Why Don’t I Celebrate Independence Day?

Aug 13, 2009

“Familiarity breeds contempt”

Many may not agree with this statement for reasons unknown, some because they do not know what familiarity is and the rest do not simply understand what contempt is. As for me these words have often come true, especially in the case of freedom, which I consider is the highest of all gifts given to us rather thrusted upon us Indians.  As my country dresses up for another show of Independence day. This is the only day where India assures its citizens that they are free from all oppressions,(this may sound sarcastic )though throughout the other days they are squeezed  for their blood and sweat. Euphoria of Independence Day like the smell of incense sticks is in the air intoxicating the millions into the frenzy of freedom. From the Nethas ,who are readying themselves with a bombastic speech, perhaps written by their PA’s ,to the Municipal workers as they clean reluctantly the statues of our national leaders of moss and crow shit  all are busy to celebrate what they don’t really have. With them the rest of the country is all in the state of consolation, consolation of a public holiday. You may wonder if all these people are really worried about their country’s Independence Day. If they are then why familiarity comes in the way? . Here I have not taken the word ‘familiarity’ in its strict sense; rather it’s an attitude, casual, ‘chaltha hai’ that we show towards the word called freedom since we are given this gift at free cost.

Once a fight broke out in a Chinese pub .The owner did not know how to stop them. At that time a waiter with a little more common sense played the Chinese National Anthem. The gangs stopped their fight and stood in attention in true patriotic spirit. This little time was enough for the cops to come in and chain the fellows. This may not be a case at all in India since the National Anthem does not make any sense for many of us. Thanks for AR Rahman and group giving it a ‘rock band’ remix. The British were shrewd enough to give is freedom at the middle of the night when all slept peacefully. So Independence Day becomes one of the public holidays, a time to relax and watch the National Parade in Delhi, where the country shows its military might assuring everyone, don’t worry if they bomb you, we will bomb them to the stone age. We are happy ! Telling Pakistanis ‘Salo, Mardalenge’. There are thousands of reasons, why this familiarity with freedom has made us ignorant of its worth.

For a school boy and girl, he or she has to go to school, compulsorily; and to attend the flag hoisting ceremony in the hot sun and eat a Laduu for consolation. For teachers, they have to prepare their children with a patriotic song or dance or else the Inspector would give a negative report. For the office goers, it’s a time for relaxation. Freedom from the irritation of file work and of Boss. For a housewife, it’s time to prepare the favorite dish of her husband and children to prove her worth. For the youth, time to hang out, for girls extra time to gossip about the latest fashion and for the boys time to zoom around the city streets with their bikes, since all  cops are in the parade. For a municipal worker freedom from cleaning the streets and dustbins even though they are overflowing with waste and stinking. So who is bothered about the Independence Day? Everyone would find an excuse not to stand under the flag and salute. The height of contempt, you may call it.

Why do we need to celebrate this day, when the country is gripped by terror, when the borders are full of soldiers, when the radars are in search of a possible Nuke attack, when the NSG’s ready for a surprise attack, when parliament is full of noise, discussing who pulled my leg, when Nethas are swallowing crores and the farmers are hanging on the tamarind trees, when ‘bindaas babus’ are busy receiving kick backs on a piece of crap from Russia, when the Megalomaniac minister is spending tax money on her statues, when public offices are full of corrupt bandicoots, when the unknown soldiers are on the highest  battle field eating snow, when Kasab is still alive, when I am not sure that I will come back home safe, when my telephone line is dead and electricity cut, when my drainage overflows and I don’t have a Election Identity card.? Dude! Where is my country heading !

Have you made resolutions on any day? If no or yes , take some time on this day and reflect on the highest prize we have freely received by the blood of our elders. Let us seriously give a thought to the following things: where does my tax money go? ; When will the potholes on the road be filled?; why do we  need to listen to the Khadis?,  Why is the media twisting the truth? Why we need to salute a flag when those three colors represent three religions which are at each other’s throat? …..there are millions of questions to be asked and answered. Only then would my freedom make sense and bring peace to me and to my neighbor. Until then I would not celebrate this day as a mark of sacredness and respect.

