Monday, August 17, 2009
What is the whole point of India celebrating independence day in today's time and age?
Quite a few of us dont know what it was like to not be free. That does not mean that we do not value our freedom or belittle in any way possible the efforts made by the freedom fighters to win back our freedom. It just means its somewhere far in our past, a memory of a rule which ended and we started again as a free nation..so, its been many years and its time to look forward and stop celebrating and looking back.
BACK here being the important word. We took back what we had/ we had a right to and was ours. Yes we were ruled by foreign nations and people for many years..and thus on 15 Aug 1947 we won back what we seem to have lost/ given up for many years. So is it still worth celebrating? Did we not just get back what was ours and will remain so indefinitely?
I think celebrating independence day and remembering our past by looking all the way back to 1947 is somewhat akin to celebrating a divorce, which can be seen as the demise of an unhappy relationship. The Brits and India did not have a good equation and parting of ways was finalized, with arguments, discussions and finally mutual consent..so why keep going back to celebrate it? There is something not quite right with celebrating the end of a painful era. Year after year, after year. 30 years since we divorced/gained independence, 40 years, 50 years...why is it a milestone? (and i am not even going far far back to comparing other milestones in our 1000s of years of history which might be more conducive or compatible with a 'celebratory mode').
The other thing also being the partition of India which has the same birthday. Yet another painful memory, yet another unhappy event. So why remember it with joy and pride which seem to be the mood ordered for 15th August. I can fully understand Pakistan celebrating 14th August as the day of its creation..fair enough. But do we as Indians need to do so? really?
We should place the day into a respectful category and move on and completely stop remembering with pride the day our rulers left us. Does it not have slavish undercurrents? remembering the hated ruler/ owner/ master we once had and not letting time diminish or end the memory of a negative past?