15th August is a special day for most of us. We celebrate it as our Independence Day right from our childhood. A day of joy, celebration, patriotism, motivation, sweets and a day of holiday. We also watch patriotic movies, songs, take part in parades, hear about our freedom fighters such as Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, 1942 Quit India movement, civil disobedience movement, 1921 Non-Cooperation movement. You all must have seen Dandi March clips on TV, heard about the greatness of non-violence, satyagraha. Our Prime Minister hoist the national flag from Red Fort, Delhi every year on 15th August. As much as I love this festival & these celebrations, there are some big mistakes in our Independence Day celebrations. And in my opinion, we celebrate our Independence Day, the wrong way on the wrong day! I will try to present some arguments to back my opinion. I leave it up to readers to make their opinions and judgements. Here are my arguments.
We have forgotten the loss of partition
We all know that partition happened before our independence and a new nation called “Pakistan” was born, a day before 15th August 1947. People don’t realize this, but the partition of Bharat was perhaps the biggest civilizational loss of Bharat in the history. Lakhs of people lost their lives to genocide, rapes. Here is an account of Mirpur genocide:
“18000 people were slaughtered in most barbaric way of the human history by Pak army and tribals. 10,000 of the captives were butchered along the way and 5,000 abducted. The survivors, most of them women or children were marched to Alibeg Gurudwara Sahib, but only 2000 could reach. To avoid rape and torture, number of women committed mass suicide by consuming poison before falling into the hands of the militants. Those who didn’t get the poison were killed with swords by their fathers and bothers. Men too committed suicide. It is said an Arya Samaj school hostel, near Gurdwara Damdama Sahib and Sanatan Dharma Temple, had some 100 girl students then. The hostel superintendent asked the girls to tie their dupattas on their head, jump into the wells. After all the girls jumped to the well, the superintendent too ended her life. The well was so deep that even water was not visible.”
Apart from genocide, the geographies that went to Pakistan such as Dhaka, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Gandhara), Punjab, Sindh, PoK, etc. were all the cradles of Bharatiya civilization. Takshashila University, where once Kautilya gained his education, Maa Sharada Shakti Peeth, Lahore, the city of Shree Ram’s children, Multan (Mulsthan) Sun temple were all lost to an Islamic Republic. Despite facing numerous Islamic invasions, persecutions for a thousand years, these geographies still had substantial Hindu-Sikh population before 1946-47. Pakistan had 23% Hindu population, Bangladesh had 33% just a hundred years ago. And now, Pakistan has barely 1% Hindus and Bangladesh has barely 8%. Even those people live as second class citizen under constant threats from Islamists. Even today, every year over 1100 Hindu girls are abducted, raped, forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan. Compare this to the secular India. Here, Muslim population has increased from 9% in 1947 to estimated 14% now. Within India also, there are geographies which are turning into Muslim dominant regions where non-Muslims are increasingly finding it difficult to live and practice their faiths. Even independent India has seen genocide and forced migration of Kashmiri Pandits. Mewat, Malabar, West Bengal are other examples. West Bengal has recently witnessed post poll violence of unprecedented scale targetting Hindu BJP and even TMC, CPI supporters, which is eerily similar to Muslim League’s Direct Action day. Many women were raped while forcing them to chant Jai Shree Ram. These ground reports are truly disturbing, and even more disturbing is the fact that the national media, judiciary, the so-called “liberal secular” class and even many of the Modi supporters are completely silent on this.
What does this all tell? This tells us that not only have we forgotten the loss and pain of partition which was the biggest civilizational loss in the history of Bharat, but we have also forgotten the reasons, ideologies, blunders that lead to partition, and we are making the same mistake again.
To start our every Independence Day celebration with a 2-minute silence for all the people who lost their lives because of partition. Also, there should be a national memorial for these people and there should be a national awareness that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the idea of Pakistan is the enemy of Bharat.
We have forgotten the real heroes
Every year, there is the same rhetoric on Independence Day. We keep seeing the same visuals, imagery, poetry, essays, writings. “De di Azadi bina khadag, bina dhaal, Sabarmati ke Sant tune kiya kamal.”
