As I read the several articles on India completing 60 years since 1947, I ask myself why 15 August makes me feel nostalgic and proud. I have listed 12 reasons from my heart --- two for each decade:
1. It is because I grew up listening to the tales my parents told us about the freedom struggle, and their own participation in the movement.
2. It is because my grandmother wore khadi, always.
3. It is because of the Independence Day celebrations in school for which we polished our shoes and wore impeccable clothes, and sang Vandemataram and Jana gana mana.
4. It is because I admire Mahatma Gandhi and never cease to be amazed at the unique way in which we achieved independence.
5. It is because I recited the Pledge ‘India is my country…’ every day in school, all through my school years.
6. It is because we saw patriotic films like Manoj Kumar’s Purab aur paschim and Kranti, Raj Kapoor’s Jis desh mein Ganga behti Hai, the Telugu film Alluri Seetarama Raju, more recently, Lagaan, and invariably cried, and hated the British…
7. It is because I feel protective of my country and all that it represents.
8. It is because India excites me… to me it represents life itself --- in a million different hues.
9. It is because I am proud of a certain spiritual outlook that is there by default in Indians at all levels.
10. It is because I do not look at India as different from myself…I am part of India, good or bad.
11. It is because I believe that India has a unique character and place in the world, and we must do everything we can to preserve this.
12. And it is because I have never been able to question or doubt, as do many others, my Indianness, for I belong completely to the place I was born in.
Happy 60th birthday, India, even though you are many centuries old!