Independence Day: make our country greener
It is hard to reckon with the debt that we owe to our country because it is hard to define what your country means. Is it an idea, is it a group of people, is it a country politic or is it a certain face who is the leader of it all? Is it the last 70 years of history, the last 200 years or is it the last six months? Is it the name and identity that you find in textbooks or is it something more personal - the sky under which you first felt the sun on your skin, the place where the sound of the rain feels familiar, where you find familiar faces and memories in those around you?
On the 73rd anniversary of our independence, this question of what our country means remains pertinent as we as a country undergo changes that redefine our constitution, our borders and our identity. India today would be impossible to recognise for those who fought for the independence we are celebrating - in ways that are good and bad. This day then serves not only as a celebration of our independence, but also as an opportunity to take pause and to reflect on the country today, our journey to the present state of affairs and what our personal relationship is with the idea, the dream and the reality of India.
Whatever that answer may be for each individual, the beauty of this day is that the there will be a plurality of meanings, and we should all be free to hold those opinions without fear. We should be free, we should be safe and we should enjoy basic human dignity. Because that is also what this day is about: a celebration of independence, yes, but also a celebration of the courage to think of things as they should be. That requires a hard look at the way things are, and the optimism and courage to dream of something better.
At Rose Bazaar, we have chosen to mark this day by doing a little bit to make the little space around us a little better - by planting trees in Bangalore. It is a small gesture that we hope will give us pause: to think about the seeds we plant today, the leaves it will spout tomorrow, and the future we envision together.