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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Chak De – TEAM INDIA!

Killer instinct, Self – belief, Team spirit, unity, Dedication are some of the things that can bring success. This is brought out very clearly in the movie Chak De India.
It is this same single minded dedication that is required at this juncture in India to take it to the path of true progress, not only on the hockey field, or any sports ground but, in the global arena of all spheres of life!

In order to achieve this, each and every citizen of India needs to awaken, yet again, from its deep slumber and this false sense of freedom and security that we have since Independence Day. We may have got rid of the foreign rulers but they left behind the legacy and the mantra of their ruler ship that our politicians have been following very diligently, the mantra of “Divide and Rule”. They have surely and steadily broken down our country into small states, territories, religions, caste, etc.

We, the citizens of India need to break these shackles once and for all. We need to remind ourselves of the fact that we all belong to a great nation that is INDIA. We need to feel patriotic towards our country in our hearts and minds! If we only rewind time and see a few examples in the past of what we had and what we are capable of, then we can reassert that belief in ourselves and build an identity of our own, in our own image as INDIANS and not in the shadow of western or any other influences in our country!

“Jahan daal daal par sone ki,
Chidiya karti hai basera,
Who Bharat desh hai mera”

“Jahan satya ahimsa aur dharma ka,
pag pag lagta dera,
woh bharat desh hai mera, woh Bharat desh ahi mera”

And the song,

"Meri Desh ki dharti sona ugle,
ugle heere moti, meri desh ki dahrti"

This song, very truly brings out the truth about our Country! Maybe we need to teach this song to our children in schools from the primary level, so that they can grow up with this song in their hearts and minds. I know it for a fact because I was also taught these patriotic songs during my school days. But, my child does not know any of these songs, as they are not being taught or emphasized upon anymore.

After having said all this, I also wish to say that I do feel it in my heart that there is something happening. There is definitely a change brewing, a wind or a storm, only time will tell. But, people are stirring from their apathy and things are slowly taking a turn! Will this be the new revolution in INDIA? Are we creating history again, are we going to achieve our true independence? Are we ready to take things into our hands and change the destiny of INDIA yet again? I certainly think the time has come, and I believe that our youth will LEAD INDIA into the future as the true superpower and a country that would be respected in its own identity! This is my message to the youth -
CHAK DE – INDIA.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rakhi Gift For your Sister

Gift your sister this Gift Certificate this Rakshabandhan.

gift certificates

Find the perfect Gift For your sister for Rakhi

What better gift than a trendy Cell Phone for your sister this Rakshabandhan. Make her day special by getting her one of these.



Gift her some jewellery. Fine watches and body jewellery to choose from.



Meaning & Significance of Raksha Bandhan

The Festival
The relationships are the essence of celebration. This holds true for any Indian festival. Each festival brings the families together. That mere togetherness is celebration. It calls for a total festive environment. The celebration of one such relationship is Raksha Bandhan; the celebration of brother sister relationship. The sibling relationship is nowhere so celebrated as in India. The brother sister relationship is no where so worshiped as here. It is this affection and love that is celebrated on the Raksha Bandhan.

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Free Rakhi Greetings, E-cards, Greeting cards

Raksha Bandhan is a special occasion to shower your affection on your siblings. Celebrate this unique bond of love you share with your brother/ sister/ cousins/ loved ones with our beautiful Raksha Bandhan ecards. Express how much you care for them 'n make this Raksha Bandhan a memorable one.
Send Free Online Greeting Cards to your friends & loved ones. ALL cards are absolutely FREE !!!

Click Here....

Happy Raksha Bandhan for Brothers and Sisters

Rakshabandhan is a very special Indian festival, the celebration of the special bond between a brother and a sister. Sisters tie a special band on their brothers' wrist on the day of Rakhi as a mark of affection. This thread, which pulsates with sisterly love and sublime sentiments, is rightly called the ‘Rakhi’. It is a way of telling your brother that you'll never forget how he teased you about everything, yet fought with those who spoke a single word against you and how you bid him farewell with a smile, and only he saw those tear drops in your eyes.

Reach out to your brother on the day of Rakhi with a very special loving message and a beautiful Rakhi.

More on Rakhi rituals, decorations, wallpapers, recipes and lots more.....

CLick here....

