IF there's one day that you will see Indians proudly flying their tri-colour flag, it is on India independence day.
On this very day way back in 1947, India woke up to its freedom.
From the ramparts of the historic Lal Quila or as the British called it Red Fort, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to unfurl the national flag before addressing the nation in his annual Independence Day speech.
This is the day where national politics, internal bickering and the struggle for power are put aside and the Indians come together in unity and celebrate their victory over their former British masters.
For the past three Independence Day, I've been here in New Delhi joining my Indian brothers and sisters celebrating this very important day.
It is the day where the people of this subcontinent and for those of us who have made it home remember the heroes of the nation — Mahatma Gandhi, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad and Dr B R Ambedkar — who fought for the freedom of India from the British.
According to the Times of India, this day is too sacred to be changed.
For nearly as long as one can remember, the routine has remained the same.
From flag hoisting, national anthem, garlanding of portraits of national heroes, speeches, parades and cultural programs.
On this Independence Day, there is one leader that I want to salute, it is Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad.
He was one of the most prominent Muslim leaders who was against the partition of India.
Maulana Azad was one of the foremost leaders of Indian freedom struggle.
He was also a renowned scholar and poet.
Maulana Azad was well versed in many languages viz. Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Persian and Bengali.
He was a brilliant debater, as indicated by his name, Abdul Kalam, which literally means "Lord of dialogue".
He adopted the pen name Azad as a mark of his mental emancipation from a narrow view of religion and life.
I can say that it was through Maulana Azad's vision that I was able to come and study here in India.
Maulana Azad founded the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, an autonomous body of the Indian Government, which provided scholarships for international students like me from over 70 countries around the world.
The ICCR offers 1804 scholarships every year on behalf of the Indian Government, in which 25 slots are allocated for Fiji.
As a scholar of ICCR, I am indebted to this hero who became the first Education Minister after independence. His vision and far sightedness enabled me to become a graduate.
He might not be here, but all the ICCR scholars will agree with me that the ICCR office in Azad Bhavan in Indraprastha was an oasis when we were in the education desert.
And because of Maulana Azad, we are able to join our Indian brothers and sisters and sing:
Jana-Gana-Mana-Adhinayaka, Jaya He
Tava Subha Name Jage
Tava Subha Ashisa Mage
Gahe Tava Jaya Gatha.
Jana-Gana-Mangala Dayaka, Jaya He
Jaya He, Jaya He, Jaya He,
Jaya Jaya Jaya, Jaya He.
Wishing you all a very happy Independence Day. Jai Hind.