Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Jashn e Azadi
There are various things that struck me about our Independence day this year. Generally it is a staid sort of a day nothing compared to the pomp and show of Republic Day. This year there was a rare sense of celebration and joy. This date is associated with the pain of partition and communal riots and the niggling regret that the new nation so created celebrates their independence a day earlier than us. This year that neighbour of ours is in troubled waters and the ghost of partition and communal strife has finally left us. There was only a passing reference to it on television when a host of the programme in the national channel made a short reference to it. The private channels aired a host of programmes on mainly Hindi film songs on patriotism. There was a programme co-organised by the Indian Express Group which had young singers rendering the songs and every aspect of our patriotism was touched upon right from 'mere desh ki dharti' to the 'Rang De Basanti' kind of hard hitting patriotism of revolution and sensitising of the youth. The only dampner was the murder of the national anthem by no less than a music director of the stature of AR Rehman and singers like the nightingale of India, her eminent sister, SP (why SP, why?) and another leading classical music maestro. It was sung in the genre of 'ai mere vatan ke logon' slowly with 'harkats' here and there. Makes you feel like screaming because the national anthem is not supposed to move you to tears it is supposed to inspire you to act for the good of your nation- it is a motivating song for God's sake and it sounded like a dirge!There was another programme telecaste on the DD national channel on the 13th which was held at the Talkatora Stadium and which had no entry tickets. Folk artistes from various states participated along with our friendly neighbourhood rock star Palash Sen. It was awsome! No Hindi film songs just folk dances and songs of patriotism. A Punjabi songstress with a rendition that would put all the opera singers of the world to shame. Gaurav Gatha, little rajasthani boys with magic fingers, acrobatic dancers dressed as women, chhau dancers, martial art from the north east, all this gave Republic day celebrations a run for their money. GOOD SHOW Ms Dixit I love my India.