Monday, August 14, 2006

Celebration


Anil makes a call to celebrate the anniversaries of two momentous occasions.

This year is the 75th anniversary of the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh and his comrades. It has passed almost unnoticed. No official functions to mark the occasion. No commemorative postage stamp, no portrait or statue to honour them and remember with gratitude the ‘supreme sacrifice’ of a band of young men committed to the cause of freedom.

Another occasion is close at hand and plans don’t seem to be afoot to celebrate that either. Next year is the 150th anniversary of the First War of Indian Independence. We were taught about it in the terms in which the British colonial historians referred to it – the Sepoy Mutiny. (sipaayi dange in Kannada, the language in which I had my school education). The name itself tried to trivialise the great uprising that resulted from a spontaneous upsurge of nationalist and anti colonial feelings. Since it had its origins in the colonial army, it was easy for them to refer to it as a mutiny, a mere a matter of discipline and quell it.

Wonder why this neglect of these historic occasions and their anniversaries? Is the revolutionary spirit passé? Is the idea of people thinking and who might be inspired by these events and stand up to authority too subversive for the people who hold power and who they hold it for?

He makes a request:

We the people shall celebrate the anniversaries of these momentous events. What the government seems to be ignoring, we shall celebrate in our own way.

Please copy the image above and put it in your own blog, along with this request.

Thank you!

If you also feel as strongly about this, then please spread the word around!

Update: Emma has a very interesting post where she points out that, this year, in fact, is the 200th anniversary of the "real" First War of Independence, otherwise known as the Vellore Mutiny, which happened in 1806. And this hasn't even found a place in our history books (at least not in ours). Do check out the post.

27 comments:

Deepika said...

Hi Shruti,

Thanks for posting this. The information on wikipedia is great. I also found a cool site with info. and more quotes from Bhagat Singh during the time he was in jail: http://www.shahidbhagatsingh.org/

What an inspiration!

Pradeep said...

A very thoughtful post. And true indeed. You provoked me to think: Why.

I guess we have too many milestones of the past. Quite natural as move farther and farther ahead. From the 149th anniversary of the First War of Indian Independence... to 15 years of the World Wide Web.

Definitely the government shouldn't keep mum. But I always believe the best tribute to these people like Bhagat Singh and Gandhi will be to radically change the way we think, function, act, behave and live our daily lives.

It includes everone from top rung to the lowest rung; They, She, He, You and Me.

We always laud martyrs' sacrifices. But how many of us are ready make even much simpler sacrifices? We need to do that.

I always get upset we some people refuse to take one step back even when they can take two steps forward later. This is the sort of sacrifice great men taught us: not giving up everything as some people wrongly think.

Sadly, much of the commemorations, especially of the government, have a very hollow ring to it.

More than government, as you suggest, if we all celebrate it, I think, it'd make much better sense.

Sachin said...

Shruthi, Happy Independence Day to S & you as well as all friends who read this!

Have repeated this post on my blog as well, alongwith a post of my own. Do check it out when you get the time to. Cheer! Have a great day!

Full2 Faltu said...

Wish you a happy Independence Day Shruti

Punds

scarecrow said...

well to be true we remember "Independence day" and not "75th anniversary of the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh and his comrades" is because the holiday granted to us was because of "Independence day".... i mean every child will tell us when Gandhi was born cos its a national holiday but nobody remember's Bhagat singh's...

yeah i know its painful but still its the fact....

somehow trivialities of the world around actually make u miss sth good n important...donno who's to blame here other then overselves...

PRIDERA said...

Happy Independance day Shruthi ! A thoughtful post indeed ! Its amazing how we choose to remember some and forget other incidents / people who have shaped our country.

b v n said...

hi,

found this blog thru *oops lost my way*,shud say....good posts and yeah there are a lot of things the govt does not want to celebrate...the 'mutiny', salt- satyagraha , anti - emergency struggle and the like...bloggers can a play a major role in reminding ppl.

Again..thoughtful of you and your friend :)

Supremus said...

I have to put this up. I read about it on Jag's blog - indeed it is a great idea.

Cheers

Suyog

Happy Independence day (I know its passed for yo hhehe)

Shruthi said...

Deepika: Thanks for the link! Bhagat Singh has always been a hero for me, right from my childhood!

Praveen: Interesting thoughts. And you are right - just a blind commemoration doesn't make sense. We have to value the freedom that they got for us.

Sachin: I saw the post - thank you! And yes, wish you the same :)

Punds: To you too! :)

Scarecrow: That is definitely one of the reasons - unfortunately. But of course, we cannot have holidays for each and every event either ;) -- we just have to commemorate the events in a different, meaningful way!

