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.
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.