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Lead India - Times of India Initiative

On the 60th anniversary of India's Independence, the Times of India group has started a “LEAD INDIA” campaign to find new generation leaders for the country. This is very significant because, for one, a leading media group in the country has finally stated it openly that we lack good leaders, and for other, it is giving an opportunity to the common man to aspire for something bigger.

The program is an offshoot of the last campaign, India Poised, launched by the group on 01 Jan 2007. Based on the responses from the readers the group identified the governance as being the country's Achilles’ heel.

The group has drawn a parallel with the corporate India. If India Inc can produce so many strong, highly motivated and transformational leaders, why can't the Indian politics?

What is it that we (the youth) lack today? I, very strongly, feel that the youth today is missing out on strong leadership, good moral values, an ideal or true hero that he or she can idolize or find inspiration from! The youth today needs to be motivated in a correct manner so that they are inspired to work towards the progress of the country! Maybe what they lack the most is a feeling of Patriotism towards their motherland, the way our forefathers had felt! The media can play a very huge and crucial role towards this end by portraying or focusing on the people who have made a difference to our country and who continue to do good work.

What better person than Shah Rukh Khan to lead this campaign! I think it is a very apt choice. He is young and energetic and full of spirit and passion! He has worked hard to achieve success on his own. His father too was a freedom fighter and so he obviously understands the importance of freedom in our lives and its effect on all of us! Shahrukh Khan is a good role model for the youth today! He has maintained his dignity vis-à-vis his acting and choice of work, and also is a true family man with good family values that is apparent! Most of the other people of his generation are busy either getting divorced or marrying twice or getting into ‘living in’ relationships!

So, what are the qualities we would want in the leadership today! According to a poll conducted by the Times Of India the qualities that were most sought in a leader are: - Honesty, Efficiency, Ability to inspire, Education, and carry people along.

The next important step is to identify the areas that need to be developed through good leadership! According to me, the first and foremost thing to consider would be farming and agriculture in our country! We definitely need strong and efficient leaders to work out good schemes to help the farmers come out of their debts, and also encourage more people to take up agriculture in a big way to stop the farmers from committing suicides and getting good returns for all their efforts! This way people living in rural areas would begin to prosper and would not think of selling away good fertile land to the ever greedy industrialists who would buy the land and build a factory or something else that would ruin the land and also spread pollution of all kinds in the otherwise beautiful countryside!

Honest and principled leaders could bring about a drastic change in our society by bringing down the rate of corruption in all spheres of life! This would automatically wipe out a lot of dirt and hollowness from our country, and help it to grow stronger by being more transparent in all its dealings! A strong police force, with honest and dedicated staff working to protect the people is the need of the hour! Also, young people to join the armed forces for the right reasons and to be dedicated to the interests of the nation. For this to happen, the government would have to provide more facilities to the armed forces and police force! Therefore, it is true that honesty is a virtue that is the first and foremost requirement of the day!

This is definitely a step in the right direction, taken by Times of India group. And I only hope that there would be more such campaigns taken up by other people or corporate groups to build on this front and hunt out the true leaders of our country! Because, I honestly feel that there is no dearth of talent and true potential in the youth of our country, they are there somewhere and need just the right push to come out and DO something to achieve their dreams and passions for the country!

Jai Hind!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Indian Republic Day : 26th January : History of Gantantra Divas

The Republic Day of India (Gantantra Divas)is a national holiday of India to mark the transition of India from a British Dominion to a republic on January 26,1950. This is not to be confused with the Independence Day (India)on August 15th.

History
Although India obtained its independence on August 15, 1947, the Constitution of India came into effect only on January 26, 1950. During the transition period from 1947 to 1950, George VI King was the head of state. Lord Mountbatten and C. Rajagopalachari served as Governors-General of India during this period. Following January 26, 1950, Rajendra Prasad was elected as the first president of India.

Celebrations
To mark the importance of this occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi. The different regiments of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force march past in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute.

Celebrations, though on a much smaller scale, are also held in state capitals, where the governor of the state unfurls the national flag. If the Governer of the state is unwell, or is unavailable for some reason, the Chief Minister of the state assumes the honor of unfurling the National Flag of India.


