Swadheenta Diwas

India completes 60 years of being independent, being a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic upholding the virtues of Justice, Equality and Fraternity. It is another question that we have made a mockery of each of those words by tailing the USenabling reservations long after they were dueletting our country through infernal riots, rigging polls and undermining the Presidential office. While a full discussion is beyond the scope of this blog (and the knowledge of the author) and we might not have made as much progress as our enviable neighbors, I am still grateful that we are able to live a life and not die by the millions quite unlike our enviable neighbors.

However, one thing disturbs me. I had written last year about being insouciant about independence, the pop patriotism that pervades our country (is patriotism just another passing fad?), when every year newspapers come out with flashy supplements (with essays by nobel laureates, who else?) and leadership contests (and using Atlas as the hackneyed metaphor for holding the weight of the country?), news channels with deplorable documentaries (Aamir Khan recounting the making of Rang De Basanti?), thankfully I am not too much into FM or else I would have to bear to hear the troubled voice of a damsel in distress yearning for the glory of her country. Having supplements and documentaries is great, by why have them only twice a year. So very convenient. We spare two days in a year for our conscience, for remembering our heroes, for taking a break from Harry Potter and revisiting Bhagat Singh. Two days out of three hundred and sixty five. Undoubtedly, the rest of the time we are busy raising the roof (Chak De Phatte or should I say Chak De India?), banging desks in the Indian parliament, traveling around the world, buying and selling cars, and generally carrying on with life.

And we fail to see instances which need to be curbed. I am not sure if the media will report this tomorrow but my cousin was telling me that a bunch of hooligans landed in her school (DPS in Yelahanka, Bangalore) today and started throwing stones on the school building because they were having independence celebrations. Apparently, their complaint was that it was Pakistan’s independence day and not our own. Some school authorities as well as children suffered injuries. While I do not wish to get into a discussion if having a flag hoisting on 14-Aug is sacrilege to the nation or not, what I can’t quite understand is what chain of logic can lead people to throw stones at children. Silly me, we are an independent nation after all and people can, of course, throw stones in the air wherever they like.

As Spidey said, “with great power comes great responsibility”. With freedom comes the responsibility of thought that we exercise our freedom in a sane and sensible fashion, not by printing out advertisement supported extra supplements or stoning school buildings (or even getting stoned?). It took an arachnid to talk to some sense.

Finally, for lack of anything else to say, I am going to end with the lines of Bismil Azimabadi which were made famous by Ram Prasad Bismil during the freedom struggle (and subsequently and more famously sung in Rang De Basanti). If we just perhaps spare the noble thought our freedom fighters had, and what their country meant for them:

सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है
देखना है ज़ोर कितना बाज़ुए कातिल में है

है लिये हथियार दुशमन ताक में बैठा उधर,
और हम तैय्यार हैं सीना लिये अपना इधर.
खून से खेलेंगे होली गर वतन मुश्किल में है,
सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है

हाथ जिन में हो जुनून कटते नही तलवार से,
सर जो उठ जाते हैं वो झुकते नहीं ललकार से.
और भड़केगा जो शोला-सा हमारे दिल में है,
सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है

हम तो घर से निकले ही थे बाँधकर सर पे कफ़न,
जान हथेली पर लिये लो बढ चले हैं ये कदम.
जिन्दगी तो अपनी मेहमान मौत की महफ़िल में है,
सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है

More pop-patriotism. I myself am culpable because I thought of writing this post only on the occasion of the 60th year of India’s Independence. Ok, I lied about ending earlier. Just to feel a little better, I will also quote a poem by Henry Louis Vivian Derozio titled ‘To India – My Native Land’:

To India – My Native land
My country! In thy day of glory past
A beauteous halo circled round thy brow,
And worshipped as a deity thou wast.
Where is that glory, where that reverence now?
Thy eagle pinion is chained down at last,
And groveling in the lowly dust art thou:
Thy minstrel hath no wreath to weave for thee
Save the sad story of thy misery!
Well – let me dive into the depths of time,
And bring from out the ages that have rolled
A few small fragments of those wrecks sublime,
Which human eyes may never more behold;
And let the guerdon of my labour be
My fallen country! One kind wish from thee!

[Thanks StubbornFanatic for putting it online]

About kpowerinfinity
I *♥* technology, business, conversations, experiences, books, music, theater, coffee and people. I am an entrepreneur in the city of Bangalore - my company, Capillary, provides customer engagement programs and marketing services to retailers around the world.

6 Responses to Swadheenta Diwas

  1. Nova says:

    Beautiful! :)

    Happy Independence Day!

  2. @nova: to you too!

  3. Gopal says:

    Wonderful.

    BTW it is Spidey’s uncle who said “With great power…” :)

    On a serious note, you have hit the nail on the head of who really got freedom – the mob. In India, it is the mob that is free, not the individual.

    [self-aggrandisement]
    I once wrote about it: http://gopswritings.blogspot.com/2007/04/unit-of-freedom.html
    [/self-aggrandisement]

    And wonderful lyrics – both “Sarfaroshi” and “My country”.

    And:
    [quote]
    While I do not wish to get into a discussion if having a flag hoisting on 14-Aug is sacrilege to the nation or not,
    [/quote]

    It shouldn’t. Sacrilege to the nation is throwing stones at it’s innocent children. Sacrilege is preventing people from exercising their right to hoist their flag, and Sacrilege is taking the law into one’s own hands.

    One word of opposition though: I wouldn’t pay any heed to the Left’s protests on anything. Indeed, everything the Left has protested against (liberalization, for instance, or privatization of airports, or anything else), it _has_ been good for the country. Remember, the Left once supported the Chinese when they invaded India. The Left rejected India’s independence in 1947 and Nehru’s government. The same Left that is silent when China transfers missiles to Pakistan howls when India signs a arms deal with Israel. They are the greatest threat to India’s survival, far above terrorism, communalism and the rest.

  4. mbchandar says:

    people are good. people are binded by evils who change their mind and do evil things. I am feeling bad about the incidents. i dont know why no media has hyped this news. many media do hype bullshit celebrity related news to make money.

    -bala

    for the people; by the people; to the people;

    http://beyondwork.wordpress.com/2007/08/14/for-the-people-by-the-people-to-the-people/

  5. shuz says:

    Happy I-day to you too:)

    Jai Hind

  6. @gopal: That is true. The mob is a unit that can not be controlled in India and is truly non-deterministic. On the left front, I would just say that I believe that a diversity of opinions is a must in a democracy and in that respect I would like their views, though of course, I might not follow them :)

    @bala: Media has to sell reams of papers.

    @shuz: Happy I-day to you too!

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