Chicago-based Assamese ROOPA SHARMA makes a fervent appeal on the occasion of Independence Day. Roopa Sharma lives In Naperville , a suburb of Chicago after retiring as Project Leader at a Food Consulting firm. Writing in Assamese, her lyrical poems have been published in various journals. She is the current President of Assam Sahitya Sabha of North America and edits the bilingual journal Luitor Pora Mississipi
A recent thought provoking article on ‘Patriotism’ by a dear friend Mitra Phukan in India prompted me to make a special request to my Indian friends – living in India and outside India. In three days, independent India will celebrate her 67th birthday. I would like to invite and request all my Indian friends to change your facebook profile pictures to the Indian flag. You can do it from now or from 14 to 16. Since we express many thoughts and describe our activities and plans through this vehicle (FB), I thought that would be a good first step.
I know, changing my profile picture to an Indian flag will not instantly make me a true patriot. I have to follow the ideals that the flag represents. There are many different options and ideas to celebrate these two special days close to every Indian hearts. August 15 and January 26. A few example: hoist the Indian flag outside your home – engage the children in the activity, sing Jana Gana Mana and teach the children the national anthem from young age, have a birthday party for India with family and friends, light Diyas outside your homes, wear green or orange or white, make some food with those colors, teach small kids to draw Indian flag, buy them books on freedom movement, etc etc… Another dear friend Savita Tyagi commented that by staying home and doing nothing doesn’t not mean that you are less patriotic. Absolutely true. She is one of the finest daughters of India and she leads her own life following the ideals our flag symbolizes. So proud of you my friend!
So, what actually our tricolor symbolizes? Will not be nice to go to Google, refresh our memory and teach our children also? And your grand kids and nieces and nephews? It is also a symbol of our national pride. Feel that pride. In India, we set aside a special day for special occasion like Raksha Bandhan, Bihu, Karwa-Chouth, Holi, Bhai-phota and so on…Mother India deserves to be celebrated also. Even if you can not go and join the public festivities (in India) for whatever reason, go ahead and celebrate yourselves the way you desire. Make it a Special Day. Thank you.
I plan to change my profile picture, and on the 15th hoist the Indian flag outside, wear green, light diyas outside in the evening and make a special meal. I could have do my things and say nothing…but I can’t do that…