On January 26, 1950. The Constituent Assembly was convened and appointed a committee with Dr. B.R.Ambedkar as Chairman to draft the Constitution. India declared herself to be a Sovereign Democratic Republic. The Indian Constitution, the longest in the world, consist 397 articles and 12 schedules which provides for a single citizenship for the whole of India.

It gives the right to vote to all citizens of 18 years and above, unless they are disqualified. Fundamental rights are guaranteed to the citizens, equality of religion and so on. The Supreme Court, consisting of the Chief Justice of India and other judges, is the guardian of the Constitution. It stands at the apex of a single integrated judicial system for the whole country. This is where the fundamental rights of the citizens are protected.

The Political Model – The constitution pledge to solemnly resolve to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and secure to all citizens its rights like:

Justice, social, economic and political

Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship

Equality of status and of opportunity and to promote among them all

Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.

What was the Green Revolution in India?

The world's worst recorded food disaster happened in 1943 in British-ruled India. Known as the Bengal Famine, an estimated four million people died of hunger that year alone in eastern India (that included today's Bangladesh). The initial theory put forward to 'explain' that catastrophe was that there as an acute shortfall in food production in the area. However, Indian economist Amartya Sen (recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics, 1998) has established that while food shortage was a contributor to the problem, a more potent factor was the result of hysteria related to World War II which made food supply a low priority for the British rulers. The hysteria was further exploited by Indian traders who hoarded food in order to sell at higher prices.

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Cultural Politics of the National Flag

There are certain moments in the cultural and political life of a nation when the national flag comes into prominence. Every Indian is aware that the Prime Minister unfurls the national tricolor from the ramparts of the Red Fort every Independence Day on August 15, and indeed the observance of January 26th as Republic Day goes back to 31 December 1929, when Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the flag of the Indian National Congress, gave a call for purna swaraj, and asked people to observe January 26 as independence day. Most recently, the cremation of Beant Singh reminded us that the honored dead are honored with the flag, and that if the national flag is attendant upon the birth of a nation, it equally accompanies in death those whose lives are construed as being symbolic of the nation.

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

How 'Jana Gana Mana' became India's national anthem

For most Indians, the most enduring image associated with Independence Day is the unfurling of the tricolour flag from the ramparts of the ancient Red Fort here, followed by the strains of the national anthem.
But few Indians would know how "Jana Gana Mana", composed originally in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore in 1911, two years before he won the Nobel Prize for literature, came to be India's national anthem.
While it is clear that "Jana Gana Mana" was sung for the first time at the Kolkata session of the Indian National Congress on December 27, 1911, a controversy still rages over whether the song was actually meant to welcome King George V, as was reported in some leading newspapers of that time.
It is on this ground that many had opposed the eventual choice of this song as the national anthem of free India.
While Tagore reportedly never contradicted these rumours, many of his staunch supporters contended that a deeply patriotic man like him would have composed a song in honour of the British monarch.
As the national movement gathered steam, Jana Gana Mana's popularity increased by leaps and bounds.
Two other very popular songs during the freedom struggle were "Vande Mataram", from "Anand Math", written by Bengali novelist Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, and "Saare Jahan Se Achcha" by Urdu poet Mohammad Iqbal.
In many cases, British authorities, who were eager to crush any nationalist feelings among Indians during those years, had equated the singing of "Vande Mataram" with sedition, and people found singing it were punished severely and often jailed.
On August 14, 1947, just before the country's tryst with destiny, members of the Constituent Assembly listened in rapt attention as eminent freedom fighter Sucheta Kripalani sang the first verses of three patriotic songs - "Vande Mataram", "Sare Jahan Se Achcha" and "Jana Gana Mana".
"Jana Gana Mana" was also sung when Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the Indian tricolour and lowered the Union Jack on August 15, 1947, at Prince's Park near India Gate in New Delhi, symbolising a new dawn in the country's history.
A final decision on adoption of a national anthem was taken on January 24, 1950, at a meeting of the Constituent Assembly, presided over by Rajendra Prasad, who later became first president of independent India.
In a short announcement, Prasad said although it was initially thought that the house would take a decision on the issue by way of a resolution, he had, instead, decided to issue a statement that "Jana Gana Mana" would be the national anthem.
He added "Vande Mataram", which had played a historic part in the freedom struggle, "shall be honoured equally with 'Jana Gana Mana' and shall have equal status with it".
"Vande Mataram" is India's national song.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Unsung Heroes of Freedom struggle in India - Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel


Sardar Patel was popularly known as Iron Man of India. His full name was Vallabhbhai Patel. He played a leading role in the Indian freedom struggle and became the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India. He is credited with achieving political integration of India.

