Celebrating the Colours of Freedom

It’s August and there was this special feeling in the air surrounding the date 15th.

 And somehow it always makes its presence felt year after year.

 As August sets in, there is a fragrance in the air – the fragrance of freedom. 

All of a sudden the heart seems laden with a special kind of love for the country. Not that we don’t feel it on other days but the emotion gets stronger as we approach August 15th, the day India gained her independence.

The entire nation comes together in many ways to make this emotion gain strength. The FM starts playing patriotic songs, there are vendors at every traffic signal selling miniature tricolor flag that everyone from kids to adults buys and proudly displays on their vehicles and other places such as homes and offices. 73 years have not dimmed the emotion that tugs at our heart when we think of our Independence Day.

We too have been floating in that emotion that makes every Indian’s heart beat faster. We wanted something special at work. Something that celebrates our Independence Day. The idea was perfect and special too as we haven’t had any other celebrations after the company anniversary, which we celebrated with a picnic to Wai. But then August 15th being a national holiday and a festival day with Rakshabandhan coinciding, it would be holiday spent with family. But the Independence Day fever was not to be curbed.

The idea of celebration grew stronger over the week before the 15th of August. How it could it not? The tricolor was everywhere – it seemed that the town was dressed in tricolor. So why shouldn’t we as well? It was decided. We would celebrate August 14th as a tricolor themed day to celebrate our independence. But that was not enough. Right? So what else?

Sakshi, our HR Executive, came up with an idea. And Aastha (she is the great planner in our team and the brain behind a lot of activities we have had in our continuous learning sessions) helped her bring it all together. And we knew from all that planning, we were going to really celebrate the occasion.

On 13th, we stayed late at office and decorated the entire office with tri color balloons and ribbons. Time flew by and soon it was August 14th. Sure enough, we were all dressed to the T in saffron, white and green. A few of us were dressed in blue to denote the Ashoka Chakra in our tricolor.

The celebrations were to happen before lunch. So we all gathered around and the celebrations began with a theme day quiz hosted by Sakshi and Aastha. The quiz was actually a slogan quiz built around India’s freedom struggle. It was reliving India’s historic struggle. We also relived our history lessons once again with this slogan quiz. These slogans had led thousands to participate in the country’s freedom struggle and we were to tell who coined these famous slogans:

1. Inqilab Zindabad

2. Jai Hind

3. Simon Go Back

4. Tum Mujhe Khun Do Mai Tumhe Azadi Dunga

5. Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna Ab Humari Dil Pe Hai

6. Jai Jawan Jai Kisaan

7. Saare Jahan Se Achcha

8. Vande Mataram

9. Who Lives If India Dies

10. Swaraj Mera Adhikar Hai

11. Aaram Haram Hai

12. Quit India

13. Sampoorn Kranti

14. Satyamev Jayate

15. Jana Gana Mana Adhinayak

We divided ourselves into two teams – Team White and Team Colour and the quiz began. Team color won the quiz. For those of you who are wondering about the answers, here they are:

1. Inqilab Zindabad

Urdu poet and Indian freedom fighter Maulana Hasrat Mohanib coined this slogan it was Bhagat Singh who popularized it. It means, “Long Live the Revolution” and became a rallying cry of the independence struggle that motivated the youth of India to participate in the freedom struggle. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for the country at the young age of 23.

2. Jai Hind

This slogan that means “Victory to India” or “Long live India” was coined by Chempakaraman Pillai, a close associate of Subash Chandra Bose, coined the term “Jai Hind” in 1907 and Jawaharlal Nehru who carried to the each and every corner of India as a salutation during the freedom struggle.

3. Simon Go Back

Lala Lajpat Rai coined this slogan as a protest against the Simon Commission which had no Indian members.

4. Tum Mujhe hun Do Mai TumheAzadiDunga

It was ‘Netaji’ Subhash Chandra Bose, Founder of the Indian National Army who devised this slogan that meant “Give me blood and I will give you freedom”. This slogan motivated people to fight more actively for the freedom of the country. Netaji inspired thousands of young minds to lay down their lives for the country.

5. Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna Ab Humari Dil PeHai

Ramprasad Bismil wrote these lines in his patriotic poem. Later on, this slogan was used to challenge the British.

6. Jai Jawan Jai Kisaan

This slogan was coined by the second Prime Minister of India Lal Bahadur Shastri and was used to enthuse soldiers and farmers alike.

7. Saare Jahan Se Achcha

“Saare Jahan Se Accha” is an Urdu language patriotic song for children written by poet Muhammad Iqbal in the ghazal style of Urdu poetry and quickly became an anthem of opposition to the British Raj.

8. Vande Mataram

“Vande Mataram” means “Mother, I bow to thee.” It was a poem written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, an Indian journalist, and activist. He personified India as a Goddess and Mother during the Indian National Movement. The first stanza of the poem has been adopted as the National Song of India.

9. Who Lives If India Dies

Jawaharlal Nehru wrote it as part of a polemical article in the journal Young India at the time of the Salt Satyagraha in March 1930: “What shall it profit you to get your empty degrees and your mess of pottage if the millions starve and your motherland continues in bondage? Who lives if India dies? Who dies if India lives?”

10. Swaraj Mera Adhikar Hai

Bal Gangadhar Tilak mobilized countless Indians to during the freedom struggle with this slogan which means, “Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it.”

11. Aaram Haram Hai

Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister and a central political figure in the Indian freedom struggle coined this slogan which meant that Rest is nor allowed till freedom is attained.

12. Quit India

This iconic slogan was coined by socialist Congress leader and then, mayor of Bombay, Yusuf Meherally, who is believed to have proposed the phrase to Mahatma Gandhi during a meeting in 1942.

13. Sampoorn Kranti

Jaiprakash Narayan gave the slogan of “Sampurna Kranti.”

14. Satyamev Jayate

Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya used this well-known mantra from the Mundaka Upanishad in his presidential address in 1918 in the Indian National Congress Convention. It means, “Truth alone triumphs.”

15. Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka

Jana Gana Mana is the national anthem of India. It was originally composed as Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata in Bengali by poet Rabindranath Tagore.

In the end, team color which was made of Vivek, Pranjal, Subodh, Jahir, Prajakta, Monali, Pritam and Prithashree stole away the winning glory! One of the fondest reminiscences of Independence Day celebrations as a kid was the sweets that were distributed after the flag hoisting, parade, and programs. And that is exactly what we did as well after the quiz. We shared sweets and samosas and ended the celebration on a beautiful note with a photo session to remind of us of this special occasion

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