After a hard struggle of nearly a hundred years, the sun of Independence dawned on the horizon of Mother India on 15th August, 1947, and our national government came into power. India woke up into a new life after a slumber of ages. Millions of people got a reason to celebrate, to move on with their lives after facing many hardships. After that, our constitution was framed and India was declared a Republic on 26th January, 1950. Independence Day, Republic Day, Martyrs Day etc. are not just mere dates that bring holidays for us. They are symbols of our nation's progress, the stumbles it has faced on the path leading to independence and becoming a democratic country. And thus it is salient that these great days are acknowledged with deep respect and patriotism.
India is a country of festivals and celebrations. Every single day brings new reason to celebrate. Our beloved nation basks in the charm and euphoria of its cultural traditions. The heart of every true Indian swells with pride and enthusiasm while celebrating national festivals.
But these days we see lack of zeal and fervor in the hearts of youngsters towards celebrating national festivals. The youth is the backbone of our future. The "destiny of tomorrow" lies in their hands. Their present day behavior, feelings towards their nation, their enthusiasm in celebrating national festivals etc. will serve as an example to be followed by the future generations. Hence, the culture of the present day youth will serve as the vehicle for the transport of the hopes and aspirations of future generations. Thus, it is their utmost duty to take pride in their country, its social and cultural traditions.
Ever since culture was identified as a human virtue, it has specific location. People living in a particular region followed a particular set of practices which were totally different from those practiced in other regions. The advent of Information Technology (IT) and communications, revolution has brought this segregation of cultures among different geographical locations to a halt. This revolution through television and Internet has spread across the globe. The youth cutting across national boundaries have become a part of this global phenomenon. There seems to be a "consensus neo-youth culture" developing across the world. Consequently the youth find it extremely perplexing to identify themselves with their local/regional cultures and traditions, which their parents do without much difficulty. The youngsters today don't seem to take pride in their national and cultural heritage like national festivals, national monuments, the sagas of the freedom fighters.
Earlier in the 90's, on the dawn of Independence Day, we used to see umpteen kites in the sky, flying higher and higher like little birds. The sky looked picturesque. But now on this 68th Independence Day, I went up on the terrace in the evening and looked up. I saw the everyday plain and mundane sky with one or two kite flying bizarrely. I suddenly felt emptiness in the sky entering in my heart. We are forgetting are traditions, our customs. I guess, instead of flying kites at that time everyone was wishing "Happy Independence Day" via forwarded messages and quotes on WhatsApp and Facebook. The spirit, the patriotism, the fervor is dwindling gradually. The smart-phones, i-pods and other latest technological inventions are somewhat responsible for the drastic deviation of youngsters from traditional practices towards a life solely run on the fuel of technology. No wonder our school boys and girls know more about the fascinating world of Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling than the famous works of notable writers like Prem Chand, Bhishm Sahni, Khushwant Singh etc. No wonder Honey Singh is the latest teen sensation but the maestros like Ustad Amzad Ali Khan and Pandit Ravishankar are lesser known. There is mention of the great freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Maharana Pratap etc. in the textbooks from class 1st to 12th but what after that. These names should not only be a part of curriculum but of our lives too. The sacrifices they made, the fight they fought, their principles, their ideologies should be inculcated in our day-to-day lives.
It cannot be denied that whatever the children see or hear has an effect on their thinking and habits, as they have very sensitive minds. The arrival of new dynamic youth culture is causing numerous problems in the society especially in traditional societies like the Indian society. The elders find these new changes outlandish and they continue to adhere to the old values and ideas. This is causing frequent clashes between the young and the old minds resulting in social and family problems.
The youth of India can and ought to play a leading role in bringing together the people of different states and religions with a view to integrating them emotionally, culturally and geographically by celebrating national festivals and following traditional customs thus doing their best to extricate the society from the clutches of casteism, communalism, parochialism and regionalism. We should remember that we had a graceful and glorious cultural legacy in the past. We are really proud of our traditions, our festivals, and our freedom fighters who sacrificed every bit of their life for the betterment of this country. The youth of India should be enabled to see India and its heritage in a right perspective. We all must adorn our culture of high philosophical and social values so that our coming generations will be proud of us.