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  • Writer's pictureSonal Goel

Jubilant at 77: Celebrating India's Growth & Glory

16 August, 2023

हिन्दी हैं हम वतन है हिन्दोस्ताँ हमारा

सारे जहाँ से अच्छा हिन्दोस्ताँ हमारा

My fellow countrymen,

My name is Sonal Goel, an IAS Officer from the 2008 Batch of the Tripura cadre.

Currently serving as the Resident Commissioner of Tripura Bhawan at New Delhi. On the occasion of India’s 77th Independence Day anniversary, it's only fitting that we take a moment to reflect on the extraordinary journey that has brought us to this jubilant milestone. Our history is a tapestry woven with the threads of courage, sacrifice, and the unyielding spirit of our freedom fighters.

Let’s bow our heads in reverence to the countless heroes who sacrificed their lives and fought relentlessly to break the shackles of colonial rule. Their unwavering determination, their sacrifices, and their indomitable spirit have paved the way for the India we cherish today. From Mahatma Gandhi to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, from Babasaheb Ambedkar to Veer Savarkar, our history is a tapestry woven with the threads of courage and sacrifice. While remembering legends, often unsung and overshadowed, we must not forget the brave women who defied norms and stood up for justice – रानी लक्ष्मी बाई जी, वीरांगना झलकारी बाई जी, अमर सेनानी दुर्गा भाभी जी, and so many more. They came from different walks of life, diverse backgrounds, and yet they shared a common goal – to see India hoist its own flag, free from oppression. Today, we stand here as beneficiaries of their selfless devotion. Let us remember their legacy, acknowledge our debt to them, and pledge to fulfil their dreams by uniting as a nation, upholding their ideals.

महिलाओं और बेटियों की बात हो रही है, तो बेटी बचाओ, बेटी पढ़ाओ अभियान की चर्चा होना स्वाभाविक है। मैंने स्वयं एक अधिकारी के रूप में इस अभियान के लिए काम किया है और इसलिए पूरी ज़िम्मेदारी से ये कह सकती हूँ कि हमारे दूरदर्शी प्रधानमंत्री जी के इस अभियान ने महिलाओं की उड़ान को एक नए पंख दे दिए हैं। अभी बीते दिनों गुजरात के गाँधीनगर में हुई G20 Ministerial Conference on Women Empowerment में आदरणीय प्रधानमंत्री जी ने कहा है, “When women prosper, the world prospers. Their economic empowerment fuels growth. Their access to education drives global progress. Their leadership fosters inclusivity. And, their voices inspire positive change. The most effective way to empower women is through a women-led development approach. India is making strides in this direction.”

आज देश की हर नारी को, including me, इस बात का गर्व है कि हमारे मा० प्रधानमंत्री जी, महिलाओं के बारे में ऐसी progressive और सम्माजनक सोच रखते हैं। महामहिम राष्ट्रपति जी के पद को एक बहुत ही योग्य आदिवासी महिला नेत्री द्वारा सुशोभित होते हुए देखकर ये विश्वास और बढ़ जाता है कि महिलाओं को लेकर भारत के वतमान राजनैतिक नेतृत्व की कथनी और करनी में कोई भेद नहीं है।

India: A Beacon of Aspirations:

Dear fellow Indians, in the past 76 years, we have not only evolved but have also become an aspirational society. To be aspirational is to dream, to strive, to demand progress and change. It's this very characteristic that defines us as a nation on the move. From every corner of India, from every stratum of society, the desire for a better future burns bright. Our nation is pulsating with dreams, और हमने ठान लिया है कि इन सपनों को सच कर दिखाना है।

पिछले कुछ सालों में भारत ने बहुत तेज रफ़्तार… or in other words exceptional rate… से तरक़्क़ी की है। According to NITI Aayog, owing to this rapid progress, 13.5 crore Indians have been lifted out of poverty in the past five years. वैश्विक संस्थाएँ… like IMF, WHO… आज भारत के प्रयासों की सराहना कर रहे हैं। IMF, in a recently released working paper, have commended India's efforts in almost eradicating extreme poverty and a (WHO) study have applauded our जल जीवन मिशन for saving 4 lakh lives. प्रधानमंत्री जी द्वारा शुरू किया गया देशव्यापी स्वच्छ भारत मिशन has been recognised by the WHO for preventing 3 lakh deaths.

