Sunday, August 15, 2010

Notes on the 64th year of independence.

Today India completes 63 years since gaining independence from the British Raj on 15th august 1947. Around the country, one question often emerges on this day. Newspapers ask celebrities, anchors ask politicians, teachers ask students, and we often ask ourselves: What does Independence mean to you?

In a country riddled with paradoxes and brimming with cultural diversity, the only thing certain is a myriad different answers for that very question. The economic gap between the rich and the poor, the psychological gap between the urban and the rural and the physical gap between the north and the south; perspectives and thinking change every few kilometers with language and lifestyles. One's moment of celebration may be completely lost on another.

With that question and its multitude answers in mind, let this Independence day be a celebration of our differences, a chance to find common ground and unity in diversity. After all, that has been the motto all along. We studied it in school and even wrote essays to reiterate that fact : Unity in Diversity. The slogan for a rising India.

So how are you going to celebrate this Independence day?
Kite flying has been the quintessence of India's freedom and development over the years. We all can relate to childhood memories of colorful patang wars and manja cuts on fingers.
Or watch the unfurling of the flag and speech by the Prime Minister on national TV.
Or get out on town because there are Independence day specials going around everywhere. Sales, discounts, special menus, singing and dancing nights, all around the country has been drowned in the Indian flavor this weekend.

Watch Rand De Basanti, wear khadi or sing "मिले सुर मेरा तुम्हारा", start blogging in Hindi or go visit the national museums and cultural hubs around your city.

Happy Independence Day

Jai Hind

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