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The birth of a nation

Every year on August 15, the Indian tricolour flag flutters from the ramparts of the Red Fort and India celebrates its Independence Day. It is a day for remembering those who sacrificed their lives to get us liberated from decades of colonisation by the British. It is a day when all Indians reflect and take pride in the accomplishments of India. Freedom cannot be described in simple words, because it is a term that has a deeper meaning. To some freedom means breaking from slavery, while to others it is the right to exercise your rights and choices, be it in religion, education, profession and more. For me, freedom is to have a sense of hope, belief and conviction. It allows me to dream and achieve new heights. It gives me the ability to express oneself and make choices without limitations and orders imposed by others. When in Dubai, I celebrate Independence Day by visiting the Indian Consulate to attend the flag hoisting ceremony and spend the rest of the day with family in some form of volunteering and community service such as tree planting and charity distribution. Back home in Delhi, the sky fills with kites of a thousand colours and designs soaring over the winds. To me, they represent the aspirations of a young nation that is set to take centre stage and lead the world into the next decade of progress and peace.

From Mr Aaditya Gandhi

UAE

The day for freedom

Indian Independence Day is always special, no matter where you are celebrating it. It is a day for freedom. It is a day for citizens of India - remember what our forefathers went through to overthrow the British rule. Many people died and gave their lives in the name of our country. Watching the flag fly tall and strong sends a message to the rest of the world that India is on the ladder of growth. When I used to go to Delhi for my summer vacations I would always be there for this celebration. There was a spark in the air and a skip in everyone’s step. People flew kites and spent time visiting the India Gate monument, as well as the museums. There is still a lot more that needs to be done in the country, but we will get there. Corruption needs to end and new, younger politicians need to come and take centre stage. India needs new ideas and a new generation ruling the people.

From Mr Aman Wadhwa

Sharjah

A great loss

The recent demise of 85-year-old V.S. Naipaul who won the Nobel Prize in literature was sad (“Nobel-winning writer V.S. Naipaul dies aged 85”, Gulf News, August 12). He was a man known for his creative works, both in fiction and non-fiction, and his achievements should be credited. Out of his 30 books, A bend in the river, was a

masterpiece. He is acknowledged as one of the best novelists and writers in the world. His departure is a great loss to the literary world.

May his soul rest in peace.

From Mr K. Ragavan

India

End of a legend

The great writer V. S. Naipaul has passed away causing an irreparable loss to the literary world. Naipul was a perfect realist and had a down to earth attitude towards men and matters. A recipient of many awards including the Somerset Maugham Award he strode like a literary colossus. His demise has caused a huge void in the world of letters. May his soul rest in peace.

From Mr Thomas Matthew Parackel

India

Not my favourite season

Despite living in the country for more than a decade, I conveniently forget UAE’s summer heat and the intensity of the weather (“Rain haze and dust in parts of UAE this week”, Gulf News, August 13). Walking outside is almost impossible because conditions are not only hot, they are hazy and humid too. If anyone asks me to walk anywhere, I take a taxi, despite the money being spent. I often see people walking outdoors without covering themselves or using an umbrella, which is incorrect. The sun’s rays are strong and not taking the right measures to protect your skin can have disastrous effects. I feel like people aren’t aware that they should take precautions and a lot of people are ignorant about this. If the authorities implement more signs and reminders in bustops and taxi stands to encourage people to cover themselves and use sunscreen when going outside, it would be useful. I wish winter would last for a few more months. It’s my favourite season and there is so much to do around the country during that time. People always write about summer and make it sound like a romantic season, but I have never preferred summer.

From Ms Sunaina Madaan

Dubai

Coach and captain, step up

We are glad that our Indian cricket team’s vice captain, Ajinkya Rahane, has been bold enough to admit the mistakes committed by the Indian batsmen, especially when cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara was run out (“5-wicket Anderson helps England skittle India out for 107”, Gulf News August 11). We feel, like he has been a victim of run-outs, this time by captain Virat Kohli, who was wrong in backing out from the middle. What added to our woes was the selection of the team. It is shocking that right from the South Africa series, our tour selection has been wrong. Unless our coach and captain change their attitude towards certain players based on pitch conditions, we could never win a series abroad. We have had a bad start but anything can happen. Cricket being a game of glorious uncertainties, we are keeping our fingers crossed.

From Mr N. V. Krishnan,

India

Breathing out oxygen

I am writing to you to draw your attention towards helping the community and beating the heat by planting more trees (“Readers Views: Planting better air”, Gulf News, August 12). Primarily, carbon dioxide is produced in various processes and is the considerable cause of rising temperature in our climate. However, the oxygen serves to improve the quality of air thereby regulating the temperature of the surroundings. Trees battle steadily for us as they absorb carbon dioxide and donate the treasure of oxygen in the atmosphere. Trees lower the temperature by regulating the intensity of heat by blocking sunlight and minimising the levels of carbon dioxide produced. Additionally, they lower the temperature by providing shade to homes and streets by releasing water vapour into the atmosphere, which reduces heat and the sticky feeling present. Hence, we should plant more trees so that the temperature gets maintained and the flow of oxygen keeps spreading. The trees will provide us with shade and fruits, and they also beautify the environment.

From Mr Mohammad Huzaifa Sardar

UAE

End corruption

No doubt, the Indian Supreme Court is bound by the invisible boundaries, which mandate constitutional Courts only to declare the law and not legislate now that the Attorney General of India has suggested to the Supreme Court to recommend to Parliament to enact a law debarring those from polls against whom charges have been framed in heinous crimes - the court should promptly send its recommendations to bar criminals contesting the polls. They should also add a clause that each candidate could contest only from one constituency, that too from where they have been a permanent resident for the last 10 years. Likewise, elections to the Rajya Sabha should also have a clause, that only a candidate from the same state, and have been residents there for the last 10 years. It is high time our age-old election rules are changed to arrest the malpractices taking place in the government.

From Mr N. Mahadevan

India

Gauging the opposition

Obviously, the Congress party and other opposition parties are not foolish enough to expect that the no-confidence motion will pass; the idea was not to overthrow the government, just 10 months before the election. This was to gauge the reaction off the opposition and how prepared they are to unite in the fight against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It also served as a testing ground for Congress President Rahul Gandhi in trying to shed his image as an immature political leader. How far these experiments succeeded is debatable, but the whole exercise has given a boost to the parties, to finally realise that they have no alternative but to get their act together to make sure that the BJP is defeated, which is imperative in the present scenario.

From Mr M. K. Kandath

UAE

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