Children of mother India-Independence day @69

A fine talk by  Dr Bhanudev Bhatt, president of our association of royal residency layout on 15th August.

A very warm welcome to all our residents on this wonderful day, our 69thIndependence day.

We became an Independent Nation 68 years ago on 15 August 1947. We attained Independence from the British Empire following a long struggle noted for a largely nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience led by the Indian National Congress.

Independence coincided with the partition of India, in which the British Indian Empire was divided along religious lines into the Dominions of India and Pakistan. When freedom came, nearly seven decades ago, it brought almost diametrically opposite attributes of agony and ecstasy; for, the joy of liberation was simultaneously accompanied by the agony of partition. About 10 million people are believed to have been displaced, and over a million are estimated to have died during the Partition.

In 1947, at the time of India’s independence, the country had 555 princely states. These kingdoms covered 48% of the area of pre-Independent India and constituted 28% of its total population. Soon, 216 of these princely states were merged with adjoining provinces, 61 were converted to centrally-administered areas and 275 were merged to form larger unions (in all, five such unions were formed, such as Madhya Bharat, Patiala and East Punjab States).
Effectively, all joined the Union of India over a period of time.
India is now united but not wholly. Kashmir, Manipur and Nagaland are not completely reconciled.

On 15 August 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, who had become the first Prime Minister of India that day, raised the Indian national flag above the Lahore Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi. “Tryst with Destiny” was a speech delivered by Jawaharlal Nehru, to theIndian Constituent Assembly , on the eve of India’s Independence, towards midnight on 15 August 1947..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.

A few of us are pre independence babies and most of you are post Independence babies. Imagine for a moment what life would have been if we were not a free people. It is a scary thought. We would still be treated as second rate citizens. We would have no respect in our own nation. It makes you feel indebted to the freedom fighters who sacrificed everything to ensure that we never had to see a day where a ‘Indians and dogs not allowed’ sign would hang at a restaurant’s entrance.

The theme of every speech by our political leaders is of the sacrifices made by our leaders to gain Independence, to recap the glory of India and the progress made by India and what the future holds for us.

I must start with my admiration and gratitude for the leaders of pre-Independence India most of whom were lawyers from wealthy families who sacrificed everything they had to gain Independence for India.

This time, however, I wish to thank and express our immense gratitude to another group of people who are largely responsible in keeping our Nation independent and free. I am sure you have guessed who these people are. They are not our politicians or bureaucrats. They are the men in Uniform of the Army, Navy and Air Force. Every soldier is a hero, but before that he is a son, a father, a brother and a husband. In spite of all these responsibilities, the greater responsibility that they shoulder is our country’s safety.
Theirs is the ultimate sacrifice- that of laying down their lives if necessary to keep us safe and free.
22413 Soldiers have been martyred since 1947 and countless have been severely wounded in their line of duty to keep our nation free.

That is why the Armed forces have the pride of place during the Independence Day and Republic Day Parades. The precision drills on the ground are not for entertainment on Youtube. It shows how very professional our Armed forces are. India has the 4thmost powerful military in the world   bettered only by China, Russia and USA. Global fire power does not take into account nuclear capability.

Personally, I regard the Indian Armed Forces as very competent and professional, with a history that verges on greatness.

Pre-Independence Foundations
Say what you like about the British in India (that’s a completely different topic) but we should all recognise that the British had built the Indian Army into one of the biggest and best in the world at the time of independence. It was using state of the art equipment, organisation, training and tactics, and it had just defeated the Japanese, winning 30 Victoria Crosses in the process.

All that pride, history, experience and competence was passed on to the independent Indian Army.

India has fought 5 wars with her neighbours since independence.

  1. The war of 1947/1948 – this was fought against Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. After independence, all princely states were asked whether they wanted to join India or Pakistan. Kashmir was among these princely states. However before a referendum could take place, Pakistan tried annexing Kashmir, citing the Muslim majority as a reason. The king of Kashmir came to India for help. The moment we started gaining a strong military position in this war, Nehru went to the UN and declared a cease fire.
  2. Annexation  of Goa, 1961

In 1961 tension rose between India and Portugal over the Portuguese-occupied territory of Goa, which India claimed for itself. After Portuguese police cracked down violently on a peaceful, unarmed demonstration for union with India, the Indian government decided to invade. A lopsided air, sea, and ground campaign resulted in the speedy surrender of Portuguese forces. Within 36 hours, 451 years of Portuguese colonial rule was ended, and Goa was annexed by India. Portuguese losses were 31 killed, 57 wounded, and 3,306 captured. Indian losses were 34 killed and 51 wounded.

