Society

What do we do on Independence Day?

People saluting the National flag Photo: M.Periasamy.

People saluting the National flag Photo: M.Periasamy.

Along with Independence Day the other important festivals in August are Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi.

Of these Raksha Bandan and Janmaashtami are unfortunately on Sundays and all the fun of mid week holiday is lost. There is also Parsi New Year and what is called Friendship Day which may not count as it falls on a Sunday. There’s also a hitherto unknown day called Thanksgiving Day but as it falls on August 15 maybe we are thanking someone for Independence? Hopefully August 15th independence Day is not going to be renamed Friendship Day.

Perhaps 67 years after fighting the British with whom we have a very good relationship — we are speaking English after all — we cannot sense the bitter fight for freedom. Or is it that we just are not patriotic till a foreigner sniffs at something genuinely wrong like littered streets?

According to an internet site (when I was researching India’s Independence day) some people wear the flag colours and fly kites as a show of freedom. If this is true then it has somehow missed me.

So today shall we try to inculcate some feeling of Indian pride on Independence Day? For starters rise early and go join a freedom run/ride whatever. Sing the National Anthem (some years back it was played after every movie in theatres but had to be discontinued because we were so eager to rush out and reach our parked vehicles which were safely parked for the previous three hours. But then if we could not wait to hear Jai Ho at the end of Slum Dog Millionaire, which got Rahman his Oscar, how can you expect people to wait for an anthem they have heard all their lives?

If we haven’t seen Gandhi or Making of a Mahatma rent it out and see it with your young children. Or what about screening it in an orphanage (not the old peoples’ home where maybe they have experienced freedom fights and are called freedom fighters.

Or can we get really bold and fly the national flag from our homes/cars etc. If one visits an American suburb around their national holidays you will experience what patriotism is. Makes one as an Indian feel pretty small.

Perhaps because this year the speech from Red Fort is from a new PM we will remind ourselves and see and hear it on TV? I saw a great way of reminding oneself of not-to-be-missed TV shows, post it with channel name and timing on the TV itself. You can’t miss it!

Incidentally some weirdo is making up forwards and so don’t believe everything that you read in forwards especially about the National Anthem which by the way was written in Madnapalle by Rabindranath Tagore, and has won the UNESCO award for best anthem?

It’s remarkable in that it’s in Sanskrit and manages to include all of us in an anthem without sounding forced. The only time I have heard it as almost un-recognisable is when organists render it in pseudo western tunes.

Jai Hind!


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Printable version | Oct 3, 2022 2:11:26 am | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/what-do-we-do-on-independence-day/article6317632.ece