Rohan Sequiera - archives:

By Rohan Sequeira - Pune
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Comment on this article

  • Jossie D''Mello SJ, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 15 2009

    Rohan, thank you for your article on Independence day. Though apparently it sounds pessimistic but I think your article invites one to reflect on the scenario we are living in. Therefore, we should not to take for granted the independence, the freedom that we have achieved. The Independence day should not become a MERE SHOW rather there is a need for introspection.


    Fri, Aug 14 2009


  • Sandesh, Schipel

    Fri, Aug 14 2009

    Dear Rohan, I fully agree with you. Because I am not in India I realise what freedom is. I really enjoy my freedom at present where i am. Even though i am a foreigner here i am having the same rights as others are having and you can ask for it. Every citizen has a right to live but in our country priority is only for the rich and the mighty. Dear Naveen, i fully agree with Mr. Ajit. I assume that Mr. Ajit lives abroad (not in the middle east). When i was in India i paid my road tax but no roads, i paid my property tax but no water n electricity.

    I have to pay for a tanker to get water and pay for desiel to run the generator. Who is bothered? I paid my health tax but did not get a vaccination for my child. I had the money, so I bought it. I have paid what ever i had to. My child was born abroad, i did not have to pay a single penny. I have been treated as a own in a foreign country coz there is value for human life. In India we are more than a billion. In India we dont live only exist.

    This is my opinion and i respect your opinion Mr. Naveen. You can give what you can to your country but they will still ask and if they find that you are still left with something they will grab it from you. Don''t go too back and too far. Last Jan in M''lore there were some girls who were beaten in broad day light, What happened? A boy cannot walk with a girl, a couple cannot go to resto-bar only coz some moral police dont like it.

    Somebody from Bihar, UP or Karnataka cannot go to Mumbai, you will be beaten coz the rich n mighty can murder n get away. The law is only for the poor. I have realised and the faster you do better for you. I appriciate the spirit of your Independence Mr. Naveen. Enjoy your freedom.

  • Antony Pereira, Mangalore

    Fri, Aug 14 2009

    Who is not celebrating his/her mother''s birthday? Indpendence day is birthday of our "Bharath Matha" and hence we have to respect it and celebrate the same in the way we wanted. Some of my friends above rightly put it that if you want to see freedom one has to visit a foriegn country and stay their for some times.

    Then one can make out the difference. I am Indian & I love India... and I will celebrate Independence day whereever I am.

  • Anil, Bangalore

    Fri, Aug 14 2009

    Rohan....You got your facts wrong....The military parade is held on Republic Day (26th Jan) and not on Independence Day. On 15th August, the Prime Minister addresses the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

  • Shridhara Achar.K, Puttur/ Bangalore

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Concern expressed by Rohan is understandable. But to say that he doesn`t want to celebrate Independence Day is not just unpatriotic. Reasons he has given in support of his decision is full of pessimism. Yes country is gripped with by terror, borders are full of soldiers, NSGs are ready to counter surprise attacks, Nethas are corrupt. Inspite of that, India is on the road of progress, living standard of common man has improved a lot. If nethas nad babus are corrupt, lethargic citizens are mainly responsible. Eternal vigilence is the essence of democracy. Independence Day reminds us all that message. Let us not forget the Day.

  • siddarth, mangalore

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Independence day does not sound sarcastic to me .We are definiteley free in India and we can definitetly say Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara. Rightly said jemiyar you will know whats freedom once you step out of India

  • Jemiayr, KUWAIT

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    If we people go and live in other country for little time, we will understand the meaning of the freedom. I myself have to carry the civil ID in my pocket every time when I go out of my room . I cannot celebrate any festival publicly in gulf. So comparing to this, My home country is too good to feel the freedom. Our Mahatma gandhi, Nehru and Law maker Dr Ambedkarji are great .I urge you to visit  a few gulf countries and see how much the  expatriates enjoy the freedom.Then definitely we will say Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara.......Jai Bharath.

  • Ahmed, Mangalore

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Problems and difficulties are part of life in one or other way in every nation.It is the responsibility of every citizen to fight the problems and also as a matter of pride to celebrate independence day.We should not get carried away by any articles published which could be one sided.

