These days, we Indians rarely get a feeling when all of us, over 1.4 billion of us, living not just here at home but across the world, are united in celebrating the spirit of being and belonging to a common spirit that is India.
There is always an odd cricket match that gives us such a feeling, but too dramatically depends on a sporting outcome. Harder times too inspire, like a war, natural disaster or a pandemic, but those we do not wish for.
But there’s nothing like the truly secular, national and all encompassing Indian festivals, with their own set of rituals and actions, and accompanying display of symbols of pride and joy, our two great days as Indians — the Independence Day and the Republic Day.
The Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is truly a culmination of such a need and the 75th year of Independence is a great festival of joy for Indians. The Prime Minister has given a call to every Indian to hoist the tiranga on their homes. People across the country have started displaying the tricolour on their social media profiles.
As we inch closer by the day to the great day, which 75 years ago brought the greatest deliverance to the largest number of people in history to be freed from the yoke of foreign slavery on a single day, we can increase feel the sense of continuum — from a civilisation-scale as an ancient cultural identity to its fusion with its rebirth as a modern nation-state, we can feel truly Indian.
Celebrating our diversities and differences, we can still see the feeling of unity and commonality become real, concrete; its spirit palpable across every inch of our land. That feeling is the true amrit, the elixir, we must taste, and retain, long after the day is over. And keep alive to guard us against any demon that could threaten our sense of being an Indian....