Vallabhbhai Patel was born on October 31, 1875 in Nadiad, a small village in Gujarat. His father Jhaverbhai was a farmer and mother Laad Bai was a simple lady. Sardar Vallabhai's early education took place in Karamsad. Then he joined a school in Petlad. After two years he joined a high school in a town called Nadiad. He passed his high school examination in 1896. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was a brilliant student throughout his schooling.

Vallabhbhai wanted to become a barrister. To realize this ambition he had to go to England. But he did not have the financial means to even join a college India. In those days a candidate could study in private and sit for an examination in Law. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel borrowed books from a lawyer of his acquaintance and studied at home. Occasionally he attended courts of law and listened attentively to the arguments of lawyer. Vallabhbhai passed the Law examination with flying colours.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel started his Law practice in Godhra. Soon his practice flourished. He got married to Jhaberaba. In 1904, he got a baby daughter Maniben, and in 1905 his son Dahyabhai was born. Vallabhbhai sent his elder brother Vitthalbhai, who himself was a lawyer, to England for higher studies in Law. Patel was only thirty-three years old when his wife died. He did not wish to marry again. After his brother's return, Vallabhbhai went to England. He studied with single-minded devotion and stood first in the Barrister-at-Law Examination.

Sardar Patel returned to India in 1913 and started his practice in Ahmedabad. Soon he became popular. At the urging of his friends, Patel contested and won elections to become the sanitation commissioner of Ahmedabad in 1917. Sardar Patel was deeply impressed by Gandhiji's success in Champaran Satyagraha. In 1918, there was a drought in the Kheda division of Gujarat. Peasants asked for relief from the high rate of taxes but the British government refused. Gandhiji took up peasants cause but could not devote his full time in Kheda. He was looking for someone who could lead the struggle in his absence. At this point Sardar Patel volunteered to come forward and lead the struggle. He gave up his lucrative legal practice and entered public life.

Vallabhbhai successfully led peasants revolt in Kheda and the revolt ended in 1919 when the British government agreed to suspend collection of revenue and roll back the rates. Kheda Satyagraha turned Vallabhbhai Patel into a national hero. Vallabhbhai supported Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Movement, and as president of the Gujarat Congress, helped in organizing bonfires of British goods in Ahmedabad. He gave up his English clothes and started wearing Khadi. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was elected Ahmedabad's municipal president in 1922, 1924 and 1927. During his terms, Ahmedabad was extended a major supply of electricity and underwent major education reforms. Drainage and sanitation systems were extended over all the city.

In 1928, Bardoli Taluka in Gujarat suffered from floods and famine. In this hour of distress the British government raised the revenue taxes by thirty percent. Sardar Patel took up cudgels on behalf of the farmers and appealed to the Governor to reduce the taxes. The Governor refused and the government even announced the date of the collection of the taxes. Sardar Patel organized the farmers and told them not to pay even a single pie of tax. The government tried to repress the revolt but ultimately bowed before Vallabhbhai Patel. It was during the struggle and after the victory in Bardoli that caused intense excitement across India, that Patel was increasingly addressed by his colleagues and followers as Sardar.

Sardar Patel was imprisoned during Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930. After the signing of Gandhi-Irwin pact in 1931, Sardar Patel was released and he was elected Congress president for its 1931 session in Karachi. Upon the failure of the Round Table Conference in London, Gandhiji and Sardar Patel were arrested in January 1932 and imprisoned in the Yeravada Central Jail. During this term of imprisonment, Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi grew close to one another, and the two developed a close bond of affection, trust, and frankness without reserve. Sardar Patel was finally released in July 1934.

In August 1942, the Congress launched the Quit India Movement. The government jailed all the important leaders of the Congress, including Vallabhai Patel. All the leaders were released after three years. After achieving independence on 15th of August 1947, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of independent India and Sardar Patel became the Deputy Prime Minister. He was in charge of Home Affairs, Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of States.

