Sunday, February 25, 2024

SHILLONG JOTTINGS

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Dependence for Independence

On the eve of the country’s 67th Independence Day celebrations in the city, there was a hush-hush but definite buzz about taking a stroll down to the Polo Grounds and Khyndailad to take part in the “official festivities” the following day. This tendency to venture out on the “forbidden occasions of national importance” has been nurtured over the years and flourishes more, at present, than ever before.

So is it the Shillongites’ urge for independence (which here stands for being free from all restrictions imposed by whosoever in whatsoever form) that has led to this transition or is it instead people’s dependence on each other which has encouraged the masses to tread the formerly deserted paths of the city during such national events.

“If you are coming I will go”

That the district administration ventured upon the noble initiative of organising as many events as it did, perhaps encouraged and assured people that there would be many of their kind out there in the open and the outcome was there for everyone to see.

The city witnessed sizeable turnout for the Independence Day festivities. It is said that we are united when we trust in each other. This trust which is assuring also gives rise to dependency. That the people anticipated a decent participation perhaps egged on their resolution to break free from the boredom of being confined to the living rooms all day long. However, the above assumption does not dare to take anything away from the spirit of those who turned up on August 15 to celebrate the essence of democracy. Whatever the reason be, the result was a thumping victory of freedom over forced imposition.

 Saying it with (mis) deeds!

The tri-colour is something that the generation of the 1960’s looked with with pride and joy. Those who were born a few years after Independence actually revered the Indian flag as a symbol of freedom from the clutches of an imperialist power. Today people make bandanas out of the tri-colour. Some are even suggesting that they wear it as an underwear to show that the spirit of patriotism beats very close to their skin. Even that is fine but throwing away the Indian flag to be trampled upon by the feet of passers-by it just not done. An elderly lady was pained by this sight. She said we have cheapened the very idea of freedom and rued the fact that the present generation know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

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