It’s finally here…15th August 2010…Independence Day, accompanied by the usual hoopla on TV channels, with every two-bit celebrity offering ‘deep’ insights into what Freedom means to them, what it means to be an ‘asli’ (true) Indian (what does it mean?), what they wish for their dearly beloved India (I don’t mean to be sarcastic, but the shallowness is just so obvious), and proceed to recite the all-too-familiar litany of cleanliness, godliness and the like, wishes that cease to matter as soon as the cameras are switched off; with ‘patriotic’ movies on every movie channel (there are too many to count); and every news channel worth it’s salt trying to get the most sensational happenings at every Independence Day parade held in the country. And Indians do not disappoint! This year, a disgruntled cop from Kashmir (an advocate for ‘Azad Kashmir’ apparently), threw a shoe at Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as he stood saluting the Tricolor! The CM’s rather cool reaction seemed to be, ‘Better shoes than stones!’ I kept watching this bit of news, as though hypnotized, mesmerized by the way one channel had actually tracked the arc of the shoe (represented on screen by a large red circle encircling a fuzzy object), as it sailed towards its target! So, in 63 years, if nothing else, we now have the Freedom to throw shoes at our own leaders, instead of foreign rulers! And many of them deserve it too!
Oh well, be that as it may, I just thought I would post Nehru’s speech on the occasion of Independence Day 1947, to remind me, that there was a time when India had visionary leaders. For me this is right up there with JFK’s, “Ask not what your country can do for you…” and Martin Luther King’s, “I have a dream…” speeches. Whether or not I agree with Nehru’s politics, I recognize & respect a great orator when I see one! Love the strength in and tone of his voice. Enjoy!
I guess, you can see I’m not too impressed with this whole D-day circus! But I love my Freedom! Will leave you with my new Freedom Mantra: Born Free, Living Free, Forever Free!
Until next year 😉