among ourselves.
The one prayer that we all should have is that we be able to foster among the youth, capable leaders who will turn the tides on the destruction that we, in our ignorance, greed, and selfishness, have brought upon ourselves. I trust you will grow up and study the mystic law and take the great vow to lead every sentient being to enlightenment and happiness.