Independence Day is celebrated every year on the 15th of August commemorating India’s independence from British rule after two centuries of freedom struggle. Very rarely do we come across a symbol so great that it binds together people across a country, so starkly different from one another, and makes them hold their heads high for a common cause. This day has a bittersweet aura since while celebrating independence, it also remembers the sacrifices of great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, and thousands of other martyrs and freedom fighters.
A DAY OF HOPE
On this day, the Prime Minister unfurls the tricolor flag at the Red Fort. The flag is a symbol of freedom and self- sufficiency. Jawaharlal Nehru called the Tricolour a flag not symbolizing freedom for Indians, but a symbol of freedom for all people. This is followed by the procession of the military- a display of discipline and patriotism. When the national anthem- Jana Gana Mana is sung and the Tricolour is hoisted, a feeling of pride and nationalism overwhelms us. We are proud and grateful to be citizens of this country. The fight to win our independence was long and arduous. It took the courage of many brave people to secure it for us. Although this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and in lieu of the precautions taken, there were no grand performances, we celebrated this historic day virtually with our respective classes. This is, of course, true Indian nature- to always keep thriving no matter the circumstances.
OUR THRIVING TRADITIONS
We all wore traditional dresses – kurtas, salwar-kameez, parades, etc. of orange, white, green, and blue- the colors of the Tricolour. Traditional clothes show the diversity of a nation, they depict our ancestry and the culture we were all brought up with. We began by expressing our thoughts- the feeling of pride towards our nation. Our work ranged from slogans to drawings to poems. We chatted while having Indian drinks- we had lassi, sharbat, and much more traditional drinks of various regions in the country. We enjoyed this traditional theme; traditions contribute to a sense of belongingness. It also reinforces values such as freedom, faith, integrity, ethnicity, and selflessness.
THE BOND THAT HOLDS US ALL
Finally, the National Anthem was sung, which marked the end of the celebration. This celebration, amidst the unfortunate situation, would be remembered by each one of us for a lifetime. This day will forever be etched in our hearts as the day we fought to unite ourselves despite a virus. The day we remembered the sacrifice of our fighters and were inspired to fight against this pandemic. How poetic it is that seventy-three years ago, we triumphed over colonialism, and this day, we are inspired to triumph over a virus that has conquered this world. India will always be remembered as the country that struggled, the country that sacrificed and the country that triumphed. Let it now be remembered as the country that united against all odds.
Let our spirits rise and the Tricolour fly high. Jai Hind!!
– Nysa Pahari and Aviendha Avasti