Aug 15 every year for most of us is a holiday. If it falls on a working day, we are even more happy to have a mid-week break when we have more time to enjoy.
I see no wrong if we fail to relate to the historic event. There’s no harm if we enjoy the day eating out, spending time with family or doing what we like the most. After all, we are common man and no different from the common man in 1940s.
When India got independence on Aug 15 1947, Indians were poor; deprived of basic amenities; most of them were farmers or workers who struggled to earn enough for their bread. Amongst them, we also had freedom fighters who played an active role in getting India independent. They were the ones who sacrificed everything even their lives for the cause of independence.
So, imagining Aug 15 1947 from the archive picture of flag hoisting ceremony that Hindustan Times supplement ‘Brunch’ published last Sunday, I visualize, true feeling of independence would have restricted to freedom fighters and their families or friends. The common man, residing in villages may have totally missed out on this historic event. For them, the day would have begun getting back to work, to earn enough for the day.
Even for the poor in Delhi where the celebration was an elaborate phenomenon, the meaning of Independence would have been ‘foreigners leaving our country’. They would have assembled at the Red Fort more with curiosity witnessing the events unfold and listening to speech of our first prime minister. Rest of the day, would have been spent in leisure, enjoying with family, playing cards with friends or resting.
So what’s the harm if we do the same today as well?
[THIS IS NOT THE WAY I THOUGHT ABOUT INDEPENDENCE DAY ON AUGUST 15 2009. PLEASE READ BELOW WHAT I WROTE THEN ABOUT INDEPENDENCE DAY]