There were 565 princely states in India at that time. Some of the Maharajas and Nawabs who ruled over these were sensible and patriotic. But most of them were drunk with wealth and power. They were dreaming of becoming independent rulers once the British quit India. They argued that the government of free India should treat them as equals. Some of them went to the extent of planning to send their representatives to the United Nations Organization. Patel invoked the patriotism of India's monarchs, asking them to join in the freedom of their nation and act as responsible rulers who cared about the future of their people. He persuaded the princes of 565 states of the impossibility of independence from the Indian republic, especially in the presence of growing opposition from their subjects. With great wisdom and political foresight, he consolidated the small kingdoms. The public was with him. He tackled the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Nawab of Junagarh who initially did not want to join India. Sardar Patel's untiring efforts towards the unity of the country brought success. He united a scattered nation without much bloodshed. Due to the achievement of this massive task, Sardar Patel got the title of 'Iron Man'. Sardar Patel died of cardiac arrest on December 15, 1950. For his services to the nation Sardar Patel was conferred with Bharat Ratna in 1991.

Not only Mahatma Gandhi

India acquired its independence from the British in 1947. The most renowned political figure of India's independence is Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). He is sometimes referred to as the 'father of modern India' or as 'father of Indian nationalism'. But the modern Indian nationalism did not begin with Mahatma Gandhi but much before his appearance on the Indian political arena.

In 1828, a man named Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833) founded an organization called 'Brahmo Samaj'. Indian historians consider this organization forerunner which paved the way for reformation in India and its establisher as the 'father of modern India'. Raja Ram and his organization 'Brahmo Samaj' tried to change the social order of India. But during that period there wasn't yet an Indian ethos among the Indians. Indians were never one nation but always a collection of different entities. They were used to different rulers including non- Indians. From their point of view the British were just another ruler over them.

In 1857 the 'Indian Mutiny' took place almost all over India. In this Mutiny, different rulers of different kingdoms in the Indian sub-continent joined forces to defeat the British. The mutiny failed miserably to achieve its goal to defeat the British. After this mutiny a common feeling of an occupied and oppressed nation by a foreign power developed among the Indians all over the Indian sub-continent. One of the famous figures of this 'Mutiny' was Queen Laxmibai of Jhansi, popularly known as 'Jhansi ki Rani'. Later on many women freedom fighters who fought for India's independence had the 'spirit' of Jhansi ki Rani in their mind.

In 1885 the 'Indian National Congress' was established. Among its founders were Justice M. G. Ranade, Surendranath Benarjee, Dadabhai Naoroji, Pherozshah Mehta and others. This organization, which was the main voice of the Indian nationalism under British rule, was established with British permission. The real purpose of the British in establishing this organization was to continue ruling India with the help of liberal and pro-British Indians. But within a short period of time a militant nationalist opposition was established within the Congress who demanded an independent India. This militant group tried to dispose of the liberal leadership of the Congress.

In the last decade of the 19th century the salient leader of the Congress was Gopal Gokhale. The militant Left group within the Congress tried to dispose of Gokhale as the leader of the Congress. The leader of this militant group was Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Two of his main associates were Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal. This trio was called in short Lal-Bal-Pal. These three men originated from three different parts of India. Rai was from Punjab in North India, Tilak was from Maharashtra in West India and Pal from Bengal in East India. Another important militant leader was Aurbindo Ghosh.

Bal Gandadhar Tilak is considered by many to be the first Indian leader who moved the Indian independence cause from the closed rooms of the intellectuals to the ordinary people of India. Some of the main nationalist slogans used by Indians during their struggle for independence were slogans coined by him. One of his famous sentences was "Swaraj (self rule) is my birthright and I shall have it". Other of his important concepts utilized later on by Mahatma Gandhi were boycott of foreign goods and use of the term 'Swadeshi', meaning 'of our country' or 'self reliance'. Tilak tried different ways to gather the different Indian communities together and start unifying them. He succeeded in causing major uprisings against the British and was titled by the western press in 1907 as the ‘father of Indian uprising’.

Tilak and his associates were considered by the British as the main cause for the violence against them and therefore they arrested and deported them. Tilak returned from his deportation in 1915 and became the leader of the Indian nationalism. In 1920, Tilak died and Mahatma Gandhi became the leader of Indian National Congress.

