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The Midnight's Children of Samarth

15 August, 2017

Independence Day

What does it mean to share your birthday with world's largest democracy? What does it means to have more than a billion people celebrate your birthday every year? How does it feel to look back at how your life mirrored the growth of Independent India over 70 years? Some of our Samarth Community members born on 15 August 1947 share their  thights on this day, the 70th anniverary of our Independence and their 70th birthday. 

Rameshji, Guptaji, Seth Saab and Umapathy Sir, all are extremely proud to be born on this day. It carries a very special meaning from them. According to them, “there is no greater fortune than Independence. Freedom as a feeling is bliss!”

They recall how during their growing up and younger days, celebration was different – for Mr. Seth sitting next to radio was the only way to hear about all the Independence Day Celebrations. Listening to Pandit Lal Bahadur Shastri’s speech would be a inspirational. Mr. Gupta would travel all over the city with friends as travelling would be free that day. Even watching Movies used to be free. Mr. Umapathy on every Independence Day, with his friends, would undertake some social service - an act he has been following for the last 50 years. They visit villages and specially offer health services. For Mr. Ramesh, who’s an astrologer has been wondering that his fate is same as India’s.

Mr. Umapathy remembers the 25th Independence Day celebrations in 1972 very vividly -  a function in his native place, Byndoor, held to felicitate Freedom Fighters of South Kanara District. They were taken in grand procession and at the end honoured by T. A. Pai (former Minister in Govt. of India), veteran Kota Shivarama Karanth and his brother K.R. Karanth, then the minister in Madras Government. In this felicitation, his father B. Srinivas Holla, a freedom fighter, was also honoured. Mr. Umapathy was invited specially to this function where he gave a talk on ‘Independent India’ and contribution of the freedom fighters  which moved Mr. Pai so much that he got up from his seat and became emotional.

In last 70 years, Mr. Seth feels Economic Development is the one biggest change that has happened. Mr. Gupta feels that there is too much of an influence of the west in our country and people have forgotton tradions which served a purpose.

We asked them what message do they have for the younger generation: the 40 year olds and the 25 year olds. They all feel that unlike earlier times, these days respect for elders is missing. This generation should give time and support to their parents. Moreover, they also feel that elderly people have years of experience, knowledge and wisdom, which they can pass on to next generation for their benefit!

Mr. Umapathy however has just one message for them.... LOVE INDIA, BE PATRIOTIC! He feels Independent India is vibrant and in spite of the diversity, citizens are united and this will help our country scale newer heights!

Many stories of people born in 1947 are very inspiring. Read what our member Mr. Roshan Lal Chopra who retired from Bank of India has to stay about his journey from Pakistan to Delhi over the last 70 years and what adversities fate threw at him as he grew up. 

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