SPECIAL MESSAGE

My dear compatriots,

It is with a tremendous sense of joy that we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of our independence as azadi ka amritotsav, and it is with a great sense of pride in our republic that I wish you all a very Happy Independence Day. Long live Hindustan! I do not need to highlight the sacrifices of thousands of valiant men and women and the supreme sacrifice many made to make this day possible for us as it is known to us all. However, the one point I would like to stress and draw your attention to is the fact that every section of our society, Hindus, Moslems, Sikhs, Parsis, and members of every caste and linguistic and cultural tradition fought together, shoulder to shoulder, to win political freedom for us. And successive governments have tried hard to develop our country in every way. Let us salute every one of them today. And today it is our sacred duty to ensure that we remain one people, committed to our motherland without being a threat to anyone.

This beautiful tradition of ours handed down to us by our freedom fighters, of being one people, teaches us to continue walking together with everyone to take our country to greater heights. One of the things we should avoid, if we want to make this happen, is extreme nationalism. Nationalism or राष्ट्रवाद in itself is not bad; it is good, but it could also be very divisive. It does tend to divide; it divides people on the basis of language, caste, culture, religion, etc. So, it could become dangerous. We could see it in the movement for Khalistan, we see it still in Kashmir, and we see it sometimes in the North East (Naga nationalism, etc).

We are primarily Indians. So, we could promote patriotism, instead. What is patriotism? It is, in simple terms, स्वदेशप्रेम, sincere and deep love for the country we live in and the people we live with. It is different from nationalism. It is not about exclusive love for any particular religion or culture or language, but it is all about loving our Motherland where we were born and loving all the people living in it, irrespective of their culture, faith and language. As young, energetic and intelligent persons, it must be your goal to prefer patriotism rather than nationalism so that we can live together, grow together happily, and together bring progress and prosperity to our Bharat Mata. ng>

So, today as we celebrate with exults of joy this memorable day, let us make a solemn pledge that we will love our country and work for the all-round development of all our people, irrespective of religion, culture or language, and defend it, if need be, with our lives. We are all children of the same mother, our Bharat Mata. Jai Hind!! Jai Bharat!!!