Pridera: To you too! :)

BVN: Glad you liked the posts! And thank you!

Suyog: Yup! :) And to you too ;)

Emma said...

There is yet another anniversary we are celebrating this year that a lot of people are not really aware of. 50 years before the 1857 first war of independence, a group of sepoys in Vellore revolted against British authorities on July 10, 1806. This is the first recorded military revolt against the British regime. But sadly, this is not featured even in our history text books. I have written about it here and on Wikipedia you can find more information here.

rash_mi said...

Hi Shruthi,

Sorry for going off-topic. But I am unable to view the mukta page. I missed last night's episode and thot of looking for the update. Is it down or so?

Thanks
Rashmi

Emma said...

I forgot to mention - I have linked to the photo and have also written about this here.

Shruthi said...

Emma, that is very interesting. I hadn't heard of it at all. How unfortunate!! The least we can do is at least spread information about the 1806 War of Independence. Will update my post. Thank you!

Rashmi, yes, the page seems to be down. I cannot acess it either.

Inder said...

great. now this should be the way to celebrate what we think is important to us, instead of blaming the country and government for not remembering it.

Shruthi said...

Inder: Glad you think so too :)

travel plaza said...

Wow! Great post Shruthi. There are so many little pieces of information that make up our great history and we know so little about them. Thanks for bringing a couple of these facts to the forefront.

shark said...

Great post!

But I strongly agree with Pradeep here. It is not enough if we just celebrate 1 day (and what even if we get a national holiday for it? we will make a long weekend out of it and go for vacation right ;-)?)

The way of our life is the greatest tribute for them!

Nice blog you have here :)

ಉಉನಾಶೆ said...

Shruti:

I heard about Vellore Mutiny earlier. But did not recall any details. It was like 1857 but in a smalle scale ... Thats all I remembered. I was not even sure wheter it was before or after 1857.

Last week I read a story about "Mini Jalianwallah bhag" in Viduraashwatta of Kolar District.

There are thousands of stories in our history, we ignore and forget for ever. Completely opposite here in USA.

ಉಉನಾಶೆ said...

Is there a place to put comments in general in these blogs ?

As I mentioned earlier, I am a new reader of your blog and thinking it would be better, if there is a common entry, where "late comers" can comment in a common place! :o)

It is hard not to comment, just because blog is too old..

May be you can keep a "late comers" entry, which everyone would visit and comment! Just a suggestion..

Shruthi said...

Travel Plaza: Thank you :) I am sure there are many more such unknown incidents... long-forgotten :(

Shark:Thank you! And of course, celebration does not mean keeping a day aside and announcing a holiday. All of us know very well what we do on holidays :(. What Anil means is that there should be some commemoration of some kind - for e.g. - release a stamp. [This is ONLY an example :)]
The best way, of course, is for the individual to appreciate what they did for us, and value our freedom and work for the betterment of the country. These might just seem to be empty words - but they need not be either, if you know what I mean!

Uunaashe: You are right. In the US, they make a little thing sound like a very big thing. Here we sit and laugh at them, and meanwhile ignore our own history!
About comments - I have no idea how I can make a latecomer's comment box :) Maybe a different post, with a link on the sidebar? Do you have any other ideas?

Anil Jagalur said...

I found one of your comments very interesting. "In the US, they make a little thing sound like a very big thing." aka "making a mountain out of a mole hill". :)

You have seen my posts " No history please! We are Mysoreans" and " No history please! We are Indians"? (@ www.safetvalve.blogspot.com) of course. You have serious readers and I invite them!

Shruthi said...

Anil: Yeah those were very interesting posts on your blog! -- No history please, we are Indians!" and No history please, we are Mysoreans!"

ಉಉನಾಶೆ said...

Shruti:

I have not played around much with "blogspot" or "blogger". I used only "sampada". Again, just started.

I was suggesting the same thing.. "Couple of specific posts, with a link on the sidebar. e.g. 'Latecomers Comments', 'General Comments' etc"

I am not sure.. But as an author.. you might have an option to see latest comments to your blog entries in place, but readers will not...

So such a link will be useful.

Shruthi said...

Uunaashe, Thank you. Will work on it! :)

chitra said...

Infact, i was wondering abt the same on august 15th. bhagat Singh is my fav. hero. I shall just link it to your site, right away. Instead of copying and pasting.

Krithika said...

First time here. Very nice post.

Shruthi said...

Chitra, Thank you for linking to the post!

Krithika, Thank you! :)

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