The journey towards freedom and beyond has been marked by sacrifices and humility

By Sonal Mansingh

The magic milestone of India@75 is a significant cusp of transition in the nation’s history for every Bharatiya! It’s a moment of introspection as well as to move forward energised with a renewed vigour where the historic medals haul at the Olympics is testimony of the country having reached the threshold of scripting new chapters for a new India to achieve extraordinary moments in world history.

Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav that marks 75 years of India’s Independence is a befitting tribute for celebrating the undying and united spirit of 130 crore of our countrymen, who have progressed thus far travelling an eventful journey of aspirations, hope, toil and surmounting incredible odds. We owe our freedom to the relentless sacrifices of martyrs and countrymen to free India from the colonial rule, which was won after much strife and bloodshed. Valour and humbleness, sacrifices and assertiveness, agony and ecstasy, hard work and celebrations are among the contrasting moments that mark the journey of one of the oldest civilisations of the world that dates back to many millennia, but in modern history we are a young nation of only 75 years!


India is blessed with the richest repository of art and culture which forms the soul of the nation, inspiring generations since time immemorial! It has survived phases of oblivion to only resurrect itself with renewed power. Seventy-five years after independence, India is beginning to wake up to self-realisation, taking pride in its identity which is enriched by the strong link between an eternally evolving cultural ethos rooted in its core values and different eras of civilisation.

The world has recognised India’s unique contribution to knowledge systems and environmental sustainability and for its timeless wisdom which addresses every situation in every century of human existence. India’s rich living heritage of tribal, folk and traditional (classical) dances, music, literature, puppetry, sculpture, handicrafts, textiles, cuisine, philosophical concepts, all are being re-energised and re-represented to suit our present times while keeping the essence intact. The composite beauty of our Bhava (expression of emotions), Raga (melody), Tala (rhythm) and aesthetics, forms the soul of India’s ethos, which is back on centre-stage and this brings hope and joy to the artist community to re-dedicate themselves to practise and propagate their art, which is fathomless and presents a new dimension every time it is showcased to the world.


For me as an artist, who has witnessed 75 years of India’s independence, the occasion evokes nostalgia of a long, immersive and remarkable journey in dance that opened the doors to our traditional knowledge which I have imbibed and has helped me evolve as an artist, as an individual and as an Indian. I am eternally grateful for the recognitions that my country has given me. Today, we are moving towards a new India where the synergy of heart and mind is shaping India’s ‘Vishwa Guru’ vision and leading the nation to global eminence. We have covered many miles already, but no nation can stay at the same point, rather they move ahead every moment to complete the picture of a Swarn (Golden) Bharat.


Yet again, the success and aspirations of our people stem from humility of our cultural traditions where ‘Namaste’ has gone international, proving that it can never go out of fashion!

An exponent of Bharatnatyam and Odissi forms of Indian classical dance, the author is a Padma Vibhushan awardee & member of the Rajya Sabha.