August 15, 2022 marks 75 years of India’s independence. Celebrating the same, we have with us, Aditya Shikar Bhattacharya, a second-year med student at Stanley Medical College.
This question did come as a surprise to me. Sometimes, I get so lost in hating things about India that I forget why I cherish this country in the first place. I love the beaches of Chennai, the skyscrapers of Mumbai, and the hills of Darjeeling. I love the wonder I felt the first time I saw the sands of Rajasthan, the joy I felt after a night of partying in Bangalore, and the serenity I felt in a houseboat in Kerala. Anywhere you look, India presents a million opportunities to anyone. It may not be a utopia, and we still have a long way to go, but at least we know the value of letting a woman have the right to decide what happens with their body; basic values that, in today’s world are becoming harder and harder to find. I cherish our culture, our history, a sense that we came from somewhere, something that binds us all together but also lets us be so different from each other. I cherish that this country gave me the chance to grow into the person I am, and build myself up for better or worse to become the person I am today. I love the random feeling of pride I feel when some online page says Ashoka the Great was responsible for the spread of Buddhism, or when Hasan Minhaj makes a joke about desi parents. Even seeing “proud to be an Indian” in the comment section of some random post makes me chuckle. It may be a little cringe to some people but hey, at least it’s better than not having a random post at all. It’s funny, I’m so critical of India and yet, I can’t think of what I hope for in its 75th year of independence. Maybe for a bit more compassion. As a med student, my heart goes to every medico beaten or hurt for circumstances not under their control. I want my India to be more tolerant, to each other and itself. I want my India to my cleaner, younger, and stronger. Phrases like Make India Great Again does not work because we were always and still are great, it’s just a nudge or two in the right direction that will make us as close to utopia as possible
We, the Prajnya Team, would also love to have you send us a small text or art project or voice recording or video, telling us what you cherish about India, what your dream for the country is, and what makes you optimistic about India as we inch closer to celebrating 75 years of India’s independence. You can email or share your contribution with us via Google Drive at <email@example.com> or via Whatsapp at +91 97908 10351. We look forward to hearing from you!