Mahatma Gandhi, more than any other Indian is identified with India's freedom struggle. Gandhi succeeded in sweeping the Indian people after him like no other Indian leader ever did before him. Gandhi's philosophy of struggle against the British was non-violent non-cooperation. He demanded from the Indians to restrain even if the British forces physically attacked them. But not all Indians admired Gandhi and his ideas of non-violent struggle. There were many who used violence and terrorism to fight for independence. These terrorism acts were of two kinds. There were general terrorist acts against British government interests, like blowing bridges, buildings or railway tracks. The other kind of terrorist acts were against specific British officials who were spotted by Indians as responsible for actions, which caused damage or death to Indians. Two famous martyrs of India's independence history are Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekher, who renamed himself 'Azad' meaning liberty.

Even within the Indian National Congress there were members who did not accept Gandhi's ideas. His opponents even established movements within the Indian National Congress, who had other ideas about India. Among his rivals within the Congress were C. R. Das, Motilal Nehru (father of Jawarharlal Nehru), Vitthalbhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose and others. Because of the growing criticism over his leadership, Mahatma Gandhi resigned as the leader of the Congress in 1933. Since then and until India's independence Gandhi was the father figure of the Congress, even though he was not the official leader of the Congress.

Among Gandhi's strong supporters or followers who were also national figures were C. Rajagopalachari, Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, Jawarharlal Nehru, Vallabbhai Patel and others. When Mahatma Gandhi arrived in India from South Africa in 1915, Vallabbhai Patel mocked at Gandhi's philosophy. Later on he became a great admirer of Gandhi.

Along with the Congress there were other organizations, which were established outside the Congress and fought for Indian's right for self-definition. Among them were Home Rule League which was established by an Englishwomen, Mrs. Annie Besant. Hindu Mahasabha and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh which, were Hindu nationalist organizations. And there were other organizations.

Some regions and communities of India had more respect and honor for certain heroes and leaders who originated from their community or region. For example the untouchables, especially the Mahars had lot of respect for a senior Congress member, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. The Muslims respected Muslim League leaders Muhammad Jinnah and Dr. Muhammad Iqbal who demanded a separate state for the Muslims and eventually achieved it. The people of Tamil respected C. R. Periyyar whose main ideology was Tamili pride. There were also two nation wide leaders who were more respected within their region. The Bengalis adored Subhas Chandra Bose and the Maharashtrians adored Vinayek Savarkar.

Subhas Chandra Bose won the Congress leadership in 1939. He was very militant in his ideas, but he did not get Gandhi's support for him and therefore he resigned from the Congress leadership. In 1943 he arrived in Japan and with Japanese help established in Singapore 'Free India' government and the Indian National Army whose soldiers were Indians. During the Second World War this army penetrated east India and attacked British posts. Many in India respected Bose and they called him 'Netaji' meaning honored leader.

Another leader who had a lot of respect in India was Vinayek Savarkar. His stronghold was in Maharashtra. In some of its regions Savarkar had more followers than any other Indian leader. Savarkar was a Hindu nationalist and leader of the Hindu Mahasabha. He supported violent acts against the British. Many of his supporters claim that the main reason the British left India wasn't the struggle organized by the Indian National Congress but the violent terrorist acts organized by people like Savarkar. He was called by his followers 'Swatantraveer(independence hero) Savarkar'. His followers also claim that for his role in India's freedom struggle he has not been honored and given the due respect because of his anti-Gandhi slogans and because the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi was his close associate.

Friday, August 3, 2007

60th Anniversary of the Indian Independence

15th August 2007 will be the 60th Anniversary of the Indian Independence
It coincides with the 135th birthday of Aurobindo, as you may know.
Aurobindo's message for the day of Independence 60 years ago on 15th August 1947 was broadcast through All India Radio. This was the message that was written for All India Radio by Sri Aurobindo, given below.

August 15th, 1947 is the birthday of free India. It marks for her the end of an old era, the beginning of a new age. But we can also make it by our life and acts as a free nation an important date in a new age opening for the whole world, for the political, social, cultural and spiritual future of humanity.
August 15th is my own birthday and it is naturally gratifying to me that it should have assumed this vast significance. I take this coincidence, not as a fortuitous accident, but as the sanction and seal of the Divine Force that guides my steps on the work with which I began life, the beginning of its full fruition. Indeed, on this day I can watch almost all the world movements which I hoped to see fulfilled in my lifetime, though then they looked like impracticable dreams arriving at fruition or on their way to achievement. In all these movements free India may well play a large part and take a leading position.

