In search of Indian Independence Day - What really matters


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Friday, August 15, 2014

In search of Indian Independence Day

India is a country of festivals - this is an unforgettable line from school-time essay on Diwali. This line suddenly jumped from the subconscious section to the think-and-process section of my mind when few days back I read that Dainik Bhaskar has started a campaign to boycott Raksha Bandhan -a hindu festival. This initiative was named I pledge to respect woman:
Case I - Forced celebration
What happened next was a bunch of 'sanskriti ke rakshak' started #boycottdainikbhaskar movement online. They said it's anti-hindu and Dainik Bhaskar has no right to forcefully stop hindus from celebrating their festival.  Leading to Dainik Bhaskar abandoning the initiative with immediate effect.

Case II - Forced boycott
Bajarang Dal (another breed of sanskriti ke rakshak) are also known for all the hungama they create on Valentine's Day. Their point here is that Valentine's Day is not a hindu festival and it is against hindu sanskriti. Hence it is their moral duty to stop young boys and girls from celebrating it. And if found they have moral policing rights over them from beating, humiliating, stripping to whatever bad you could think off.

Case III - Forced way to celebrate
Mr. Dina Nath Batra, also known as 'Book Ban Man' recently published his books under the umbrella of 'Siksha Bachao Samiti'. These books were made 'compulsory readings' in government schools by Gujarat government. His books are aimed at teaching hindu culture to students which include following:

  1. Stop wearing western clothes, blowing off candles and cutting cake on your birthday
  2. Include countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Burma when drawing map of India (Akhand Bharat)
  3. Celebrate 14th Aug as 'Akhand Bharat Smriti Divas'
  4. Division of India is unnatural and it can be united again
Forced moral policing in above 3 cases raises following questions:

  • Dainik Bhaskar didn't do any thing wrong. It was an 'initiative' not 'compulsion'. It was an appeal for good cause. Since when appealing has become moral crime?
  • If someone want to force me to celebrate a festival (Raksha Bandhan) because it is Hindu festival and do not allow me to celebrate a festival (Valentine's Day) because it is foreign, then do they have courage to stand against the prime minister of country on 15th Aug and ask him not to celebrate 'Indian' Independence Day because the concept of celebration of independence day is also foreign?
  • Mr. Dina Nath Batra should 'sell' his books with intention of teaching 'good habits' to students and not hindu sanskriti or Indian culture. Because whatever is being taught by him is/was never part of this culture. Do you remember how Ram/Krishna celebrated his birthday? Is there an mention of not cutting cake and blowing off candles in Vedas? Where does this comes from? It comes from the minds of these sanskriti ke rakshak and not from any religious book. Should we celebrate Akhand Bharat Divas, just because someone thinks his philosophy is right? Is teaching students to unite India with neighboring countries equivalent to LeT's teaching in Madarsa?

When Ram won battle and Lanka was set free, it was celebrated. But not as 'Lankan' Independence Day! Hindus call this celebration as Vijayadashmi and they have not forgotten it. It is still celebrated and arguably larger than the 'Indian' Independence Day.

The point I want to make here is that there is a group of people who think that their version of story is the ultimate truth and they have right to impose their way of living on others. They forget that we are as much Indian as they are. We celebrate and enjoy our Indian-ness every day, each moment more than they can imagine. 
So why don't they just let us be free, each and every day of our life. Then will be a true 'Indian' Independence Day celebration in country.... through out the year.

Jai Hind! Jai Bharat!


  1. I think no-one should force anything on anyone. That's against the basic concept of freedom. But at the same time, one should really put some efforts to know his roots. We normally comment and fight on something we are not fully aware of. Half truth and sometimes lies sold my media, hatred spread by fanatics, and politicians nourishing their vote banks. Vedas' ask us to know "Mai Kaun Hoon..". That is the most important knowledge to acquire.

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