What is Independence Day?
"Wake up! Its Independence Day today! Let's watch the Flag hoisting ceremony on TV!!"
At 6:00 am, we were woken up by our little one screaming in our ears!
Now, we had timed the whole thing and planned to be up well in time for the 7:00 am live telecast on Doordarshan. So obviously, it wasn't easy to wake up at such an early hour on a Saturday.
But her excitement was contagious; and we decided it is definitely worth it to wake up early if our little one is so excited about it!
After watching the live telecast in suitable awe, and her fidgeting mid-way through the Prime Minister's speech; at the breakfast table, we asked her what she thought Independence Day was all about....At six years of age, we were obviously not expecting what we heard her say!
"A long time ago, the British ruled India. Indians were supposed to work for them and they were not free to do what they wanted, like we are today. So the freedom fighters of our country fought with the British to force them to leave the country. Many of the freedom fighters stayed away from their homes for long times, leaving their children at home because they were fighting the British. Some freedom fighters were even killed for this. But every time any of them died, even more came forward to fight for the freedom of our country! Finally, all their sacrifice paid off and in 1947, the British were finally forced to leave India.
At midnight, on August 15, 1947; India became a free country and since then we celebrate the Independence Day every year on this day. We have been doing this for sixty-eight years and this year we are celebrating the 69th Independence Day of our country! Our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi unfurls the National Flag from the Laal Quilla today and then gives a speech.
India's flag has three colours - the orange, the white and the green, with the Ashoka Chakra in blue colour right in the centre. The three colours are all of the same length and breadth; and each of them stands for something - the Orange (saffron) stands for Spirituality; the White for Peace; and the Green stands for Prosperity. The Ashoka Chakra is actually the symbol for Gandhiji's "charkha" which gives the message that we need to work hard if we want to progress.
After the Prime Minister unfurls the flag; people in other places like schools, offices, even residential buildings are allowed to conduct flag hoisting in their premises. It is a happy occasion and is a fun day when we should have a celebration and maybe even some sweets!"
I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least; and wanted to know where she got all this information from. Turns out, this is the gist of some of the things that she has heard from us, the conversations she has had with my parents about the occasion; and whatever she has read in the books at home and at the library, that talk about India.
I am obviously impressed and glad that at this tender age, my child has a pretty good idea of what Independence Day is all about!
Have you told your child about this special day for our country? What does your child know about India and her Independence Day?