The first of these dreams was a revolutionary movement which would create a free and united India. India today is free but she has not achieved unity. At one moment it almost seemed as if in the very act of liberation she would fall back into the chaos of separate States which preceded the British conquest. But fortunately it now seems probable that this danger will be averted and a large and powerful, though not yet a complete union will be established. Also, the wisely drastic policy of the Constituent Assembly has made it probable that the problem of the depressed classes will be solved without schism or fissure. But the old communal division into Hindus and Muslims seems now to have hardened into a permanent political division of the country. It is to be hoped that this settled fact will not be accepted as settled for ever or as anything more than a temporary expedient. For if it lasts, India may be seriously weakened, even crippled: civil strife may remain always possible, possible even a new invasion and foreign conquest. India's internal development and prosperity may be impeded, her position among the nations weakened, her destiny impaired or even frustrated. This must not be; the partition must go. Let us hope that that may come about naturally, by an increasing recognition of the necessity not only of peace and concord but of common action, by the practice of common action and the creation of means for that purpose. In this way unity may finally come about under whatever form &emdash; the exact form may have a pragmatic but not a fundamental importance. But by whatever means, in whatever way, the division must go; unity must and will be achieved, for it is necessary for the greatness of India's future.

Another dream was for the resurgence and liberation of the peoples of Asia and her return to her great role in the progress of human civilization. Asia has arisen, large parts are now quite free or are at this moment being liberated: its other still subject or partly subject parts are moving through whatever struggles towards freedom. Only a little has to be done and that will be done today or tomorrow. There India has her part to play and has begun to play it with an energy and ability which already indicate the measure of her possibilities and the place she can take in the council of the nations.

The third dream was a world union forming the outer basis of a fairer, brighter and nobler life for all mankind. That unification of the human world is under way; there is an imperfect initiation organized but struggling against tremendous difficulties. But the momentum is there and it must inevitably increase and conquer. Here too India has begun to play a prominent part and, if she can develop that larger statesmanship which is not limited by the present facts and immediate possibilities but looks into the future and brings it nearer, her presence may make all the difference between a slow and timid and a bold and swift development. A catastrophe may intervene and interrupt or destroy what is being done, but even then the final result is sure. For unification is a necessity of Nature, an inevitable movement. Its necessity for the nations is also clear, for without it the freedom of the small nations may be at any moment in peril and the life even of the large and powerful nations insecure. The unification is therefore to the interests of all, and only human imbecility and stupid selfishness can prevent it; but these cannot stand for ever against the necessity of Nature and the Divine Will.

But an outward basis is not enough; there must grow up an international spirit and outlook, international forms and institutions must appear, perhaps such developments as dual or multilateral citizenship, willed interchange or voluntary fusion of cultures. Nationalism will have fulfilled itself and lost its militancy and would no longer find these things incompatible with self preservation and the integrality of its outlook. A new spirit of oneness will take hold of the human race.

Another dream, the spiritual gift of India to the world has already begun. India's spirituality is entering Europe and America in an ever increasing measure. That movement will grow, amid the disasters of the time more and more eyes are turning towards her with hope and there is even an increasing resort not only to her teachings, but to her psychic and spiritual practice.

The final dream was a step in evolution which would raise man to a higher and larger consciousness and begin the solution of the problems which have perplexed and vexed him since he first began to think and to dream of individual perfection and a perfect society. This is still a personal hope and an idea, an ideal which has begun to take hold both in India and in the West on forward looking minds. The difficulties in the way are more formidable than in any other field of endeavor, but difficulties were made to be overcome and if the Supreme Will is there, they will be overcome. Here too, if this evolution is to take place, since it must proceed through a growth of the spirit and the inner consciousness, the initiative can come from India and, although the scope must be universal, the central movement may be hers.

Such is the content which I put into this date of India's liberation; whether or how far this hope will be justified depends upon the new and free India.

Defining moments of independent India

On August 15, 2007, India completes its Diamond Jubilee year of independence. During these six long decades of its freedom history, the country has had its ups and down. Be it jubilation or sorrow, Mother India has taken everything under her fold with a stoic attitude. And it is this flexibility that has catapulted her to great heights. Here is a list of a few moments that changed the fate of the country.

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