  • John, Australia

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Excellent Job Rohan... This article is what I call "DEFINING THE UGLY TRUTH". We all know what is happening around us and it is hard for us to accept this fact. Whatever be it democratic, populous, unworthy beauracrats etc, we still are ruled by ministers and not GOVERNED by them. I encourage you to kindly publish such thought provoking articles because I am tired of reading the fine side of issues surfacing in the world and I want to experience the flipsyde of the coin. Cheers Rohan!!!

  • Lancy M Fernandes, Jeppu/Pune

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Well written peiece. nice thoughts that will help the thought process of others. Jai Hind.

  • Musta, Riyadh

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Is Independence limited only to express our opinions and criticise some others?. Some of us defined and compressed meaning of Independence just to this things. Mr. Rohan''s concern is for the people who are deprived of criminal and social justice, for the people who are suffered for the modern constructions in the name of development, for the people who are suffered due to the negligence of utives of our Constitutional System, for the lady who was mutilated because of her cow surpassed neighbour jamindar''s land where she has been denied even to register a complaint against him.

    These are very little things to mention forget the farmers, poor and middle class people, rising prices,School donations, fascists etc.. To conclude Most Indians are VICTIM of Independence.

  • Siva Avadani, Manipal / Dubai

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    The Article gives a message that is all we have to understand well written except the Tricolors. No matter how my mother is but mother is mother. There is no point in blaming politics it will not change for another 50 years and it will be worst. Before only politicians now the people who take the law in their hands. "Once i was worried for the freedom, today I am worried about the freedom" Happy Independence Day to all.

  • Abdulla Madumoole, Abu Dhabi

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Ajit Mangalore, Your statement that you love your country but not your country men is really tragic. What do you mean by saying that you love your country? Does it mean that you love only the geographical area of India? For me loving India also means loving all human beings living in India.

  • Clive, Mumbai

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Its a thought provoking article. We Indians find it very easy to criticise but what do we do to improve our own country? Absolutely nothing. When we go down to any other developed country, we are overwhelmed by their wealth and splendour. But these countries also treat us Indians like second grade citizens. Discrimination is rife even if it is not admitted by us. In India we dare to spit on the roads, trashing the surroundings with garbage, abusing others etc. but dare we do this in another devloped country? Some people dont even know the local language of their own state but when they go to another country, they will learn the language, master it so perfectly that nobody might even know that the guy is a native Indian. Let us be proud of our country which has given us limitless freedom.

    Due to our large population its very difficult to provied jobs for each and every individual in our country. But a day will come very soon that none of our citizens will have to travel to another alien country to find jobs. Thats the day we all should be waiting for. Our country is what it is today due to the politiicians of yester years. But if we have educated and young politicians like what we have today(a small percentage right now), then surely India will progress in the future. Jai Hind

  • nithyananda shetty , Karkala / Dubai

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Mr.Rohan Sequeira You are too good ...unfortunately now "kaalakke takkante kola" Indians dont want reality...

  • Antony Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney-Australia

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    A thought provoking and inspiring article by you, Rohan Sequeira, and very apt on the occasion of Indian Independence Day which is due shortly! Wow! Rohan, you seems to have done some homework and research before you have penned your gutsy thoughts and views on the subject, and hats off to you, though I am not sure whether I am fully with you on certain things in what you say, but I am not qualified and entitled to comment authentically anyway.

    After living 22 years away from my home country. I would however, say, that it`s not an easy task for the Governments in operation, whoever it may be, either Congress or BJP, to manage and govern such a democracic country like India which has a large population - literate and illiterate - with so many diverse and different religions, cultures, castes and social systems, prevailing. All the same, I still love my home country, India (except for its massive pollution and overcrowding in the cities!) - it`s lovely people, be it rich or poor, who are always warm, friendly and helpful, and well behaved, and also specially its rich family set up and social culture and values. LONG LIVE INDIA!

  • Abdulla Madumoole, Abu Dhabi

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Mr.Rohan, You have questioned the authenticity of celebrating our Independence Day and luckily you haven’t questioned the significance of independence itself. Probably you agree that because of this independence you are able to express your views freely. Celebration of Independence day doesn’t mean that we are proclaiming that day of freeing ourselves of all national problems and issues.

