It was 15 August, 1947, when all of us Indians swore together as an independent nation. Many freedom fighters and nationalists fought together to achieve this common goal. The youths were recruited providing them the salary of death and a reward of martyrdom and freedom for the field of India. Blood was shed and lives were sacrificed for this ultimate aim. The whole and sole propounder of this freedom struggle was Mahatma Gandhi, who taught people the importance and credibility of independence. Not just this, many situations arised when he faced the stern opposition of his own relatives and friends. But he adhered to his goal for the benefit of his nation. Besides freedom and independence, another thing that caught his attention was the malpractice of ‘untouchability’ being practiced in India. He swore to eradicate this filthy practice as well. There are a number of incidences to quote of how he himself started the movement for the upliftment of such people. He gave a start to carry out by himself all those derogatory activities which was forced on these people. Yes, he did receive resentment even from his family members, but he was undeterred. Gandhiji believed that independence was not just fighting for a free nation but all those practices that differentiated people on any basis. And he was completely true, there is no meaning of talking about freedom when our minds are divided. Today, even after 65 years of independence, can we say that all these practices have been nullified completely? The ugly truth behind this question is NO, they are still practiced in this independent nation.
Many famous men have created beautiful proverbs like “I have no color prejudices,nor caste prejudices,nor creed prejudices. All I care to know is that a man is a human being and that is enough for me”. And the propogators of this malpractice are no other people, but simple people like you and me. There is a small incidence to narrate here. When I was a kid nearly 4-5 years of age, I visited my grandma’s place. There were public toilets and all village people used them. One day, I was just having a walk when I saw one absurd thing. All these public toilets did not have flush system for sure, but that day I saw one woman coming with a huge basket and picking up all that excreta of nearly hundreds of people with her naked hand. I rushed to my grandma and told her about what i had seen. She then told me that they were the ‘untouchables’ and nobody was supposed to talk to them. That day was the first time I witnessed this kind of practice. So, such cases are not far to find,they are somewhere near you and me. The point is not about spotting the cases, the point is to find a solution to the problem. And the case is not that serious that it cannot be avoided, there just needs to be one start. We have been gifted with the precious gift of ‘freedom’. Lets make it ours completely,lets do what many of our forefathers dreamt of:” A completely independent nation”. Independent of caste and creeds, independent of any such thing that can break the society on any basis. Lets make a start,lets come together,lets pledge as a member of this sovereign nation that we will do our bit to strengthen the nation, to remove all such evil practices for the betterment of India!