I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker recently and he brought up something that I had really not even thought of till now. I showed him a poster of the front page of the Times of India on New Year’s Day this year which talked about how India is poised to deliver big time.
He said it was all good stuff, but he pointed to the fact that it mentioned “xx years of Free India”. He said by mentioning “free India” we are reminding the youth that India was ruled by some other country and that it is time we forgot about it and talk about the country as just “India” and not “free India”. And he added that Independence Day should not be called as such but instead something like Memorial Day remembering our soldiers or equivalent. By calling it Independence Day, we are remembering the fact that we were ruled by our colonizers and living that life perpetually.
That’s when I realized that the US calls their “independence day” as simply 4th of July. I have hardly heard anyone say independence day here.
I started thinking about it and realized that it is a very good point and a good observation. Why call it Independence? Let the history text books talk about the freedom struggles and let the youth understand how difficult it was to get the freedom they enjoy today. But why remind ourselves every year (twice, if you count Republic Day) about the colonization? Maybe it is time to think anew. Maybe it is time we start talking about renaming the holiday.
Maybe that should be one of the points of India Poised?