Saturday, August 18, 2007

Independance Day

Independance Day
I remember the media made 31st December 1999 into a major event. It was heralded as turn of millenium and accordingly major celebrations took place all over India (actually all over the world, but I am concerned about India in this blog).
Anyone with a little bit of sense could comprehend that the turn of millenium on 31st December 1999 was deceptive. It was actually on 31st Dec 2000. However thats not important. A change of year or a millenium is a GROSS NON EVENT. The gregorian saints decided to initiate a calender from a particular date. It does not bear any significance. The time or the Earth existed much before that. Yet millions of Indians rejoiced and participated in this celebration without giving any second thought.
I frequently ask people if they remeber 15th August 1997. The 50th aniversary of our independance. Invariably they have to be reminded of the fact that it was the 50th aniversary of our independance a real milestone in Indian History. When I ask them how they celebrated it, I get blank stares. None did. Except for customary flag hoisting in schools and offices it was an absolute NON EVENT.
I would like to share how I celebrated it. I did do something different or special that qualifies me to ask the question from people as to what did they do on the said date.
Ours is a joint family of four brothers. I was 44 then.We live in Kolkata. I packed six kids of our family in our newly purchased SUV and hit the road at around 11 PM. We were carrying about 100 paper tricolour flags. We accosted strangers on the road , handed them a flag each and requested them to hold the flag aloft and say JAIHIND loudly. We must had done so with about 60 to 70 persons in the two to three hours that we roamed the streets. The experience was quite revealing.
No FOUR WHEEL vehicle passenger responded.We met several police persons, non responded.We met half a dozen Journalists hanging out near the All India Radio building. None responded.The children of lesser God that is the the TWO WHEELER passengers, mostly did respond.
My effort had a single motive of making this date the 50 th aniversay a memorable date in the lives of the young children of our family. Or else they would never remember that they had witnessed such an important event, in their life.My mission was a GRAND success.The Children remember it vivdly even today after a lapse of TEN years.
I percieve unless we start elebrating 15th August instead of 31st December we shall not understand the significance of the Independance.

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