India celebrated its 75th Independence day in style with the Tricolour unfurled across homes and institutions in the country. As a young democracy, we have indeed come a long way. It's important to remember that the Indian subcontinent comprised a number of states governed by different rulers. Boundaries were constantly redrawn and political alliances were made aplenty.
Most historians would have thought that it would be impossible to keep together a disparate group of people in a secular India. We speak 22 (official) languages and over 700 dialects and follow a variety of religions. It is the strength of the freedom struggle that united us and keeps us together as a country. As we remember that struggle, pay homage to the fighters and celebrate our Independence - we strengthen our unity.
While we celebrated our 75th Independence day, it marked the day our neighbours in Afghanistan completed 1 year under the rule of the Taliban. The economy has contracted by approximately 30% as foreign aid stopped flowing to the country and girls have been left out of schools and women have been asked to leave jobs. Some of the things we take for granted in India are perhaps things to be grateful for.
Inflation across the world continues to bring difficulty to people. In Thailand, the price of their staple food, noodles, was increased by 33% after being held constant for 14 years. Europe is reeling under the pressures of high energy prices and things are likely to get tougher as we move towards winter and the heating requirement increases. All businesses should be mindful of sudden shifts in input costs and dislocations in buying power of their customers.
During this pious period of Paryushan, we reflect on our conduct and our being and hope to continue to evolve on our spiritual journeys. We seek your pardon for anytime we may have hurt you.
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