JUNOON…

As 15th August is near, my WhatsApp, like everyone else’s starts getting deluged with endless Independence greetings, some containing beautiful patriotic songs sending people of my age into the nostalgic world of sixties.

Yes…..those were the days when we experienced the real fervour of patriotism. I am transported back to the year 1963–exactly 57 years back. That was the year when I, after clearing my 12th class had joined college.

We were celebrating independence day in the college assembly hall. Patriotic speeches were being delivered. Almost all speakers were from senior classes and I had joined college just a month back I was 17 then. I am surprised today as I remember how I became so excited listening to the fiery, well prepared speeches that in a trance like movement, I walked over to the stage secretary and told her that I also wanted to speak. Of course my request was granted—–without any prepared script, I spoke about “Azaadi” in beautiful words tracing the history of our freedom struggle right from 1857. No doubt, I was given a huge applause, Principal later mentioning in his speech about a new talent that the college had found in me.             

 Today, as I recollect all this, I come to the conclusion that it was some “junoon” (passion) that took me to the stage without even once bothering about the failure I might have faced. I started thinking about the mindset of our freedom fighters. Now I could easily understand how all those who jumped into the arena of freedom struggle and were ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of “Azaadi” must have been bitten by such “junoon”.        I personally feel that such “junoon” is missing in our present generation.

Nowhere do we find the spirit of “Do or Die” for any cause. Actually, for the success of anything worthwhile, the “junoon” that is required is sadly lacking in today’s generation. All around, we find half-hearted, lack lustre approach. It has left me pondering ..can we do something to inculcate the spirit of “Do or Die” in our children’s minds so that they give up the relaxed attitude of “Chalta hai” (it will do) for everything?

AVINASH GUJRAL

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