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Promises To Keep August 16, 2010

Posted by Gomathi Reddy in Desi Indian, Love and Life, News and Current Affairs, Personal, Women and Children.
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15th August, 2010

Today is our Independence day – celebrated 64 times over, since 1947, after a nasty partition C-Section.


Saluting India

I went to my son’s school, for the I-day celebrations, and was part of the eager parent crowd wanting to pick up their children, as soon as the flag hoisting was done with, and rush back for a day of movies and the mythical break.  But, I enjoy my trips to his school events – Those moments help me relive my school days and I fondly recall walking hand-in-hand with friends, all through the school campus, as soon as the flag hoisting was over. With a small paper flag pinned to my pinafore, and chocolates to share, I-day was a fun day.  I never had to worry about what my world is going to be like and never ever had to worry about the state of my country and the fragile nature of my planet.

Today, the I-day speech at their school was a senior student reading out a prepared speech about the environment, the carbon footprint, the need to protect our borders and the delicate state of our federal structure and why “unity in diversity” may be a thing of the past with the internal and external terrorism ruling the roost.

Points to reflect upon, but I think none of the students understood the magnitude of what was being doled out to them – they had their own little worlds to worry about, rather than their country or their planet.  Maybe all children are just that way, and that explains why I don’t remember anything like this being spoken about.  Childhood is a must-have safe haven for a healthy mind and responsible citizenry.

But, are we leaving a safe world for our children?  The generations of my great-grand parents and grand parents dreamt of an independent India for their children.  They sacrificed much, to make their dream a reality. My parents believed in creating a generation that had high self-esteem and which was bold enough to create their own big dreams, and make them a  reality – I guess they succeeded too.  What do I dream for my child – A clean environment, a culture that will allow him to aim for excellence and a nation that he will be proud of, not just because of his own successes, but that of his brethren, too.

Today, the shadow of that fluttering flag seemed to me like a silhouette of crisis.  What did we unfurl today? – spiraling prices, follies of our national and international policies, clouding climate change, a new digital world that shrinks these children’s need for privacy and safety, security threats (internal, external and even an unsafe home), threatened national borders, thousands of unscrupulous politicians, absolutely zero leaders and a society that will soon consider respecting a fellow human being, believing in engagement, tolerance, rationality, dialogue, learning and empathy as values of a bygone era – things that they don’t even know we are threatening them with ; things that we as adults, find highly intimidating, and are at a loss to handle and find solutions for ; things that scare my wits out, if I go into the length and breadth of the issues.

As my son comes running to me, and asks for another 10 minute extension to play around, pleading with a twinkle in his eye, with the faith that I’ll never let him down on his wishes, my heart goes out to him.

I felt, I AM responsible for creating a plastic-choked soil and carbon filled atmosphere, strangling the breath out of my planet, inch-by-inch, lane-by-lane, street-by-street and location-by-location, simply by the way I live, travel and go about my life with gay abandon.  I AM responsible in my own irresponsible way, by my sheer apathy to my immediate environment and my duties as a citizen of this country, for where we are as a nation, today.  I AM giving him an India and an earth that will be unsafe for him and for his progeny.

And he believes that I will give him only my best.

What have I done?



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