But the more you read about the freedom struggle from primary authentic sources, the more it becomes clear that not only did Mohan Das Gandhi and Indian National Congress contributed nothing decisively to the freedom struggle, but the Gandhian movements actually delayed India’s independence, weakened the Hindu response to Islamic politics and mainstreamed Mullahs, Ashrafs as Muslim leaders instead of nationalist Muslims. This kind of delusional, foolish, stubborn politics on the behalf of Gandhi starting with the Khilafat Non-Cooperation movement a century ago ultimately resulted in the partition.
Even after independence, the main leadership of the Congress went to a typical English-speaking brown coolie, Nehru who romanticized communism, Stalin, Akbar, Urdu, English, who hated Indian culture, languages.
So who were the real heroes?
You can broadly classify real heroes pre-independence into two categories. The first category is of the intellectuals, thinkers, philosophers, Rishis. These people provided the ideological heft, instigated new confidence in Indians about their culture, religion, heritage, history. The second category is of revolutionaries. These people were actors of the ideas of the first category. Some greats belonging to the first category of thinkers: Ramkrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekanand, Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Shraddhanand, Maharishi Aurobindo, Veer Savarkar, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, etc. Some greats of the second category: Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Lala Hardayal, Madan Lal Dhingra, Veer Savarkar, Aurobindo Ghosh, Lala Lajpat Rai, Rashbehari Bose, Sachindranath Sanyal, Bagha Jatin, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Chandrashekhar Azad, and uncountable others.
Amongst these lots, these four are the most prominent individuals in my opinion.
Ramkrishna Paramhansa: for reviving Shuddh Bhakti, humanity and producing numerous impeccable leaders like Swami Vivekanand.
Maharishi Aurobindo: Unmatched scholarship on Vedas, Bhartiya Sanskriti through non-colonial Bharatiya lens. Something which is a rarity even today. Aurobindo’s scholarship was worthy of him being given the title of Maharishi. I can’t think of anyone who is a Maharishi today.
Veer Savarkar: Intellectual father of Indian revolutionary movements, he gave a template for India’s independence through his monumental work “First War of Independence”. There are some inaccuracies in that work, but that doesn’t matter because he created a narrative of how to throw the Britishers out. The template of infiltrating the army and creating a revolution within the army. And that’s how, ultimately, India got independence. He was also the Father of Hindutva. This was his single biggest contribution, which is relevant even today. This Hindutva for the first time in centuries gave an ideological template to push back against the Abrahamic onslaught.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The single biggest reason India got her independence was because of Netaji and his INA. This is admitted by none other than Clement Attlee who was the PM of Britain and who was forced to grant independence to India due to actions of INA and the kind of sympathy it was generating not only within civilians but also amongst armed, naval, air forces.
Apart from these heroes, there were many lesser-known heroes like Gopa Patha. Gopal Patha provided an armed defence to Hindus in Bengal after the planned Direct Action Day of the Muslim League. Something which Bengali Hindus badly need even today. And then, most people also don’t know the fact that Hindu Mahasabha and RSS played a key role in rescuing and resettling a lot of Hindus, Sikhs from Pakistan. Syama Prasad Mukherjee saved Bengal from becoming a united independent state dominated by Muslims, i.e. a united Bangladesh. https://swarajyamag.com/politics/s-p-mookerjee-and-the-rescue-of-hindu-bengal-from-an-islamist-plot-called-united-bengal
These heroes, these stories need to be highlighted and celebrated at the forefront because these solutions and actions of great leaders of the past are needed even today as the seeds and culprits of partition are very much thriving even in independent India. Examples Communist Party of India, Muslim League, AIMIM, Indian National Congress, Barelvis, Deobandis (Taliban is follower of this sect), Aligarh Muslim University, etc. Pakistan is not a state or geography. It’s a state of mind.
