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"Today, we celebrate our Independence day..."

Indian tricolour
August 15 - whenever this day comes around, it always brings to my mind, the song "Fanaa" from the Mani Ratnam movie Ayutha Ezhuthu (Yuva in Hindi). Sid and Trisha are bouncing up and down on the dance floor and Trish quips "this is my last August 15". This bought a huge bubble of laughter to my throat when I watched the scene for the very first time.

Never once in the 23 years that I spent in India did I actually acknowledge August 15 - certainly not by celebrating it at the local disco! But that's in the past. Being gazillions of miles away from the homeland makes the well of patriotism rise up and swell periodically and August 15 is recognised with the cry of "Happy Independence Day" at the sight of every desi.

At the height of irony is my location - celebrating Independence Day, sitting comfortably in my chair in merry England. Well, what does that say? I suddenly realised this yesterday when I blurted out to my colleagues "Well, hell, tomorrow is Independence Day" and one of them went "Isn't that on July 4?". To which I parried "Only if I am American, which I sure ain't!!". This brought the question, "Who did you get your independence from then?" I just looked at everyone and went "Well, you lot!" and there was absolute silence for two minutes after which one went "oh, yeah" while the rest just grinned.

All this brings to my mind the question - how to commomerate our Independence Day? I do believe it should be celebrated in some way, at least as a way of appreciating and recognising the sacrifice of the millions of freedom fighters who cheerfully gave their lives so their future generations could breathe the free air. (Quoting Rakesh Mehra here!) We all know who Bhagat Singh is now, thanks to RDB - but how many know Vanchinathan, who was strung up in the rail station of Maniyachi? There are so many unsung heroes, who deserve to be remembered.

In that sense, should Independence Day be more of a Thanksgiving Day?

Posted by DesiGirl 11:44 pm  

3 Comments:

  1. apu said...
    Interesting post girl ! Many of the *regional* fighters are hardly ever discussed.
    Rehan Qayoom said...
    I had a very similar experience myself this year. The British just can't understand it because they haven't been under the yoke of a foreign power as such soo recently in time.
    priyanka said...
    hiyaa!! well very intresting and yes i do totally relate to wat u said...true we never did feel the same way in india but yes today i do feel very proud to be an indian... as they say distance makes the heart go fonder... happy independence dayyy!!!!

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