As India celebrates its 60th independence day it's time to reflect on what all we've achieved so far.
For me these are some of the moments frozen in time, moments that made the Indian in all of us proud. I'm sure they will continue to encourage and inspire generations of Indians to come.
I took only the post partition events and personalities (Indian nationals) into consideration.
1 Milkha Singh breaks the 400m atheletics world record
The 'flying Sikh' left Faisalabad in Pakistan during the partition to settle in India. His exploits in the 1960 Athens Olympics, even though he finished 4th in the final race, made him a darling of the crowd and the pride of a nation.
2 Dr. Hargobind Khorana wins the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology
Dr. Hargobind Khorana was responsible for producing the first man-made gene in his laboratory in the early seventies. This historic invention won him the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1968, sharing it with Marshall Nuremberg and Robert Holley for interpreting the genetic code and analyzing its function in protein synthesis.
3 India goes nuclear
The Atomic Energy Commission of India detonated its first underground nuclear weapon at Pokhran on May 18, 1974. The country comes of age!
4 India wins the Cricket World Cup
Easily the most covered event in India. The year 1983 saw 11 inspired underdogs snatch away the Cricket's most desired trophy from two times winner and the world's best team, the West Indies!
5 Rakesh Sharma goes into space
Rakesh Sharma, then squadron leader and pilot with the Indian Air Force embarked on the historic mission in 1984 as part of a joint space program between the ISRO and the Soviet Intercosmos space program and spent eight days in space aboard the Salyut 7 space station. In a famous conversation, he was asked by the then PM Indira Gandhi how India looked from the space and he replied, "Saare Jahan Se Achcha."
6 PT Usha steals the limelight in the 10th Asian Games
P.T.Usha won 4 gold and 1 silver medal in the track and field events at the 10th Asian Games held at Seoul in 1986. She created new Asian Games records in all the events she participated in.
7 Miss Universe and Miss World comes to India
The year 1994 belonged to two beauties going by the names of Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai. Sush became the first Indian woman to win the Miss Universe title, Aish followed with a Miss World crown.
8 India's GPD growth hits double-digit
India's fourth-quarter GDP growth hit double-digits in 2003, thanks to some bumper crops and growth in IT and outsourcing. The 10.4% rate was the fastest among emerging nations.
9 India launches world's first educational satellite
The year 2004 saw India launching a satellite devoted exclusively to long distance learning. The $20 million, 2-tonne EDUSAT from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal, is world's first dedicated educational satellite, according to ISRO.
10 Taj Mahal makes it to the list of the new seven wonders
I've yet to come across an Indian who uses the Net and didn't vote for this online exercise to select the new seven wonders of the world. What more the proud moment was announced by an Indian herself (Bipasha Basu).
I know we still have a long way to go before we can truly say that India is great. The deep-rooted corruption in our society has to be eradicated, the hatred based on caste and religion has to go, poverty has to be dealt with, education standards have to improve, so on and so forth. It's a difficult task, but, not one that's impossible.
So let's pledge on this day, 15th August 2007, that we will all do our bit to take India forward. That's the least we could do to honour those, who laid their lives for the freedom we enjoy today.