INDIA’S 75TH ANNIVERSARY
As India Celebrates Its 75th Year of Independence - Here are Some Popular Songs, Books, Quotes and Movies That Define the Republic. Which are yours? Write in to the paper.
As the new President of the India League, it’s an honour to write this.
On August the 15th, India celebrates the 75th year of its Independence from the British Raj. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will give his speech at Delhi's Red Fort, where the Indian flag will be raised to celebrate the day. Meanwhile, all across the country, citizens will celebrate their forefathers struggle for freedom.
In recognition of this joyous day, here are some popular songs, books, quotes, and movies that define the Republic.
Remember Us Once in a While: Letters of Martyrs
This is a poignant book an the title says it all. These were the letters of freedom fighters before they were hung by the British for sedition.
Fiction: Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie, one of the worlds most celebrated novelists, wrote this Booker Prize-winning novel in 1981. The book's protagonist, Salman Sinai, is born at midnight of the day India gained its independence. The book vividly depicts India's transformation from British rule.
Of course there is Vande Mataram but my absolute favourite is Aao Baccho Tume Dikhaya from the film Jagrtiti. Look up the video on YouTube. Show your kids. Yours too may be Ye Tiranga Kashmir Par Lahrayega, Ye Mere Pyare Watan.
Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera (Swades, 2004)
Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera is a beautiful song from the movie Swades. It captures the dilemma that many successful Indian emigrants face: stay and be comfortable, or return to help the people of your country. Swades excellently represents the deep, unbreakable bond between a person and their country.
'Kar Chale Hum Fida' ('Haqeeqat', 1964)
Kar Chale Hum Fida is a beautiful song that takes its lyrics from a poem written by Kaifi Azim. It's a passionate and patriotic song about the soldiers that fight to save our lives. In the verses, the poet compares India to a bride and the soldiers to the groom, extolling the virtues of duty and protecting the country and its values.
'Mere Desh Ki Dharti' (Upkar, 1967)
Not many songs manage to capture the love of the motherland in the way that Mere Desh Ki Dharti does. Upkar, the movie that this song comes from, was director Manoj Kumar's way of reminding the Indian people about their deep history and warning them of the dangers of Westernization to their way of life. It's nostalgic, passionate, proud and nationalistic, celebrating India's rich history and traditional values.
There's nothing like an epic feel-good underdog movie to give a sense of national pride. Set in 1893 during the British Raj, the film revolves around a cricket match between the citizens of a small village and the British Army. Struggling because of years of drought, the villagers agree to the game in exchange for relief from taxes for three years. It's an engaging, big-budget masterpiece.
Rang De Basanti (Rang De Basanti, 2006)
Patriotic songs don't get any more upbeat than Rang De Basanti. The song is from the 2006 film of the same name, which follows a British film student who travels to India to document five freedom fighters battling the corruption of their government. The song is a classic and catchy patriotic declaration.
To end, here is a quote from Bhagat Singh that sums up the revolutionary spirit and sacrifices that made independence possible.
"It is easy to kill individuals, but you cannot kill the Ideas. Great empires crumbled, while the ideas survived."