As they get ready to celebrate Independence Day, our TV actors tell us ways to make India the best country in the world. They also talk about their favourite freedom fighter as well as their favourite patriotic number.
Sneha Wagh: India beats in the heart of every Indian. We don’t need a reminder on special days, to love our country. These days are just a reminder and a celebration of the rich legacy of our country. It reminds us of the sacrifices made by our freedom fighters, who fought for the country. India is so diverse, beautiful and rich in its cultural ethos. It is the best country in the world. All we have to do, to make it greater, is to celebrate our diversity and not bicker about our differences. It’s so wonderful that with every few miles, the topography, food habits, religious practices, languages, everything changes, yet we celebrate our unity. And that’s the ethos we need to preserve. The person who left the most impact on me as a leader, and as a freedom fighter was Neta ji Subhash Chandra Bose. Every time I read his thoughts on what India meant to him and his vision of taking it forward, I feel inspired. He was a dynamic and charismatic leader who inspired millions of Indians to dream of a free country. My favourite patriotic song is “Bharat Hum Ko Jaan Se Pyaara Hai” from the film Roja. It’s such a haunting melody and with powerfully apt lyrics. I love the song and sing it every time I am asked to sing an inspiring song.
Ayyaz Ahmad: I feel patriotic every second of my life. I feel proud when it’s Independence Day or Republic Day as it reminds me how brave my country men have been. Those who have sacrificed their lives for our Independence and those who are on the borders fighting for our security. But I feel sad when I see how our country is still bound by societal pressures. Our national heroes have given us a slogan, ‘To Live and Let Live,’ and I wish if we Indians follow it and make India really Independent. This will be real Independence for modern India. Shaheed Bhagat Singh is one of the most impactful personalities, who fought for our country. His approach and fighting spirit makes me feel alive. Whenever I read his stories or watch films based on his life, I get the spirit to fight. My favourite patriotic song is ‘Aey Mere Pyaare Vatan’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
Aniruddh Dave: Why do we need to remember our country only on these two days? I celebrate Diwali and Children’s day with fauji families every year. We are free, but humanity is missing in this country. Irrespective how literate you are, people behave like illiterates. This needs to change. I don’t have a favourite freedom fighter as I feel that all of them fought in their own way. I really like ‘Sabse aage honge Hindustani’, more than patriotic, it is optimistic.
Pooja Banerjee: I feel patriotic every day. I am free to walk, free to say what I want to and do what I want to, this means I am part of a free country. But yes, to make our country the best country in the world, I think education is the most important. The day literacy rate goes higher, most of the national issues will be resolved. Subhash Chandra Bose is the freedom fighter, who I like the most. He was a very dynamic freedom fighter, even at that time. His personality and dynamic approach was something I try to follow even today. My favourite patriotic song is ‘Aye mere watan Kay logo’ by Lata ji.
Vahbiz Dorabjee: Patriotism should come on all days and not just these two. It will come through the respect and contribution that we make towards our country. It should be on a day-to-day basis. We can work to keep the country clean as well as look into our infrastructure and finish corruption. Be a responsible citizen in paying your taxes. I cannot name any one freedom fighter. Right from Gandhiji to Bhagat Singh, everyone had an equal contribution in India’s independence. We must respect them. My favourite song is ‘Vande Mataram’ by A.R. Rahman, I just love it.
Shashank Vyas: It’s not that we just show patriotism on 15th August and 26th January. These are the official days on which we share the feeling of independence and togetherness with each other, like Holi or Diwali. I am a great fan of Bhagat Singh. He was so young when he fought in the freedom struggle and gave his life for the country. He showed everyone what real patriotism is. My favourite patriotic song is ‘Mere Desh Ki Dharti’.
Mrunal Jain: I feel population explosion is an issue in our country. In metro cities, people still believe in the concept of nuclear families but in small towns and villages, population control is necessary. I think, we, as actors, need to take up this cause and work towards it. As for my favourite freedom fighter, I like Bhagat Singh the most. I am inspired by his single-minded determination to fight. My favourite patriotic song is ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo’. I am currently in Indonesia and singing this song reminds me of my India.
Laksh: I feel unemployment is still an issue in our country; there are not enough jobs for everyone. In fact, everyone doesn’t even get proper and quality education in our country. Education should be made cheaper or even free. My favourite freedom fighter is Subash Chandra Bose, he had the leadership qualities of a true warrior. My favourite song is ‘Rang De Basanti’.
Mohammad Nazim: Patriotism is not just about singing patriotic numbers, it has many other aspects. India has progressed so much over the years, but we have a long way to go. There are still some fundamental problems like poverty, illiteracy and unemployment that plague the country and we need to work on these. If I have to choose one freedom fighter, who has really motivated me, it will have to be Gandhi Ji. He followed the path of truth and non violence and his teachings are so relevant. My favourite patriotic number is ‘Har Karam Apna Karege Ae Vatan Tere Liye’ from film Karma. I love the lyrics.
Ssharad Malhotra: My love for India cannot be restricted to just these two days in a year. I am proud to be an Indian. As far as helping my country is concerned, I feel we should eradicate corruption. That will really help India progress. I remember studying about the freedom struggle when I was in school and I was the most inspired by Bhagat Singh. He did so much for the country, I don’t think anyone can even think of doing so much today. My favourite patriotic song is ‘Mera Rang De Basanti chola’.
Adaa Khan: I love my country and days like Republic Day and Independence Day give me opportunities to show this love. I am aware that India is not perfect, but no country is. Rather than looking at all that is wrong with our country and the government, let us concentrate on what is right here. We have such a diverse culture with different languages and different cuisines. This is something that we can appreciate about India. We have such a rich history too. I remember I used to love studying about the freedom struggle and Subhash Chandra Bose was my favourite freedom fighter. My favourite patriotic song is ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo’.
Vivian Dsena: I just want to salute all the freedom fighters because of whom we roam around freely in our country, we have the liberty to express ourselves, we are the biggest democratic country. We as Indians, should respect the struggle that they went through, be it Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh or Gandhiji, they fought for our freedom and made India the strongest and one of the popular countries in the world. We should stand together and have the feeling of patriotism inside us. We should have the feeling of equality among us. So that India can blossom more in the future. “Dil Diya hai jaan bhi denge, Aye watan tere liye”, is my favourite patriotic song because of its quality of bringing out patriotic feeling inside anyone’s heart.