  1. Sino-Indian war of 1962. China attacked India with the objective to take Arunachal Pradesh. There are various theories on the objectives of the war. We were thrashed. To quote the Time – “the Indian army was short of everything but courage”. However China did declare a cease fire going back to the borders of pre 1962.
  2. 1965 war against Pakistan. Again fought over Kashmir. War was to a large extent inconclusive.
  3. 1971 war. Aka liberation of Bangladesh. This was a huge victory for the Indian army where we liberated Bangladesh (east Pakistan then) in the course of 12-13 days. There were significant victories even in the western front including Longewala. This is the jewel of the Indian Army, the blitzkrieg attack on East Pakistan could not really have been bettered by any other army.
  4. Kargil war in 1999. Our most recent conflict with Pakistan again. Pakistan captured a few important peaks which overlook the Kashmir-Ladakh highways. Another attempt to capture J&K. The intruders were defeated by the army.

Peace keeping: India is the 3rd largest countributor to UN peacekeeping and has troops serving all around the world

So far India has taken part in 43 Peacekeeping missions with a total contribution exceeding 160,000 troops and a significant number of police personnel also having been deployed.

But now let us stop harking on the past and think of the present and future of India. Let us make India a nation to be reckoned with. India is great. India is hugely diverse. There is enormous talent amongst Indians in all fields.

And there some shocking facts

  • Nearly half of India’s 1.2 billion people have no toilet at home, but more people own a mobile phone, according to the recent data.
  • In India there are 32 millions cases in high courts and subordinate courts across the country still pending in the past 11 years according to the official data.

So what should we pledge for on this Independence Day. First of all we should change our mindset about how we deal with everyday issues. Let us pledge that each one of us will do our best to make changes so that India becomes the best country in the world to live. There are no miracles in the world and we do not expect miracles from any government. All we ask is for a Clean India – Clean without corruption and Clean without waste strewn all over India.

We are no longer fighting for our freedom from tyranny, oppression, or persecution – But

We have to fight for our right to live, right to education, right to proper health care, to prosper, and to exist peacefully.

It will all come together only if everyone does what is his Dharma. (Dharma encompasses ideas such as duty, rights, character, vocation, religion, customs and all behaviour considered appropriate, correct or morally upright.)

A very Happy Independence Day to all of you.

Jai Hind

Warmest wishes,

Bhanu Bhatt

Listed below are the most notable soldiers to have received the Param Vir Chakra, the highest military decoration of the Indian Army.

Listed below are the most notable soldiers to have received the Param Vir Chakra, the highest military decoration of the Indian Army.

Name Unit Date of action Place of action
Major Somnath Sharma 4th Battalion, Kumaon Regiment 3 November 1947 Battle of BadgamKashmir, India
2 Lieutenant Rama Raghoba Rane Corps of Engineers 8 April 1948 Battle of NausheraKashmir, India
Naik Jadu Nath Singh Rathore 1st Battalion, Rajput Regiment February 1948 Battle of NausheraKashmir, India
Company Havildar Major Piru Singh 6th Battalion, Rajputana Rifles 17/18 July 1948 TithwalKashmir, India
Lance Naik Karam Singh 1st Battalion, Sikh Regiment 13 October 1948 TithwalKashmir, India
Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria 3rd Battalion, 1st Gorkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment) 5 December 1961 ElizabethvilleKatangaCongo
Major Dhan Singh Thapa 1st Battalion, 8th Gorkha Rifles 20 October 1962 Ladakh, India
Subedar Joginder Singh 1st Battalion, Sikh Regiment 23 October 1962 Tongpen LaNortheast Frontier Agency, India
Major Shaitan Singh 13th Battalion, Kumaon Regiment 18 November 1962 Rezang La
Company Quartermaster HavaldarAbdul Hamid 4th Battalion, The Grenadiers 10 September 1965 ChimaKhem Karan Sector
Lt Col Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore The Poona Horse 15 October 1965 PhilloraSialkot Sector, Pakistan
Lance Naik Albert Ekka 14th Battalion, Brigade of the Guards 3 December 1971 Gangasagar
2/Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal The Poona Horse 16 December 1971 JarpalShakargarh Sector
Major Hoshiar Singh 3rd Battalion, The Grenadiers 17 December 1971 Basantar RiverShakargarh Sector
Naib Subedar Bana Singh 8th Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry 23 June 1987 Siachen Glacier, Jammu and Kashmir
Major Ramaswamy Parmeshwaran 8th Battalion, Mahar Regiment 25 November 1987 Sri Lanka
Captain Vikram Batra 13th Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles 6 July 1999 Point 5140, Point 4875, Kargil Area
Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey 1st Battalion, 11th Gorkha Rifles 3 July 1999 Khaluber/Juber TopBatalik sector, Kargil area, Jammu and Kashmir
Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav 18th Battalion, The Grenadiers 4 July 1999 Tiger HillKargil area
Rifleman Sanjay Kumar 13th Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles 5 July 1999 Area Flat Top, Kargil Area

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Grateful for the love and respect received so far. Inspire, motivate and enable anybody to achieve their limitless limits-that is my goal for the rest of my life. Worked in MECON, Mphasis, Cofounder KelpHR,

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One thought on “Children of mother India-Independence day @69”

  1. People who have enough should let go of their subsidies, whether its fuel, water, electricity agriculture or whatever, irrespective of the parliamentarians subsidised food. Ask what you can for the nation rather than what the nation can do for you, its a quote by LIncoln or Kennedy, not sure

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