Today is Our Country’s 62nd Independence Day. I woke up late this morning. I missed Our Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech. Strange, but I don’t feel guilty at all! Neither do I feel proud at my action. I just feel sheer Indifferent. But fifteen years back, I wasn’t like this. I couldn’t ever think of missing out on this Event. I would wake up early in the morning. The first thing I would do is ask Mom to take out the National Flag from our old and sturdy steel almirah.I would then tie the flag to a long stick. And with the help of Dad and with pride swelling in my chest I would hoist it to the top of our Roof. I would try my best to hoist it at the highest possible vantage point so that people could see it from afar. I couldn’t help greeting everybody I meet with a cheerful “Happy Independence Day’ greeting. And while I would be doing all this my elder brother would be getting ready in his NCC uniform. He being a dedicated NCC Cadet representing our school would always salute the National flag with great respect. He would then cycle down to the local stadium to take part in the Independence Day Parade. His participation in Our State’s Independence Day Parade would make me jump with joy. My heart will swell with pride. I would then run to switch on the television. I would remain glued to the television for Our Prime Minister to deliver his Independence Day speech .I just can’t express what significance this Day held for me. I am sure all of you would have felt the same on this glorious occasion. But today why do I feel so cynical? The reasons are plenty.It is the 62nd year of Our Independence and yet the majority of my countrymen and women are not even getting two square meals a day! The children of this country don’t have access to free education. The villages don’t have good roads. Some children have to walk miles to some other village to study. The farmers are a harried lot. They need to run from pillar to post to get the right to till their own land! Even then, they need to bribe the Block development officials to be eligible to apply for soft loans from Co-Operative Banks. And after doing all this, their ordeal doesn’t get over. The Co-operative Bank Officials then need a commission to sanction their loan. Imagine their predicament when we should actually be blessing them for being the originators and producers of our food. Farmers are the poorest in our country. No where else in the world do they face this relentless ordeal. How can we as be so callous and indifferent to them? How can we be so indifferent to the pain of these small children who have to walk on barefoot for miles to be able to attend a school? Should we as a nation be celebrating this 62nd Independence Day and wasting government funds when we know their will be homes where even one meal may not be possible?
No Indian is good enough to win an individual Olympic Gold Medal. Not anymore. Noone dare say this sardonic sentence again. Whew! What a relief for us all!!! We the people of this Great Country called India can now stand up straight and feel proud of ourselves. We should feel more so when we hear the National Anthem being playedthis Independence day. One man just ensured that the whole World stand up to it on Monday, the 11nth of August 2008.The Man is Abhinav Bindra.He did what Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore couldn’t do for India in the Athens 2004 Olmpics.Although Rathore did win the Silver medal but as someone said “you never win a Silver medal, you just lose the Gold”. What a guy this Abhinav Bindra is. Indeed he is Our collective Man of the Moment. This Man indeed has Nerves of Steel. And we can even call him The Man with the Golden Gun. The gun Abhinav uses is a Walther PPK rifle, James Bond too uses a Walther, other than a Beretta. That’s not all-Abhinav’s gold for India the seventh individual Olmpics medal.007,huh?He started with a bang, the first shot-10.7..He followed it up with a 10.3.After the third shot, a 10.4,he had moved from no.3 to no.2.Then,Bindra slowly ate into the lead of Finland’s Henri Hakkinen and went ahead after the 7th shot with 10.6.Hakkinen caught up with him after the ninth shot, and with one shot to go, the Indian and the Finn were tied at 689.7 points. a hushed silence fell upon the hall. The suspense was unbearable. Then Bindra hit the bullseye,a 10.8,defending champion Zhu Qinan shot a 10.5 and the crowds favorite, Hakkinen simply withered under pressur,managing only 9.7.After the medal’s ceremony,Bindra was mobbed by journalists, several of them from Finland and China.“How does it feel Mr Bindra?” “Hard to describe it….it’s the thrill of my life,” he said, still looking calm as a monk.’ The final shot was perfect. I just went for it. was aggressive. It went my way. I’m lucky,”he added in a matter-of-fact-tone.Will this change his life? ”My life will go on. I hope it changes the face of Olmpic sports in the country,” he said.