We are celebrating it on the wrong day
I was first introduced to this idea few months back when I accidentally watched this talk by Professor C. K. Raju: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvpuC7Dg4e0
This talk is a comparison between the two calenders: the so-called “Western” Gregorian calendar and the Bharatiya Panchang. At the time of independence, hardly 10% of the Indian population was educated under British English education system. It was only this population that knew anything about January-February. The rest of India used Panchang. Now, the question is why was 15th August chosen as Independence Day? Why was Gregorian calendar adopted in official use when the rest of the India had no clue about this foreign calendar? The first thought that would come to most people in response is, “Because Gregorian calendar is much superior and scientific to Panchang.” Typical brown coolie thinking. This typical colonial thought process is ingrained too deeply in most of the people, especially the so-called “educated” English-speaking Indians. An objective analysis of two calenders as done by Professor C. K. Raju shows that not only is Bharatiya Panchang way more superior to Gregorian calendar in scientific terms, but it’s also way more ancient.
How is Bharatiya Panchang superior?
Panchang is both Lunar-Solar calendar, whereas Gregorian calendar is only approximately a Solar calendar. That means your birthday is Panchang indicates a specific position of moon in sky and in the nakshatra. Whereas, your birthday in Gregorian calendar has no relation to the night sky and the position of stars. Secondly, days in a month of Gregorian calendar are unscientific and randomly assigned by kings. For example, a day from February was taken and added to August at the orders of king Augustine.
Panchang tracks Indian climate much better than Gregorian calendar. Even today farming, harvesting is done following Panchang.
These are just a few reasons. There are numerous other reasons and a long fascinating history which Prof Raju has explained in his talk.
How ancient is Bharatiya Panchang?
Various Bharatiya kings issued Panchang starting with their rule. The methods, mathematics, astronomical calculations, months are same. Only Samvat is different. Vikram Samvat, Shaka Samvat are two popular Samvats. What many people don’t know is the fact that there are much ancient Samvats. In fact, there was Yudhisthir Samvat starting from the rule of Yudhtisthir after Mahabharat war. Current Vikram Samvat is 2078. That puts Vikram Samvat 1600 years older than Gregorian calendar which was corrected and adopted 500 years ago. There are Panchangs dating back to 3000 BCE. Then, there is Surya Siddhanta. Surya Sidhhanta by Mayasura is the most phenomenal work in astronomy from ancient times. It’s so brilliant that Western scholars deliberately try to put it in the range of 300 BCE arbitrarily, just like they arbitrarily put Rig Veda at 1500 BCE. This is done to maintain the hegemony over history and to credit everything to Greeks, although Greek astronomy is inferior and developed way later than Indian astronomy. Although they have no answers as to how 7 days of the week started. Let’s look at 7 days of the week.
Ravivaar: Day of Sun
Somvaar: Day of Moon
Mangalvaar: Day of Mangal (Mars)
Budhvaar: Day of Mercury
Brihaspativaar: Day of Brihaspati (Jupiter)
Shukravaar: Day of Shukra (Venus)
Shanivaar: Day of Shani (Saturn)
These 7 days of the week were clearly originated in Bharat where each day is named after Sun, Moon and the rest of the planets visible with naked eyes. This was most likely first mentioned in Surya Siddhanta.
Compare that to English names. Sunday, Monday: named after Sun, Moon. But what happened to Thursday? Thursday is named after Norse God Thor. It is clear that 7 days of the week spread from Bharat across the world. The local cultures across the world adopted it with their own names, deviating from the original idea of naming days of the week based on planets, Sun and Moon.
This is just one example of “calendar”. There are so many examples. For example, the Indian number system, which is way superior to Roman numerals. That’s why their calendar and other ancient observations were so off the mark.
What’s the point of mentioning all this? The point is simple. I want Indians to take inspiration from their own ancestor, culture, heritage. I want India to be free of this colonial baggage, and colonial mindset. Likewise, I want Bharat to be free of this deep-rooted inferiority complex. Yes, we are only a shadow of the great Bharatvarsha that produced Kalidas, Surdas, Patanjali, Vatsyayan, Aryabhatt, Kautilya, Gargi, etc. If only, we should feel inferior because of our lack of abilities to live up to the unmatched legacy of our ancestors. We can overcome this inferiority only when we think original and independent. Independence Day should mean more than the celebration of ending the British Raj. It should be independence from colonial mentality and outlook.
DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.