Nanha Munna Rahi Hoon: What I Miss Most About School Independence Day Functions

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Nanha Munna Rahi Hoon: What I Miss Most About School Independence Day Functions

Illustration: Akshita Monga

“S

aturdays are meant for sleeping!”, said my friend Anuj, greatly upset over how Independence Day had fallen on a weekend that year, and our headmistress had demanded our attendance for the school’s event regardless. As school children, we used to think our freedom fighters had struggled against the British just so we could get a day off, and I find not much has changed as we’ve grown older.

As an adult, I often look back upon all those times our teachers took us aside to remind us of the importance of flag hoisting and how we groaned and whined about coming to school on Saturdays. This class of complainers graduated to become a generation that thinks of patriotism as a formality we fulfil at movie halls, which we visit ironically late so we don’t have to stand for the national anthem. Sadly, what we failed to realise was that Independence Day at school would the only phase in our lives where we would truly understand what it meant to be a patriot, without the tainted layers of nationalism and political stances that colour the notion as adults.

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