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  • Aaliya Ganguly

The Indian Legacy

Freedom.

A quest, a hope, an oath, an ember, burning with fury and might in the hearts of our country’s bravest. Often, history makes one sit up and think. Would we, faced by an oppressive foreign government, knowing nothing but slavery and discrimination since birth, have the courage to go against a system so morally corrupt?

Perhaps those were different times. Perhaps they had different means and objectives. But I can say with certainty that they upheld values and traditions that were Indian in nature and in spirit. They held that India was their home. There was no other option, no other choice. It was freedom or nothing. A nation, enslaved, robbed, left in ashes, was revived by her children who refused to give up.

What made A.O. Hume realized the need to unite our country’s leaders? What force compelled Dadabhai Naoroji to spend most of his life away from his home, fighting for his motherland in a foreign nation? What gave Lala Lajpat Rai the courage to keep protesting even as the British police began their lathi charge? What gave Lokmanya Tilak the might to openly demand for Swaraj, his birthright? What gave Gandhi ji the strength to unite a divided nation, and pull it out of its misery?

Overwhelming love and pride for India and everything Indian.

However, today is not about a nation’s freedom. Today is about a nation redefining itself, taking back its identity from its oppressors, and creating a home that Her children could look upon with pride. For today, seventy-three years ago, after two years of relentless work, the Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India.

Our constitution is really a sight to see. Well preserved, written in calligraphy with beautiful illustrations to represent our country’s rich heritage, the book itself exudes a mighty aura. Go through the pages of this rich comprehensive document and you will see that it holds the true soul of India.

The constitution has been designed in such a manner that it is flexible (as is apparent from the many amendments in our ever-changing society) but never allows any amendment to change its key provisions. For example, the government can impose new taxes or create new services, but it cannot take away our fundamental rights. At the heart of our constitution is its founder, in whom, in my opinion, the soul of India shines brightest. Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.

Like many of our prominent leaders, he too studied at Elphinstone College. At a young age, he identified the root cause of our country’s problems. The caste system. Rigid, unchanging, a privilege to some, but a cruel form of slavery to many. The reason for our fragmentation.

When he went abroad to study at Columbia University, he was pleasantly surprised to see his peers treating him as equals. They did not seem to object to sitting at the same table as him or shaking his hand. It was then that he realised that should us Indians overcome the mental barriers of casteism we had been brought up in, we could truly attain unity.

His mission was to bring about an India governed in the interest of ALL Indians. He attained the means to this goal when he was appointed as The Chairman of the Drafting Committee of The Indian Constitution.

Looking back, perhaps I, like many others, have characterized our nation’s heroes as stories from the past, almost unreal and mythical. But the reality is that these people, these men and women arose and spoke up, at a time when the future of India was at stake and suffered inhuman and unjustified punishments to achieve the impossible. They are the reason that we live in FREE India, and now it is up to us to continue their legacy and build the India of our dreams.






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