The 69th Independence Day was celebrated in Maria’s Public School with much enthusiasm. The slight drizzle in the early hours in the day did not dampen the spirit and at 8.30am the national tricolour was hoisted by the Principal Mrs Alpana Khound Phukan. This was followed by a speech by the Vice Principal Mr Anjan Gogoi and a grand salute by the security personnel and the student-cadets of Guide discipline of the school. Thereafter the National Anthem was sung by all with full gusto. The celebrations started on the eve of the Independence Day on August 14, 2015. A special prayer was conducted by the Principal followed by a short speech in the morning assembly. Thereafter a patriotic song was performed by a group of students. The song was followed by a speech by the Head Boy of the school, Master Akashneel Sharma (Full text can be read below). Finally the National Anthem was sung by all the teachers and the students. The celebration continued throughout the day with students from Class 6 onwards writing on the topic ‘What freedom means to me’ and the students of Class 8 painting flags of different countries including India, to have a feel of the identity of India as a nation which was possible only after independence. The students of Class 7 painted the tricolour and other patterns with the three colours of the National Flag on T-shirts. Although regular classes continued but the spirit of freedom reverberated in the entire school.



‘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 has been 69 years since Nehru made this historic speech and since then we have come a long way and today we proudly stand here with our heads held high and our heart filled with pride to celebrate glorious 69 years of independence. We still live in a unique atmosphere with the concept of ‘unity in diversity’ with diverse languages, culture and religion with 325 spoken languages and dialects, 22 official languages, eight religions and the largest democracy in the world. We have achieved success in Green Revolution, telecom industry and space technology and now we are an emerging IT giant.

As we celebrate 69 years of independence from the British this year, we must not forget that the smile that we have on our faces today is because of those who fought tirelessly for the freedom of the country, and those who shaped its destiny in the subsequent years with their vision and wisdom, be it braveheart Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Sarojini Naidu, Sardar Vallav Bhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Jawaharlal Nehru or Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Their zeal and conviction inspired many and eventually led to the British leaving India. They have left behind a legacy which unfortunately we are not carrying forward.

We talk with pride about the values, the morals, the principles that we inherited from the nationalist movement, and ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kishan’, ‘Swaraj mera janam siddha Adhikar hai aur mei isse lekar rahunga’, ‘Satyameva Jayate’, ‘Self before Service’. But how many of us do really understand what these mean, how many of us do we really, for a matter of fact, know what each and every word of our National Anthem means. We complain of blatant corruption, lack of progress, rampant poverty and inefficient leaders in the country. Even after years of independence, the reservation policy is still acting as an agent of divide and rule, we have an elected parliament with a bunch of hooliganswhich hardly function. The society is still plagued with social evils, injustice and wide disparity. We have a justice system where generations of a family exhaust all their money and resources only to find their files covered with dust and spider webs at some dingy corner. Is this what independence means? As rightly said by Chandra Shekhar Azad, to all the youth of the nation, “If yet your blood does not rage, then it is water that flows in your vein, for what is the flush of youth if it is not service to the motherland?”

Wehave come a long way towards prosperity since independence, but we still have miles and miles yet to cover. We must be proud of the fact that we are Indians and must be able face criticism boldly and strive to make our nation even better. It has been 69 years since we gained independence from external control, but what we still need is independence from internal evils and our narrow (mindedness and self-centeredness?).

Independence Day Celebration, 2015
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