Today, August 15th, is Indian Independence Day. It’s pretty huge, I’m not gonna lie.
Sixty-two years ago, on August 15th, 1947, India gained its independence from the British. There is so much I could say, but I won’t.
I will limit myself to saying what Independence Day means to me. It means that the India that was once magnificent, the India of the Vedas and Ashoka and the Gupta period and the Mughals, that something of that India could be brought back. It is possible, but it will take work and dedication and everything India’s got. India can be great again.
Here are a few YouTube videos I feel fitting.
The title song of Swades, a truly lovely movie. It’s sung by AR Rahman, of Slumdog fame. But lets not talk more about that.
A beautiful patriotic song, “Saare Jahan Se Achcha”. It means, “better than the entire world”, approximately. You can find the translation on Wikipedia. I seem to remember that Gandhiji supposedly said of this song, “if it doesn’t touch your heart, you’re not truly Indian.” (rough paraphrase)
The Indian national anthem, “Jana Gana Mana”. It was written by the famous Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore. Translation, again at Wikipedia. It is a bit cliché to have it sung by children, but the only other option was this ridiculously long version by AR Rahman.
Lastly, we have “Vande Mataram”, the national song. It was a big deal during the independence movement and considered for “national anthem”, but it got the silver medal, if you will. Translation via the omniscient Wikipedia. The singer is Lata Mangeshkar from before her voice went to hell.