Wings of Freedom & Roots of Responsibility
We will soon be ushered into yet another year of freedom of our country India, the largest democracy in the world. India has travelled 7 decades since 1947 and to celebrate this journey and commemorate these 70 glorious years, “AZADI70” with the theme of ‘70 Saal Azadi-Zara Yaad Karo Kurbani (70 years of Independence-Do recall the sacrifices)’, events were held throughout the country. This is because, India’s Independence Day is a day of great significance for the people of India. On this day, it is fitting to remember the selfless and unrelenting efforts of our revolutionaries, in attaining the freedom that we enjoy today. The struggle for freedom was painfully long, tedious and required sacrifice on the part of many freedom fighters, who even gave up their luxurious life for the cause of freedom. As we pay our tribute and salute these men and women of great honour for their sacrifice for the country, we need to own their commitment and sacrifice they made for all of us and the nation.
Looking back on the years gone by, we can proudly say that India has definitely made tremendous progress in various spheres, be it science, technology, economy, sports or space, India has reached new pinnacles. In the field of science and technology our country has taken great strides. Several space satellites such as Aryabhatta, Bhaskara, Rohini, Saral, Mangalyaan and so froth have been successfully launched by our scientists. In addition to this several of our Indian scientists are part of the NASA team working and making valuable contribution to space science. Indians present in every continent are making significant contribution to the world scenario. Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google, one of the biggest internet companies in the world, Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, Rajeev Suri, CEO, Nokia Solutions & Networks, Shantanu Narayen, CEO, Adobe, Sanjay Jha, CEO, Globalfoundries, Francisco D’Souza, CEO, Cognizant are just a few among several other stalwarts making noteworthy contribution to IT and Technology globally.
In the segment of education our country has come a long way. At the time of independence, the literacy rate was just about 12%, whereas today it has gone up to over 75%. A good number of foreign nationals are flocking to India for higher education unlike the otherwise yesteryears. Over the last few decades, Indian economy has grown in the developing world. India has produced entrepreneurs and business tycoons such as Tata, Birla, Ambani, Azim Premji, Narayan Murthy, Shiv Nadar, Jindal, Mittal among many others who are recognised globally. Today, the world sees India, poised to become the world’s superpower due to our rich human resource capital with the largest youth population in the world. India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35. The need of the hour is to give wings of freedom to our young generation and roots of responsibility to help them emerge as global leaders.
Today, the concept of freedom needs to be properly taught to our young generation. Children often tend to think freedom as a license to do whatever they want to do. The consequence of their attitude is very obvious in our society. Therefore, providing them the right foundation is the need of the hour. As Denis Waitley would say, ‘The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.’ We need to give our children wings and roots so that they can be deeply rooted in values and be productive and responsible human beings in the world. As parents and elders, we are the wind beneath the wings of our children who need our guidance. We need to teach them self respect and respect for others. Nelson Mandela has rightly said, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” The term patriotism is defined as love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it. This is founded upon respect for human beings and their rights. Genuine patriotism requires taking on social responsibility—not in the form of privileges, but as contributors towards our own country.
Empowerment of every Indian through education is the key to complete freedom today. It is only education that can give us freedom from problems of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, child mortality, hunger, pollution, food shortage, child-woman trafficking, global warming, wars, crimes, unending terrorism and freedom for progress, respect, happiness, health and prosperity. On this Independence Day, let us rededicate ourselves to empower each other with wings of freedom and roots of responsibility to take our nation to greater heights of success.
Dr. A. F. Pinto
Chairman, Ryan International Group of Institutions