Here’s wishing a Happy Independence Day and Yaum-e-Azadi Mubarak to all Indians and Pakistanis around the world. And here’s hoping that, as two countries in their 60s,
We, who come from these great countries, are justly proud of our millennia-old culture – music, cuisine, art, architecture and literature. But we cannot, on the birth anniversaries of our nations, ignore what ails our societies. On either side of the border, inequity, poverty and violence are still prevalent. So what can we wish for our countries today? Rabindranath Tagore, in the Gitanjali, expressed his wishes thus:
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
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.
And while we hark back to Tagore, who penned