    The celebration rekindles the spirit of nationalism, at least that day when we see the celebration it reminds us that we all are Indians. It recollects the bitter and painful memories of our freedom movements, the sacrifices and struggles of our forefathers to gain this independence. The one incidence which comes again and again to my mind year after year is the Jallianwallabagh tragedy, the ruthless massacring of our innocent people.

    Is not the message of that massacre clear and relevant even today that in front of power justice doesn’t prevail? Rohan, whether you celebrate independence day or not, I will keep on celebrating the day, may not be by hoisting the tri-colour but at least by keeping the spirit of the tri-colour within me always.

  • Vishi, Mangalore

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Instead of correcting the writer lets try to see what he wants to say through this article. I may sound rude but it is educated people like us who fail to realize the importance of our democracy. There are many people who want to create a change but there a hundreds more who stop them. "Truth is bitter".

    What is wrong in what the article says, its the truth, what else do we do on independence day, listen to patriotic songs, where clothes matching the flags, sit at home relax and the list goes on. How many of us feel like dying for our country each time the national anthem is heard?


    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Dear Mr R.Squeira,we have billion plus people,largest living democracy,so many religion,caste,creed,culture,ETc ETc.But still democracy effctively prevailed in INDIA. Even USA acknowledged.While I am accepting your view points on this subject,I am totaly not accepting your"WHY DONT I CELEBERATE INDEPENDENCE DAY"Being a INDIAN ,you should.It is people of INDIA to change all these shortcomings. They have "holy right" (RIGHT TO VOTE)It is unfair to equate with country like Zimbabwe,sudan,afaganistan..... Still I believe SARE JAHAN SE ACCHA HINDUSTA HAMARA.... I defenitley celeberate INDIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY . JAI-HO ... .HAPPY INDEPENDECE DAY TO ALL OUR FOLKS. JAI HIND..

  • karan, Mangalore

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    I fully agree with A. Naik. We all citizens of this great nation must thank that great leaders who fought for the freedom of this great nation.

  • Nolda, Udupi / Mumbai

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Yes Rohan, I fully agree with you. As it is said everybody''s property is nobody''s property all are enjoying their freedom, rather the other way round but has forgotten this: A person''s freedom ends where the other person''s begin.


    Thu, Aug 13 2009


  • Ravindranath Shetty, Dubai/Mangalore

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Dear Nithin, Thanks for the well stated correction.

  • Ajit, Mangalore

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Yes Rohan, I fully agree with you. I love my country but not my country men. The leaders are busy filling up their pockets and the common man just does not have the time to think about the country''s problems. He is burdened with his own problems to get 3 meals a day for his family. I realised this when i left my home town and setteled in a civilised counrty.

    What is independence when man is looking for food in a garbage bin and fighting with a dog for a piece of bread. Mr. Naik soon you will realise that our country is not too far from Zimbawe, Myanmar, Sudan, Ethiopia. My friend look at countires like Japan, Singapore, Malay the size of a small state in India. After being destroyed they have developed to a economical giants. We need to change our attitude Mr. Naik. Jai Hind.


    Wed, Aug 12 2009

    DEAR Rohan Sequeira ,WHO TOLD YOU OUR FLAG''S three colors represent three religions ...PLZ READ THIS.. A wheel in navy blue to indicate the Dharma Chakra ,Its diameter approximates the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes, which intends to show that there is life in movement and death in stagnation. The saffron stands for courage, sacrifice and the spirit of renunciation the white, for purity and truth the green for faith and fertility.

  • Joel, Mangalore / Bangalore

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Happy Independence Day!!!! Please do not use Plastic Flags this Independence day!!!

  • A.Naik, mangalore

    Thu, Aug 13 2009

    Well my freind if you want to savour the independence that we enjoy go live in Zimbabwe , Mayanmar, Sudan ,Ethiopia ,Afghanistan ......there are many many other countreis ,so enjoy with a little compromise more freedom man this is a great country ...sare jahan se achha par thoda kam ..lets try to make it better and its happening ..if not us our nxt gen.jai hind

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