Unity in diversity will be the theme of Auckland’s celebrations of India Independence Day this year.
Organised by Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust, the 66th India Independence Day will showcase the cultural diversity of the country of 1.3 billion people.
The largest democracy in the world gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947. Unlike many former British colonies, including Australia and New Zealand, India does not have the British Queen as its sovereign head of state.
India Independence Day is celebrated with zest and colour by NRIs around the world, and the India Independence Day Parade in New York and Chicago attract attention and glamour from Bollywood.
India Independence Day is an occasion to rejoice theÂ achievement of freedom to a new dawn in the life of India, saysÂ Jeet Suchdev chairperson of the trust.
“We dedicate this prizedÂ moment in the honour of those brave countrymen who have sacrificed their lives to give all Indians anÂ opportunity to breathe in this air of freedom.”
The celebrations, being hosted at the ASB Theatre on 12 August, will begin with a ceremonialÂ hoisting of the Indian national flag at the Aotea Square followed by cultural performances by manyÂ community groups from Auckland.
“The cultural performances not only include the diverseÂ performances from India but also by community groups representing other neighbouring countries ofÂ India,” says Jeet.
When: Sunday 12 August 2012Â Â 10:30 AM – flag hoisting, 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM – cultural performances
Where: ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland Central
ABOUT INDIA INDEPENDENCE DAY
India gained its independence after nearly 150 years of freedom struggle, which was mostly fought by non-violent and civil disobedience means, under the Indian National Congress, which is now the longest ruling party of the country.
In his independence day speech, India’s first prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru famously said, “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially.
“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.” That commitment from the independence day speech is still being sought by subsequent leaders.
Unfortunately, the day of India’s independence is shared with the day India was partitioned to form an independent Muslim state – Pakistan.
The partition created two nationsâ€”Dominion of India (later Republic of India) and Dominion of Pakistan (later Islamic Republic of Pakistan). India’s non-violent freedom struggle culminated with violent and brutal communal riots following its independence.
A national holiday in India, the independence day is celebrated with a spectacular parade at the Red Fort, which is broadcast live on the national television. The day is celebrated with patriotic songs played at communal flag hoisting ceremonies in schools Â and social groups. Patriotic movies are shown on many television channels. The reality-based TV shows feature patriotic themes celebrating India’s independence day.