15th August is a day that emphasizes the equality of all Indians, regardless of where we're from or how much we earn. Considering this, isn't it ironic that there is a huge gap between the way youngsters see Independence Day and the way our elders do?
For youngsters, I-Day is about posting patriotic messages and Independence Day wishes on Facebook, Twitter and the like. But our older generation has a greater connect with the day that signaled the end of our servitude.
Reminisces Alka Amin, who we know as Veena Chopra of Parichay, “We used to attend the flag hoisting ceremony in school and used to rush to collect the sweets that they distributed that day. Even when I stayed in Delhi, I used to organize performances for the kids in our society so that everybody could come together on that day. That feeling is somehow missing nowadays”
Jayati Bhatia, aka the Mataji of Sasural Simar Ka, agrees. “I remember getting up early in the morning to go to the Red Fort and hear the Prime Minister's address to the nation. And being an Odissi dancer, I used to look forward to performing on that day. It was a holiday but it still used to be a busy day for us.”
Apart from being nostalgic, the emotion that comes across most prominently in these actors is the feeling of disconnect. Not in themselves but with the new generation. Avers Jayati Bhatia, “The young generation, from the age of 10-12 years, are hooked to Facebook and Twitter. The only knowledge of the world that they have is from that. So they don't know the importance of getting freedom for your country. But the support that Anna Hazare got last year from the youth tells us that there is still hope.”
But Alka Amin has a point to make about this disconnect. She says,” We had our parents and grand parents tell us anecdotes about the freedom struggle so we could relate to it. I have nothing to tell my children. If they read things about our independence, may be they will think about it as more than just another holiday.”
Actor Kunal Karan Kapoor, Mohan of Na Bole Tum… and part of the young brigade, sums up the youngsters' sentiment. He says,” I don't know what confinement means as I have never lived the life of non-freedom. So I don't know what freedom in this sense means.”
This is a pretty telling reaction on what Gen-Y feels about Independence Day. But even if the older and the newer generation have a different way of celebrating Independence Day, the fact remains that every one of us feels something when the tri-colour is unfurled on the 15th of August.