Friday, September 18, 2020


I'm assuming a lot went on in the mind of late Pingali Venkayya when he was designing the Indian flag. Three colours that represent courage, peace and nature manage to arouse a sense of nationalism in every Indian. We live in a country where 22 languages are spoken. It is a profound mixture of cultures and traditions that characterise the "Indian way".

As much as we glorify unity in diversity and venture out to explore opportunities abroad, there is reason to be proud of being an Indian. India was unified and consolidated by many rulers and governments with the Mauryan empire being the first to unify the whole of India.

The colonial era nationalism that rose during the struggle for independence brought together people from all over the country with a common intention. One against foreign ownership. We didn't deserve to be exploited. The Indian population was a collective force against colonial rule and imperialism because India was not to provide for a superpower but to provide for its own “super citizens”.

The genetic make-up of an Indian is far better than that. As a potential superpower, India has had a growing international influence and prominent voice in world affairs. After centuries of colonial exploitation, India has become a newly industrialised country. This land has nurtured people with exceptional abilities. We‘ve got artists, quaint creatures, scholars and discoveries of those who make us proud.

This makes up the race of our nation. The race of my nation. Where I have rights, a say and security. The diversity here provides an exposure that no other terrain can offer. A true democracy, which when I come of age, makes me a part of the collection that is responsible for its rise and fall. A vision that reaches out to every citizen and resident and extends a helping hand because we are meant to co-exist while embracing fraternity. I have the right to equality and justice based on the simple fact that I belong here hence I deserve it, not that which my age, gender, cast or faith might suggest. 

Looking at years to come which may or may not be on Mars, I see a collaboration that will succeed without fear and bloodshed merely because the pen has always been more powerful than the sword. There should finally come a time where my country pioneers the peaceful war. The exchange of an olive branch will be a new found custom. Afterall, this country is a land of celebration and colour, do I really want to taint it? No.

As the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote,

"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, 

where knowledge is free. 

Where the world has not been broken up 

into fragments by narrow domestic walls."

Growing up under the care of proud Indians and those who lived through the struggle for independence, I, a youth that has learned to appreciate the past glories of this land while being blessed with tranquility may well feel a thrill in invoking the prayer and salutation, “Jai Hind”.

-Ammaara Bashir Babukhan


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