Celebrate 15th August as Victory Day and Not as Independence Day.
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The question is why should any self-respecting citizen of India celebrate 15 August every year as Independence Day? In the first place wonder why the fight against British was at times even termed as Independence struggle?
We have been taught that Independence Day, observed annually on 15 August is a national holiday commemorating the Nation's independence from British Empire. The contention is with "Independence from British Empire".
In its simplest context, Independence means Non Dependence. If so, on 15 August, are we celebrating the End of Dependence on British Empire? If true, at what time in the history were we dependent on the British Empire?
With all due acknowledgement to the fact that European Invasion was directly or indirectly instrumental in uniting as well as dividing the sub-continent; the reality is;
- The sub-continent comprised of wealthy territories when Europeans arrived as traders
- They occupied our land by force
- They looted our taxes to enrich their treasuries
- They depleted our natural resources for their raw materials
- They used our people to meet their man power requirements
- They used us as markets for their products
- They looted our finished products
- They suppressed our industries and industrial revolution to promote theirs
- They looted our enormous wealth (including natural wealth)
- They needed our men as soldiers for their wars
- They starved us to redirect our foods and supplies for their wars
- Not to forget they did not even spare Kohinoor Diamond (Hope they return it back)
Winston Churchill (who even appeared to blame the Indians for the famine, stating they "breed like rabbits") himself once remarked that "The possession of India, made all the difference between Britain being a first and a third rate world power"
Yet, should we believe we were dependent on British Empire? Shouldn't it be otherwise?
In the context of land, Independence means secession of land from another country. If so, on 15 August, are we celebrating the secession from British Empire? If true, at what time in the history were we acceded to the British Empire?
Since the second official name of India i.e. Bharat (Bharat Varsha) has been unanimously accepted, there should not be any contention to also accept that we are only staking claim on the land that belonged to the lineage of Kurus, Yadavas, Dravidas, Miecchas, Kiratas, Rakshasas, Bahikas and others (if any missed here). This includes the territory which contained the whole of present day India and more (that we have now lost anyway). This is the Land that has thousands of years of its own rich heritage and history. When much of European cultures were only nomadic forest dwellers, this land had seen established civilizations. This is the land that had seen great Empires of Mauryas, Guptas, Cholas, Chalukyas and many more. But none of these lineages, civilizations, heritages or history links this land (or us) any where closer to the British. Least we should be concerned about the geographical connection.
Thereby it is only fair and correct to establish the fact that, when British arrived at the shores of Bharat, at the best they were uninvited traders and who gradually advanced to become Invaders by force. Accession is only a term used by the British and shamelessly legitimized by few elite traitors who largely benefitted from the British.
Yet, should we believe Bharat was Part of British Empire? Shouldn't it be otherwise especially after the loot?
In the context of Self-Governance, Independence is condition of a country, State or Union in which its population exercise self-government and sovereignty over the territory. If so, on 15 August, are we celebrating the Self-Rule itself or the end of so-called British-Rule?
It is on 26 January that the Constitution of India was officially enforced, making Union of India a Sovereign, Secular and Democratic Nation. So effectively we are celebrating the Self-Rule itself as Republic Day annually on 26 January.
There by, on 15 August are we celebrating the end of so-called British-Rule? If true, at what time in the history did we accept the so-called British-Rule?
So-called British-Rule by definition declared that India would be governed by and in the name of the British Monarch i.e. the Queen had the complete sovereignty. Sovereignty is more than anything else a matter of legitimacy that requires reciprocal recognition. Thereby the question is who recognized the so-called British-Rule and the Sovereignty of the Queen?
The best British achieved were to form a cozy club of elites' (who largely benefitted from the British) to recognize and legitimize the Rule. So-called British-Rule was never widely accepted by majority of the general population. Besides the thousands of battles, fighting, mutinies, revolts, rebellions, uprisings, movements, resistances, demonstrations and strikes, the best indicator for this is that the so-called British-Rule itself was tried to be enforced in response to the rebellion of 1857.
Thereby still it is only fair and correct to remain with the fact that, when British arrived at the shores of Bharat, at the best they were uninvited traders and who gradually advanced to become invaders and occupiers by force.
When a burglar breaks into our house, we never say the house belongs to the burglar. Instead, we fight the burglar and upon his retreat we claim victory and not independence. Similarly, in the context of an invasion or occupation, shouldn't what you gain be dependent on how you see your enemy as and what is perceived to be lost;
When an enemy invades and tries to dominate;
- A fighter sees and fights his enemy;
- An oppressed sees and unwillingly tolerates his oppressor;
- A slave sees and willingly accepts his master;
- A coward sees and submits/accedes to his sovereign;
And when the enemy retreats;
- A fighter calls it Victory
- An oppressed calls it Liberation
- A slave calls it Freedom
- A coward calls it Independence.
Of course, there were slaves serving the British for reasons. Amongst the cozy club of elites, there were cowards, traitors and opportunists who had no second thought of submitting to British either due to cowardice or for the largesse enjoyed. But, at no point of time, Bharat had dearth of fighters. There always were martyrs who rejected the British invasion till the last breath. There always were fighters supported by millions of general population in all possible ways.
Yet, should we be celebrating independence based on the shameless legitimization of the cowards? Shouldn't it be otherwise by celebrating the victory given to us by our Martyrs and fighters?
Even in the simple context of a family, only when one of the brothers get separated from the family we shall say the brother becomes independent. But, when all the brothers, after a sustained fight, overthrow a burglar from the house, we say the brothers were victorious and not independent of the Burglar.
In summary, Bharat was never dependent on British nor were British (as invaders) our brothers. 60 per cent of Bharat belonged to our Martyrs who never ceded to nor accepted the British and fought bravely till the last breath for the retreat of British. Losing a battle is not equal to losing a war. Our fight may have been long but had never stopped before repelling British from our Land.
40 per cent of Bharat was ruled by 565 princely states. These were not parts of the so-called British India proper, having never become possessions of the Crown. Even if some princely states owed greater allegiance to British, those were of cowardly rulers who can never be our heroes. At the best, the so-called British-Rule was a term promoted by British themselves and shamelessly recognized and legitimized by the cozy club of cowards and traitors. As invaders and occupiers by force, British were only as good as burglars.
There by, on 15 August, should we honor and celebrate the Victory bestowed to us by our Martyrs and Fighters or should we adopt the independence narratives of cowards and traitors induced by their Lords? Isn't calling 15 August as Independence Day, an insult to millions of our Heroes who never ceded to British?
It would do great to the self respect of this Nation, only when we celebrate the Victory bestowed to us (after great sacrifices) by our Martyrs and Fighters like Puli Thevar, Veerapandiya Kattabomman, Mahadaji Shinde, Sher Singh Attariwalla, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Tantya Tope, Rani Chennamma, Sangoli Rayanna, Bipin Chandra Pal, Mangal Pandey, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Chandrashekhar Azad, Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan, Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose and Millions of others. If we ourselves do not value the Pride of our Nation and its Heroes, who else will?
If agreed; shouldn't we be commemorating 15 August as Victory Day or Vijayotsav or by a similar name that pays tribute only to our Martyrs and fighters; and celebrate the Victory bestowed to us by our Great Heroes?
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