LAST week, Indians celebrated the 65th anniversary of the country's birth as a sovereign nation.
It was a day of commemorating the freedom India achieved in 1947 when it woke up to freedom.
Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the country's first prime minister, in his famous and historic speech said: "At the stroke of midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, then the age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity."
India had become an independent nation. It was the struggles and the motivation by the freedom fighters like Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and other politicians like Pundit Nehru, Chandra Shekar Azad, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Dr BR Ambedkar to name a few, who set India free.
It was the joint effort of many underground Indian political parties, heroic freedom fighters, philosophical ideologies and petty rebellions that formed the story of how India became free from the British rule.
In India, Independence Day is one of the three important dates in its annual calendar. The other two are the Republic Day on January 26 and Mahatma Gandhi's birthday on October 2.
Last week, in Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh unfurled the national flag and then addressed the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort.
Everyone in India, the locals and the foreigners alike celebrated on this day. It was a day of freedom.
In Hyderabad, Lomaiviti provincial administrator Kelevi Kubunameca, who is attending a rural development workshop there, said the unity and pride of the people of India was evident on this day.
"I noticed the young, the old and people from all works of life proudly declare their identity of who they are and celebrate their freedom," Mr Kubunameca said.
No one could have summed up the word freedom better then Mr Kubunameca, who is from Lovoni in Ovalau. Mr Kubunameca's ancestors were sold off as slaves by Ratu Seru Cakobau way back in 1871.
Being a descendant of those in our land who experienced and knew the meaning of the term slavery, Mr Kubunameca said freedom was like the air that we breathe.
"You can only feel the importance of air, if there is no air, there is no life," he said.
"You can only feel freedom if you are not in slavery."
Mr Kubunameca said during India's Independence Day, he realised how they celebrated and valued their freedom.
"They sing patriotic songs, they dance and they just enjoy the day, it is a total celebration," he said.
Mr Kubunameca urged everyone in Fiji to be proud of their identity.
"Be proud of who you are and contribute whatever you can contribute in order to make a better Fiji for all."
He reminded everyone the way forward is in the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace, and Progress.
"The 11 pillars of the Peoples Charter talk about everything for our way forward, all we have to do is to rise and walk the talk," he said.