Happy 15th of August!

I mentioned recently about the hypocrisy evident in the celebrations of the independence of India when our celebrities who cannot even talk properly in Hindi resort to their accented English to convey their love for the country. But I believe a lot more people are guilty of that charge of hypocrisy in one way or another than would like to admit.

I fear I could be one of those.

Because even as I work for a Bermuda based company with majority of its operations in the US and day in and out work hard in the service of American insurance companies here in the insurance capital of the world so that the American corporates can make more and more money and the average American can get cheaper insurance premiums; I have my patriotic moments too. Away from the homeland for some time definitely makes those run-of-the-mill independence-day gimmicks/events special. So, I quenched my patriotic urges and lead my country to pride and joy vicariously by watching Chak de India, released in the marketing world’s auspicious week of the 60th anniversary of the independence of India from British rule. I also wished Happy Independence Day (or Happy 15th of August, as they would say in US) to some other desis and watched some patriotic clips on CNN-IBN.

But the toast of the week was the celebrations organized by the India Association of Greater Hartford in Hartford, CT. They organized a function where the Indian Tricolour was hoisted on the State Capitol building in presence of the Mayor of Hartford city. I thought the Indian flag would be on the side somwhere but I was truly surprised to see the flag on the main post. I have no idea how the association managed to convince the Connecticut government people, but apparently, they have been doing this for the last 5 years; so they know their stuff. Well, I am definitely not complaining! There were some patriotic songs and dance performed by children culminating in the hoisting of the Indian Flag and immediate recital of the National Anthem of India followed by a group of kids reciting the American National Anthem.

Many a young men lost their lives trying to hoist the Tricolour in their own motherland in the pre-1947 era and here I was, saluting the Indian Tricolour hoisted on a State Legislature building in US and singing the National Anthem.  As long as I can remember the sacrifice of those men and women so that future generations could take India to greater heights; and as long as I get goose bumps when singing the National Anthem, I guess I can absolve myself of the hypocrisy charge.

I took the above photo of the Capitol building with the Tricolour. If you are interested in photography, you can check out my other photographs at Flickr.

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7 Comments

Filed under Independence Day, India

7 responses to “Happy 15th of August!

  1. hmm…this is interesting…initially, i was in doubt that this could really happen in US…googled, and found it’s true…
    [http://www.topix.net/forum/source/hartford-courant/TG0R70Q5J4K41U08O ; this link has the full story and don’t miss the comments :)]

    What will happen if such a scene happens in any of the govt. office in India on 4th of July? The political parties and news media get a great business, right?

  2. Pingback: The Tricolour in Connecticut at Blogbharti

  3. Kuffir: Thanks for including my blog on your site.

  4. Yes Gireesh, the press and the opposition parties would have a field day if the US flag was hoisted on a govt building in India. Like I said in the post, I was surprised to see it on the main flagstaff but nevertheless enjoyed seeing the Tricolour fluttering.

    Having said that, I guess I can understand the anger in the average American’s comments in response to Hartford Courant’s article. I would believe that letting the Indian American community celebrate India’s independence day in the Capitol grounds with proclamations presented and read out by officials like the Mayor was honour enough for the community. Hoisting the Indian flag on an official govt building in America was a surprise for Indians but a shock for most Americans (including a few colleagues of mine who I told this about).

    Connecting this to outsourcing seems natural as India has become synonymous with outsourcing but it should be noted that this was largely the effort of the Indian American community – meaning people who have been in the US for scores of years, running businesses in America, paying American taxes and are American citizens for the most part, and some of whom have also lost their jobs to the outsourcing phenomenon.

  5. prakash

    Check this out:

  6. Dear Mohit
    You are URGENTLY needed to check out the website link along with my name… read your comment on ibnlive.com and that’s where i tracked you from. Please check THE INDIAN SHITIZEN and please get in touch. URGENT.
    regards

    “J Bites”

  7. Pasted this on Shitizens as well…and respondin here too….
    Hello Mohit
    Thanks for writing back instantly… went through your site and have obviously been reading your comments on ibnlive…. Now, am requesting you or rather asking you: Would you be interested in writing/contributing/sharing with Indian Shitizens? You can happily post what you write on your site…and IF you share it with us, will paste it here and link to your site. However, WE on Shitizens are looking for CONTRIBUTIONS and not cutnpaste. Will you write posts meant for this blog? If not, no hard feelings…but this attempt fails if we dont have people writing in…..Let me know, what say?

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