Today, India has completed 75 years of Independence from the British rule. In exclusive conversations with The Free Press Journal, celebrities express joy on the special day and explain the true essence of patriotism.
“Patriotism for me is to love my country, not to just say it but also to feel it, to be proud of my roots, my country and its culture and tradition. Most importantly, it is to be a very responsible citizen. That doesn't mean I have to bring in a sea change but whatever I can, in my rights, I feel things that we praise outside I think it is so easy to bring in here. We all need to be responsible for things and society around us.”
“Patriotism for me is the feeling of love, devotion, and sense of attachment to my country. This attachment can be a combination of many different feelings and languages related to my homeland, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects. I hold our soldiers on the highest pedestal ever as no one is as brave and courageous as them. As I always say, they are the real heroes, not actors.”
“I say this every time and on the occasion of Independence Day also I'll say the same thing. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask yourself what you can do for your country. That’s patriotism for me."
“Patriotism for me is love for the motherland. It is said that one who does not love his country, can love nothing. Patriotism means a lot to me. My favourite patriotic film is The Ghazi Attack and my favourite song is Chitthi Aayi Hai.”
“Patriotism means having empathy for everybody around you, for this land and the people. I believe it is loving, understanding and knowing that we all are together and united. It is also about knowing we are part of one nation and that we love each other.”
“Patriotism for me doesn't mean just hoisting the tricolour at your home once or twice a year. It's a responsibility that we should all carry on our shoulders. How as a family member one is concerned about the well-being and reputation of one's family, similarly, I feel the need to showcase my country to people outside India in the right light. As a citizen of this country, I can never forget how our ancestors fought hard for our freedom and how we take it all for granted today. I don't identify belonging to one state. I am an 'Indian' and will always be.”
“Patriotism to me is understanding and loving our country’s culture and heritage. It is about taking pride in being a responsible citizen. This Independence Day is rather special to us since we are celebrating 75 years of freedom that our forefathers fought so hard to achieve. Today, let’s take a moment to pause and consider how we can celebrate this freedom and pay tribute to all those who fought for it.”
“August 15 has always been special for us. On this day we remember all the glory of our country as we remember the struggle and efforts of Indian freedom fighters who fought for Indian independence. For me, it’s a day of pride and also a reminder that the lives we live today have been given to us by those martyrs who happily sacrificed themselves in the hope of a free India. Let’s respect the India we live in today and try to make it a better place.”
“Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first. How lucky we are that we live in this free country! Patriotism for me is valuing the efforts put in by our freedom fighters. It also means having respect and gratitude towards soldiers who do their duty for the nation. It is the 75th year of independence and it is surely a moment of pride.”
“India is a melting pot of cultures and it is a representation of the synthesis of various religions under one roof. Patriotism for me is accepting these different essences as being ONE. I am proud that I am born an Indian. I carry this pride with me always, irrespective of where I go in the world. There have been many great men and women who sacrificed their lives for us to be free and I will always be indebted to them.”
“Patriotism is something which is not to be proven to anyone who is an Indian. Jitna ye meri country hai utni hi ye doosro ki hai. It means the sense of responsibility and respect towards each person. The country's essence and respect doesn't flow in the air by shouting slogans, the essence is by respecting each person from different places because we are a secular democratic country and I think that's patriotism.”
Priya Ahuja Rajda
“For me, it’s not about one particular day that I feel I’m an Indian and want to do something for my country. As a citizen, I strive to do things that will make our country better than what it was yesterday, such as saving electricity, saving water, keeping my environment clean, and paying taxes. These are the kind of small things that you can do on a daily basis and show your love for the country. You always don’t need to colour yourself in tricolour and say it loudly that I love my country. I feel you can do small things which makes our country a better place to live in and this is what patriotism means to me.”
“The tricolour which represents our country is an ideal example of how people irrespective of their religion live harmoniously. We live in a country which is so beautiful, one where we live with open minds, and respect each other’s religion. We should feel proud that we live in a country that has fought many battles and made a comeback. I am proud to say that I’m an Indian and whenever I perform abroad it makes me extremely proud that our work is appreciated and recognised beyond borders.”