I will never forget Ram's dying words: Don't lose faith in India
! I won't. I refuse to! In spite of all that urges me not to: the innumerable scams, the rampant corruption, the sinister agendas. I do hang my head in shame at the grim statistics that stare you in the eye: the 5000 children dying of malnutrition each and every day, the 40% of undernourished the children, the 60% of stunted children for whom no hope remains, the 21 million children who do not go to school. I am outraged when I hear that children in our capital city have to study in the cold because their school is a flimsy tent. What about the ones who sit on a cold floor because the purchase of desks takes 3 long years and more because those whom we have chosen to rule us cannot get their act together. I am incensed at the failed promises, the usurped rights, the hijacked hopes of voiceless people. I am repulsed at the cynical attitude and unacceptable immobility of those that have a voice but do not use it. Yes there is a lot that pushes one to lose faith in this land, but I still refuse to and say with loud and clear I am proud to be an Indian
I am proud of the millions who in spite of being let down in the most abject way continue to live with dignity and grace. I salute the man who each and every day wakes up at unthinkable hours to go to the vegetable market and buy his ware, then patiently and lovingly sets up his cart before going to his appointed area where he walks lanes after lanes notwithstanding the scorching heat or biting cold, selling his vegetables till late at night so that his family can eat and his kids go to school. I salute the woman who brings up her family with courage and dignity bearing the burden of a drunk husband she never chose; the carpenter who sits on the roadside in the hope that someone will need him that day; the farmer who tills his land with grit and determination to ensure that we do not go hungry; the soldier who stands watch in the most extreme conditions so that we are safe whilst his superiors perfect the art of enriching themselves at his cost. I salute the children who study in unthinkable conditions and still manage to dream and hope. I salute the millions who have turned survival into a dignified art of living. The millions who will not give up the values we are proud of. They are the ones who allow me to scream loud and clear: I am proud to be an Indian
. They are the ones that make me want to continue walking the road less travelled until the very end.
It is with immense pride that I hoisted our national flag with the project why children this morning and sang our national anthem with fervour. It is for these very children that I have to hold on to Ram's dying words and never lose faith in India.
Happy Republic Day