As an economy, भारत की यात्रा शानदार रही है और अब हमारे Visionary प्रधानमंत्री जी के नेतृत्व में हम सब मिलकर भारत को आत्म निर्भर भारत और 5 Trillion economy बनाने के संकल्प को सिद्ध करने की दिशा में आगे बाढ़ रहे हैं। कोरोना की भीषण महामारी के दौरान एक बहुत ही bold लेकिन बहुत ही ज़रूरी निर्णय लेते हुए The Prime Minister has unveiled a substantial economic package of Rs. 20 lakh crore as part of the 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan', aimed at steering our nation through the challenges posed by the Coronavirus crisis while fostering self-reliance.

इतिहास गवाह है कि from the day of Independence, our nation embarked on a path of transformation, moving from an agrarian economy to a global economic force. Our strides have been fuelled by a blend of innovation, determination, and the resilience that defines the spirit of India.

आज जब दुनिया भारत के इतिहास के पन्ने पलट कर देखती है तो उन्हें पता चलता है कि from the early years of self-reliance to the era of liberalization, we have embraced change with open arms. Our industries, both traditional and modern, have flourished, contributing to our GDP and creating employment opportunities for millions. It's awe-inspiring to consider how the sweat of farmers, the vision of entrepreneurs, and the dedication of our workforce have collectively painted a portrait of economic vibrancy.

The global competency developed by our information technology sector, जिसे अक्सर "IT revolution," भी कहा जाता है has been a game-changer. It's amazing how our tech professionals, armed with innovation and a global outlook, have taken India to the forefront of software development and services. Our software solutions power businesses around the world, while our skilled workforce has earned the respect of international clients.

But it's not just about IT. Our pharmaceutical industry is renowned for producing affordable medicines and vaccines that reach even the remotest corners of the world. Our scientists and researchers have brought to light medical breakthroughs that have changed lives.

कोविड का समय याद कीजिए, बड़े-बड़े विकसित देशों की कमर टूट चुकी थी, मगर तब भी भारत के वैज्ञानिकों ने बहुत ही सीमित संसाधनों में वैक्सीन बनाकर, पूरी दुनिया के सामने भारत के सामर्थ्य का परिचय दिया। When doubts lingered about vaccines, कि आख़िर कैसे पहाड़, पठार, मैदान और रेगिस्तान जैसी विविधताएं लिए इतने बड़े देश में सबको वैक्सीन दी जाएगी, we emerged as a global example by administering 200 crore FREE doses, reaffirming our latent strength and unity.

Our वैक्सीन मैत्री program aimed to support our neighboring countries and other nations have shown the world कि वसुधैव क़ुटुम्बकम् की भावना हमारे लिए कोई स्लोगन नहीं बल्कि भारत का राष्ट्रिय चरित्र है। The power that we demonstrated during these times reflects our collective consciousness, our shared vision for a better India. आज जब मैं अपने official कामों के सिलसिले में या किसी personal engagement के चलते विदेश जाती हूँ तो लोग बहुत ही pride के साथ कोविड के समय भारत की भूमिका की चर्चा करते हैं। जिसे सुनकर एक भारतीय होने के नाते मेरा सिर गर्व से ऊँचा हो जाता है।

Innovation, too, is etched into our space endeavours. Who would have thought that we would have a चन्द्रयान मिशन, & मंगलयान orbiting Mars, showcasing to the world our prowess in space exploration? Our scientific community has time and again proven that the sky is not the limit—it's just the beginning.

और सिर्फ़ यही नहीं, after big success at home, India’s indigenously developed Unified Payments Interface जिसे हम सब आम बोलचाल की भाषा में UPI कहते हैं … is now going global. India is reportedly in talks with Gulf nations, including Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, to expand its UPI services. Launched in 2016, this real-time digital payment system has been a huge success in the country, with a record 9.41 billion transactions being recorded in May this year.

As we stand at this juncture, we must remember that economic progress is a torch that must illuminate every corner of our land. While we celebrate our achievements, let us also commit to uplifting those who are yet to experience the full promise of prosperity. Let's empower the youth, encourage entrepreneurship, and continue to innovate. Our economic growth is a collective effort, and every Indian has a role to play in ensuring its inclusivity.

