75th year of Indian Independence

A pledge to preserve the honour of India

M. Karunanidhi.   | Photo Credit: THE HINDU PHOTO ARCHIVES

India, strong and tall as the Himalayas in the North, and wide and deep as the ocean in Kanniyakumari in the South, is celebrating its 75th Independence Day.

In 1947, journalists from various countries published their wishful thinking as news, saying that India could gain independence, but it would not be able to preserve it. They also claimed that India would not be in a position to continue the process of electing people’s representatives through elections. They wrote this until 1960, and even predicted that the election to be held in 1967 would be the last democratic exercise in the country. India, however, demolished those false predictions and stands majestically as ever, even after 75 years.

A pledge to preserve the honour of India
 

What became the foundation for the Indian freedom struggle was the spirit that we should rule our country and that foreigners have no place in it. It was this spirit that Rabindranath Tagore called the “soul of India”. Writing before his death, Tagore predicted that “the British would be chased away soon and when they leave they would leave garbage and rubble”. If a disfigured India has risen to be a towering nation, it is due to that sustained spirit.

India is majestically celebrating its 75th Independence because the rulers and people at the grassroots level alike maintain unity without widening the difference in various nationalities, languages, religions and States. Let us vow to preserve the honour of India for centuries to come by according more priority to democracy, social justice, State autonomy, federal values, secularism and equal opportunities.

India is not just in the firmness it shows outside its territory; it resides in the hearts of the people living in its boundaries. The governments have the great responsibility of inculcating such a value in people’s hearts. The Dravida Munnetra Kazahgam (DMK) government in Tamil Nadu functions with the goal of “all for all”. All State governments should adopt this, and even the Union government should function with this as its goal.

A country is not just its borders. People are the country. A lesson that was taught in school comes to my mind now. A map of India, in many pieces, was given to a student. The student, who sought to assemble a map out of the pieces, discovered a picture of an eye behind one piece of paper. He then looked at the reverse of all the pieces and found a portrait of a man. When he arranged them in order, the picture of India emerged from those pieces. Yes. People are countries. Saving a nation is nothing but saving its people.

The DMK is a movement and its basic foundations are made of social justice, equality, self-respect, a love for the language and the rights of the Tamil race. Driven by these values, our leader Kalaignar Karunadhi secured the right for Chief Ministers to hoist the national flag on Independence Day. The development of Tamil Nadu should be based on those values. Industrial development, social change, and educational development should happen simultaneously. Development does not mean just economic development. It should also result in social development. The economy, education, society, ideas, and performance should grow simultaneously. The State government is striving hard to implement this Dravidian Model of development.

While aiming for economic growth for all, we should ensure that there is no inequality in society. We are working in a planned way so that all States would achieve growth by following Tamil Nadu.

Indian freedom fighters and martyrs wanted to see such growth and development. A true tribute could be offered to them only by implementing and giving shape to those ideas. The Tamil Nadu government will function in a manner to honour them not by merely organising events, but through its achievements. A grain turns into ambrosial food by immersing itself between the fire in the oven and boiling water in the pot. Our leader Kalaignar would say that this was how martyrs were made. I take a vow by bowing to those martyrs. Independence Day greetings to all.

M.K. Stalin is the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu


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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 8:15:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/an-occasion-to-pledge-to-preserve-the-honour-of-india/article35911158.ece

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