Editor’s Note: On India’s 67th Independence Day, IL member Pushpavalli Srinivasan recounts her experiences on August 15, 1947. 

I was studying in the seventh standard when our country was freed from the rule of the British. It is strongly etched in my memory. The whole nation was in an exalted mood. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India hoisted the Indian national flag at the ramparts of Red Fort in New Delhi. It was a glorious moment in the history of India. Yet there was a nagging pain as our motherland was partitioned into two countries as India and Pakistan.

We school going children did not think of this. We all were in a celebratory mood. We were taught the songs ‘Jhanda uuncha rahe hamara’, ‘Thayin maNikkodi’, and the national anthem ‘Jana gana mana’. We were asked to come to the school at seven in the morning to celebrate our Independence Day. 

The national flag was hoisted at our school by a doctor who was in the Congress and had been jailed many times for fighting for the freedom of our country. We all sang the songs in a full throated voice. Sweets and small flags were distributed. Even today when I watch the Independence Day function, and listen to the national anthem, it brings a lump in my throat and tears automatically flow out of my eyes.

Our country has achieved a lot after independence and there is no doubt about it. But values which were the fundamental thing to achieve the freedom have been thrown to winds now. Most of the politicians are corrupt and service to people which was the motive of the freedom fighters is no more the same. Politicians try to amass wealth as much as possible while in power. 

I do not want to ponder more on this. I still believe the younger generation will fight all out to eradicate corruption. Let us always hope for the best!