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70.

As of today, August 15, 2017, it will have been 70 years since India was freed from British imperial rule.

While I am happy to celebrate, I’d also like for everyone to know that it’s been less than one hundred years since my people have been truly free. 

This rule lasted for almost 400 years. Technically almost 500, considering how the Portuguese arrived a whole hundred years earlier than the British and didn’t surrender their rule in Indian territories until 1961, not even acknowledging the independence of previously controlled areas until 1975.

Less than 100 years.

My grandfather and grandmother (mom’s side) were children, teenagers during the independence movement. My great-grandparents (dad’s side) were also barely teenagers, working day in and day out on a farm.

My ancestors suffered, and yet, they continued forwards, with strength in their eyes and bravery in their hearts. They fought wars and worked fields and poured their blood, sweat, and tears into everything they did out of love for a free country. And now, we get to continue what they did.

I am proud to be descended from these courageous men and women.

It’s been 70 years.

Happy birthday, India.

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