This morning when I woke up, a group of more than one hundred men were crowded outside my house, hold flags and shouting. I felt a spike of panic in my stomach, I instantly thought that they had found out that a British person lives here and were going to get me. I soon realised that actually the truck leading their parade, carrying the sound system, had just broken down.
India became independent from British rule at the stroke of midnight on the 15th of August 1947, after three hundred years, India was finally free. Today is a day where Indian’s all over the world remember the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for their motherland. This day marks the end of bloody battles, torture and sacrifices. After all the blood shed, enslavement and stolen wealth, the British retreated after the nation wide independence movement, known for its nonviolent philosophy.
In the past I have teased my husband, saying that he is still under British rule. But laughing aside, I think most British people who have read the history feel some ‘post-colonial’ guilt. The actions of some of our ancestors are awful and inhumane, considering any land they stood on as their own and taking the wealth and freedom by brute force. I feel ashamed when I read about the brutalities and injustice.
That being said, I believe that people cannot be blamed for the actions of their ancestors, religion, nationality or race. I don’t think blame should be given to people by association. But, it is important not to wipe away history from our consciousness, to learn from mistakes and treat everyone equally, regardless of race, religion, gender or nationality.
As I watch the celebrations from my window, people dancing and little children waving their flags with joy, I can feel the national pride. India is now my home, and thanks to the passion, strength and sacrifices of the freedom fighters, a free country. Jai Hind!
“He will then have my dead body, not my obedience. Ultimately, therefore, it is I who am the victor and not he, for he has failed in getting me to do what he wanted done.”