A New Worldview: Changing Perceptions of India

I feel so proud to witness the remarkable transformation our nation has undergone in the eyes of the world. Just like our society has become aspirational, our nation's image has evolved too. The world now looks at India with pride, with hope, and with a sense of anticipation. Our country's reputation has shifted from being a land of challenges to a land of solutions. This change in perception is a testament to our journey and experience over the last 75 years.

सोचा था कि भारत 85 देशों को रक्षा उपकरण निर्यात करेगा। किसने सोचा था कि रूस और इज़रायल जैसी विकसित अर्थव्यवस्था भारत से भारत की मुद्रा में व्यापार करेंगी। मगर ये सब चीज़ें जो कभी एक सपना थीं, वर्तमान नेतृत्व में आत्मनिर्भरता की राह पर तेज़ी से बढ़ रहे भारत में एक सच्चाई बन चुकी हैं। एक ऐसी सच्चाई जिसे पूरी दुनिया सलाम कर रही है। Moving towards an आत्मनिर्भर भारत, the country and its youth are now not looking at outside India for growth and prosperity, instead trying to do their bit to make a self-reliant India that is capable of supporting other nations and contribute to global peace and prosperity.

Imagine a nation connected by modern highways that cut across landscapes, speeding up the flow of goods, people, and ideas. Picture world-class airports welcoming travellers from every corner of the globe. Envision smart cities that use technology to enhance the quality of urban life. This is the India we are building through relentless infrastructure development.

The Indian aviation industry is growing at a rapid pace और पिछले केवल 9 सालों में India has built 74 small and big airports. Among these, the Delhi Airport is to soon become the world’s largest airport with four runways. Delhi Airport is the only Indian airport with three runways, and the fourth one will likely become operational in September.

मैं कई देशों में travel कर चुकी हूँ और इसलिए पूरे विश्वास से कहती हूँ बैंगलोर जैसे Airport, जिसका अभी हाल ही में हमारे मा० प्रधानमंत्री जी ने उद्घाटन किया है, अमरीका और इंग्लैंड जैसे विकसित देशों के Airports को टक्कर देते हैं। Our airports tell a story of India's emergence on the global stage. Air travel, once a luxury, is now accessible to a larger segment of our population. Our airports are gateways that welcome foreign investors, tourists, and students, contributing to economic growth and cultural exchange.

And let's not forget the cities that are evolving into smart hubs of innovation. I myself have steered the Smart City project in Faridabad in the capacity of CEO of FSCL. I have witnessed first-hand that with technology as a cornerstone, these cities are designed to enhance the lives of their residents.

Efficient waste management, digital services, and sustainable

practices are shaping urban living like never before.

Preserving Legacy, Pioneering Progress

While we bask in the glory of our growth, we also remember our responsibility to uphold the ideals that our leaders championed – justice, equality, and the dignity of every soul. In the face of adversity, we must emulate the unity of our forebears and contribute towards a nation that thrives on its diversity. Together, we are building a prosperous, harmonious India that's not just our dream, but a reality we create every day.

As we honour the architects of our freedom, let's also celebrate the unity that defines us. We're not just individuals; we're part of a collective force that's crafting an India where dreams are not just remembered, but expanded upon. Our 76-year-old India is a testament to collective action, embodying the potential within each of us.

Leading with Grace: India's Global Role

As we stride into the global arena, India's voice echoes beyond borders. Our diplomacy is about building bridges, fostering cooperation, and advocating peace. Today when the world has bestowed us with the responsibility of hosting G20 summit, we embraced it with the spirit of "वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्- one world, one family, one future," realizing the world's interconnectedness. Our engagement in international forums reflects our commitment to shared concerns.

The world today thrives on technology, and India's journey in this realm is indeed inspiring. We've harnessed technology for empowerment. The "Digital India" initiative is transforming how we access services and interact with the government. Our space missions have placed us on the cosmic map. And our start-up ecosystem is unleashing innovation across sectors.

Building Dreams, Empowering Lives: The Entrepreneurial Vision

India is a cradle of latent entrepreneurial energy. Our "Make in India" initiative bolsters entrepreneurship in manufacturing and beyond. With streamlined processes, modern infrastructure, diverse sectors, and a changed mindset, we're nurturing a culture of entrepreneurship. The focus on compliance, capital, and contract enforcement is breathing life into a new dawn of job creators.

