26th January is approaching. Just another date- except that this time, it’s on a Monday. And everyone loves the idea of a long weekend. People have been planning their long weekend getaways. On 26th January, we would not want to be bothered otherwise. Perhaps there will be a flurry of patriotic songs on Radio and the nagging fear of another terrorist attack on sovereign Indian soil. And then, we’ll go back to our usual lives.
For some reason the last few nights as I look out of my window I am remembering a certain episode of
When I went to
April 4th 1944, the first time the Indian tricolour was hoisted on independent territory on the mainland of
This post is definitely not about the man behind the army. He didn’t do what he did so that we would remember him and if the nation decides to forget him, that’s the choice the nation makes. If only a nationally insignificant political party tries to keep itself alive by playing second fiddle to a Big Brother in a small state and sometimes tickling Bengali sentimentalism by remembering him on the 23rd of January, then so be it. But I think there is something our politicians could learn from him. Even after being shunted out of the Congress, Bose harboured no ill will against Gandhi and Nehru. Two of the brigades in the INA were named after Nehru and Gandhi respectively. If only we knew how to rise over partisanship.
I know it will be a holiday for you. I know you’ll probably plan for a long weekend trip outside your homes. But just in case, you have been feeling lazy and want to watch a movie go ahead and get the DVD of Bose: The Forgotten Hero. Or maybe Sardar or Gandhi. Understand what gives you the ability to call yourself masters of your own destiny and not Her Majesty’s subject.
Understand. Appreciate. Choose. You will soon select your own future in a few months. This time do not use the excuse of nothing changes in this country. The Indian National Army had changed the way the nation thought. Yes, we chose Satyagraha but even then we had the right to choose.