When I was a kid,I used to watch the only television channel then Doordarshan which on 15th August had the following line-up of programs.
- Patriotic Manoj Kumar Songs
- Prime-Minister’s unfathomable speeches by Prime-Minister of India from Red-Fort
- A Regular movie ‘Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi’ which Doordarshan used to telecast on following days Aug15,Oct 2,Jan 26 and Jan 30
Me being the kid who grew up in the 90’s the above set of programs were enough to instill patriotic feelings atleast for the day.The last episode of patriotism that came in my life was in 1997 the 50th year of Independence when I saw the “Independence 50” sticker in cars,handpulled ricksaws,trams ,metro trains (I was in Calcutta that time),autos and many places wherever stickers can be pasted.The song that captivated the nation during that time was ‘Vande Matram’ by A.R.Rahman.I don’t know how much impact it made on other people but as a teenager I was deeply impacted by that song.
Unfortunately that was the last episode of deep patriotism in me as I was introduced to the concepts of ‘Internationlism’ and about various cultures across the world by my History teacher.Before that the only cultured nation I knew was INDIA.The definition of CULTURED was very clear and simple in mind then, it’s rather more vague and in a state of chaos right now !!
After I moved to college and got a job in an MNC , the concepts of patriotism faded into my childhood memories.Today I feel the concepts of NATIONALISM and PATRIOTISM are just phases in the human history .I believe the international borders will fade away to give give way for a new world order called HUMANITY, the seeds of which are already taking shoots in the form of Human Rights , Globalism , Internet etc etc
Today Morning I woke up and as usual I started checking my tweet stream , blog statistics , mail and some technology news.After a while I came out for getting some fresh air and I saw something infront of my appartments which reminded me of my childhood activities which I did every Aug 15 and sometimes on Aug 26 as well.
After watching the flag-hoisting at school by our school principal and having sweets and ladoos distributed by the school prefects,I used to make paper-flags and hoist it on my table.The quality of flags underwent the following enhancements each year.
- Hand-made Tricolor in paper with one side blank,hoisted on a single-wick of broomstick
- Hand-made Tricolor in paper with color on both the sides
- Hand-made Tricolor in paper with color on both sides and the pole of the flag(broomstick) painted in white
- Hand-made Tricolor in paper with color on both sides and the pole pasted with white paper and an intricate mechanism for hoisting it.(pull the rope at the bottom and the flag goes up)
I never made a flag with cloth because I grew up by then and patriotism had faded away.On one Independence day , I even made a British flag and burnt it infront of the Indian flag hoisted on my table.(this was probably the flag version of the silly GI-JOE toy games I used to play)
Today after so many years,I saw similar thing by the kids from our appartments was really nice to see.A paper flag hoisted on a giant pole by a group of small kids from age 3 to 7.I didn’t have the usual 8 megapixel DIGICAM nor my 2 megapixel camera mobile to capture the snap.I have to borrow my dad’s mobile and take the snap.