According to Hurun Research Institute’s Global Unicorn Index 2023, India Emerges as the Third-Largest Hub with 68 Unicorns. start-up की दुनिया में Unicorns उन कंपनियों को कहा जाता है that are valued at over 1 billion dollars. पूरी दुनिया आज भारत के Brilliant Minds पर भरोसा कर रही है। विश्व के बड़े-बड़े investors, Indian startups में invest कर रहे हैं। Our history has taught us that big dreams, strong resolutions, and determined efforts yield significant results. Remember the period of 1940-1942 when our freedom fighters worked tirelessly for independence. Their dreams were massive, and their resolution unwavering. Their collective efforts brought us the gift of freedom. Similarly, as we have stepped into our 77th year of independence, we must resolve to make विकसित भारत in the next 25 years.

Conclusion: A New Dawn of Progress:

हम आज़ादी का अमृत महोत्सव के समापन की ओर बढ़ रहे हैं। You are aware that on completion of 75 years of our Independence, the Govt. of India has launched आज़ादी का अमृत महोत्सव campaign to celebrate our historical legacy, rich culture and heritage, in a series of program which started from 12th March, 2021 to 15th Aug, 2023.

यह महोत्सव भारत के युवाओं, महिलाओं समेत सवा सौ करोड़ जनता को समर्पित है, जिन्होंने अलग-अलग तरह से भारत को उसकी विकास यात्रा में आगे लाने में महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभाई है। इसी क्रम में इस बार देश के लिए अपना सर्वस्व न्योछावर कर देने वाले वीरों को श्रद्धांजलि देने के लिए भारत सरकार ने ‘मेरी माटी, मेरा देश’ कार्यक्रम की शुरुआत भी की। इस कार्यक्रम के तहत वृक्षारोपण, हर-घर तिरंगा और पंच-प्रण की शपथ जैसे कई कार्यक्रमों का देश भर में आयोजन किया जा रहा है। My fellow Indians, our nation's journey at 77 is one of growth, resilience, and leadership. Let's stand united, celebrating our achievements, preserving our heritage, and embracing the future with unwavering hope and determination. It's time for us to shed the remnants of colonialism that still linger in our minds. We must break free from seeking validation from the world and learn to trust our own capabilities. आज हम सब भारतवासियों के ऊपर ये जिम्मेदारी है कि हम भारत के सपनों को, भारत की महत्वाकांक्षाओं को, सच करने के लिए, जो कुछ भी contribution कर सकते हैं, हमें करना चाहिए। Our young minds, our startups, our innovations are a testament to the potential within us. Let's be proud of our roots and the legacy that has been passed down through generations.

As we embark on this journey of the next 25 years, let us remember that our dreams are only as big as our determination. Let us be determined to make India a developed nation. इसमें कोई शक़ नहीं कि यह भारत का अमृत काल है। इस time period में हम सबकी बहुत बड़ी जिम्मेदारी है और ऐसे समय में हम सबका एक ही focus होना चाहिए, देश का विकास। Nation first approach के साथ देश और देशवासियों को आगे बढ़ाने के संकल्प को सिद्धि तक ले जाने के लिए जी-जान से जुट जाना, that’s the need of this hour. Let us be resolute in shedding mental slavery. Let us be proud of our heritage. Let us stand united, and let us embrace our individual responsibilities as citizens.

As we celebrate our growth and glory, let us remember that our journey is far from over. Our responsibility now is to uphold the principles for which our leaders fought tirelessly – justice, equality, and the dignity of every individual. Let us continue to stand united in the face of adversity, just as our predecessors did, and build a nation that thrives on its diversity, where every citizen contributes to our shared vision of a prosperous and harmonious India.

प्रसून जोशी जी की इन जोशीली पंक्तियों के साथ मैं इस Blog का समापन करना चाहूँगी:

मेरी धरती मुझसे पूछ रही,

कब मेरा कर्ज़ चुकाओगे,

मेरा अम्बर मुझसे पूछ रहा,

कब अपना फर्ज़ निभाओगे

मेरा वचन है भारत माँ को,

तेरा शीश नहीं झुकने दूंगा,

सौगंध मुझे इस मिट्टी की, मैं देश नहीं मिटने दूंगा,

मैं देश नहीं मिटने दूंगा, मैं देश नहीं झुकने दूंगा।

जय हिंद, जय भारत।

भारत माता की जय।

वन्दे मातरम्।

Sonal Goel IAS


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