Today, India and every Indian can stand up to say they do not want hatred, demonising of any other Indian, individual or group.
There are days each year, in the life of an individual, a family, a community, or even the entire nation, which are special. Some are festivals, some are solemn remembrances, some fill us with joy, some with pride, and some leave us to introspect. We observe some, celebrate some, and on some others, collectively mourn, pledge and re-dedicate ourselves to a larger ideal, goal or target.
The day our nation launched the Quit India Movement is unique — it is not an unreservedly festive day like August 15, nor tragic like the anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and has portions of many emotions combined, pride, resolve, nationalism, collective will at work, and above all, confidence and hope that the nation’s great dream is not too far from realisation.
Today, eight decades and a year later, the anniversary of the historic Quit India movement could have been a day of great national purpose, when we could all have come together, ignoring our differences, animosities, fears and hurts, and focused on our common identity, purpose and an acceptable way ahead.
August 9 could be the day when all Indians determine what we could together eliminate from our country. It could be a day when every Indian defines what they do not want in India anymore, identifying and listing those factors, ideas, forces and evils, those sins that should no longer be between us.
Sadly, it has been lost as an opportunity. Even Quit India has become a hashtag for deep political disagreements to manifest themselves, which further hate, visceral suspicion and biases aimed at each other, becoming a weapon in a sustained online and physical game of dividing people.
The day, however, has a power to help us re-imagine an India without endemic afflictions on which we can build a consensus.
Today, India and every Indian can stand up to say they do not want hatred, demonising of any other Indian, individual or group. Every Indian can agree and accept that we should make corruption quit our country. Every Indian can come together to start making changes and reforms, small or big, private or government-driven, social or personal, in which we look at the lives of the weakest, poorest and most vulnerable, and start with eliminating some of their misfortunes.
Every Indian can agree on this day to resolve to ensure that they would be less responsible for any injustice towards another, and seek to introspect. Today, we can, each one of us, stand up to become a voice asking for bigotry to leave our society.
The spirit of “do or die” is a real force amongst us Indians, and if we make up our minds, we can get rid of these problems, just as we got rid of the British. That force of our ancestors is a real living fire in us, and we can invoke it, reinvigorate it and use is for a larger good.
Corruption, injustice, inhumanity, cruelty: Quit my India.