“Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge... At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” – Jawaharlal Nehru
India is the largest democracy in the world. Sixty-seven years ago, on August 15, 1947, India became a free state. On August 15, 2013, the country celebrates its 67th founding anniversary. Modern-day Indians celebrate the day every year to demonstrate respect and gratitude to the freedom fighters and martyrs who lost their lives in the fight for freedom from the British colonials. They also celebrate the continuity and diversity of life and the liberties that they are blessed with at the moment.
Indians do not typically spend lots of money on fireworks though the skies light up in certain areas in celebration. This year, the 67th Independence Day of India is in the middle of the week and so there would be no weekend outings. But schoolchildren will definitely participate in cultural programs in school. Some schools even organize costumed presentations to represent historical figures.
Flag hoisting will rule the day and the tricolor is already flying everywhere. Government buildings in India are decorated with the tricolor and at night they are well-lighted. On the days building up to August 15, television and broadcast media present patriotic shows and there may also be contests opened to the public in relation to this historical event.
The Internet is abuzz
One day ahead of India’s 67th Independence Day, Twitter is already trending “Happy Independence Day.” There are also hundreds of greetings posted online and SMS have been sent online in Hindi and English in a number of websites. Greeting cards have also been made available for those who want to send one to their family and friends. Quotes and speeches may be lifted from websites dedicated to the memorable words of great Indian leaders and statesmen including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.
This year, as in previous years, Google featured a fancy Google doodle featuring the Indian tricolor on the Google India homepage ahead of the August 15 celebration. YouTube will feature live streaming so that Indian nationals and other people around the world can witness the celebrations that will be held in New Delhi and other key cities in India.
Things to do on August 15
Those who take advantage of the holiday watch the proceedings on television and afterwards go on a picnic with their family members. Many people also listen to the government leaders give speeches, and afterwards they do leisurely activities. Going out to eat and then watch a movie is a popular practice. Some Indians take their time off to fly kites.
It is not as common practice as it was years ago, but many Indians still decorate their homes with the tricolor and other nationalistic symbols. Some citizens opt to wear saffron and green on Independence Day to express their oneness with the nation. In some areas, people gather together and share traditional Indian cuisine with their friends or co-workers. The most patriotic may be driven by a passion to sing traditional songs. August 15 would be a great day to express one’s nationalistic fervor.