India attained independence from colonial rule on 15th August 1947. From that day onwards 15th August becomes a day of rejoicing, zeal, happiness, pride and exaltation for Indians. This day also reminds us of freedom fighters who struggled and sacrificed their lives for the motherland.
On this day citizens display their patriotism and they celebrate by hoisting the national flag atop buildings, singing national anthem and so on.
In Bihar also, every year people become excited to celebrate this day. Almost all schools and colleges start I-Day preparations approximately 2 or 3 weeks before. In the Gandhi Maidan of Patna, the NCC and Bihar police present parades and tableaux on different themes such as art, tourism and agriculture, urban development and housing, culture and youth affairs, animal and fisheries resources etc.
On the occasion of Independence Day we visited a few senior citizens to know that how they used to celebrate this day in their youth. From their responses it looks like flag hoisting, singing national anthem and few cultural programmes were held in their schools and colleges and they used to enjoy whole day. Along with these activities one thing was popularat that time and that was the ‘Prabhat Feri or morning patrol’.
Senior Citizen Harinarayan Singh said that Prabhat Feri was that in which children were supposed to roam around a specific area and shout slogans of freedom. Singh, a retired school teacher, said that through Prabhat Feri they also encouraged girls to go school and urged people to stop ‘Child marriage’. That was aimed spread awareness about the main issues and it was in favour of all citizens.
Kanhaiya Prasad (52) who is a professor of Primary Teacher Education college Mahendru, Patna, said that in Prabhat Feri all students and teachers used to roamed on streets and colonies, flags in hand and shouting ‘Bharatmata Jindabad’. All students and teachers used to shout patriotic slogans in a memory of the sacrifices of freedom fighters. Then they went to the school for the flag hoisting ceremony.
Rajeev Ranjan(70) who is a retired office superintendent said that he used to join PrabhatFeri at 4 o’clock in the morning and roam across whole village. During his time children used to collect funds from village to make food for children, and the school also supported them in this task.
Men and women also used to celebrate and participate in programs of this day. Nutan Sinha (50) a teacher of Litera Valley school said that in her schooldays, different programs on the occasion of I-Day She used to participate in Daandiya dances and singing a patriotic songs with lots of excitement and desire.
Pratibha Trivedi (50) a housewife, and she said that there was a holiday in school on the eve of Independence Day so that all children could clean their PT uniforms to wear on this day. Along with hoisting the flag and singing the national anthem she used to participate in the parade.For her 15th August was like a festival to enjoy the whole day.
Manika Devi (75) said that she was born in 1944 that is before independence and in her young age no such programs were held on the occasion of independence day. AS a child she was not aware about any function. But she has enjoyed independence day at home buying flags and making delicious food.
Some opine that Independence Day is above than other festival of our country. Ajay Kumar (52) who is a owner of general store said that in other festivals we have to make different delicious foods and other preparations which cost much. Poor people can’t afford and enjoy other festivals but on Independence Day the important sweet is ‘Jalebi’ which is cgeap and readily available for all. Because of this poor family can buy jalebis. ‘Jalebi’ may be considered as national sweet, he said.
Bharat Singh (65) who is a Branch post master said that earlier on I-Day, they just hoist national flag, sing the national anthem and have a few patriotic programmes but, today approximately all schools and colleges organize so many cultural programmes. Now everything is fashionable and we have made Independence Day as a way of entertainment.
Pramod Dayal(53) a teacher of Hartmann Girls’ high school said that whatever we do, must be dedicated to our country, there is a feeling of reverence for the country on I-Day. Change always takes place and our country is developing at different areas such as technology, education, infrastructure etc. Today the main thing is to remind ourselves of struggles and sacrifices of all freedom fighters in getting freedom. Every Indian should know the value of freedom and be ready to still fight for freedom.