Illustrations by Prashant Kanyalkar
This column was originally published in Verve Magazine’s Volume 5, Issue 3; July-September 1997.
You would think, wouldn’t you, that the Government of India had enough notice that this year’s 15th August was somewhat special? And that it needed long-term planning to commemorate it in a way beyond the routine?
But clocks and calendars run differently for the government. So instead of the three years or so which should have gone into the organisation of national celebrations, we have had nine months of committees. (Is there a Freudian symbolism hidden there?)
The National Committee was the mother of all committees. It had 227 members including cabinet ministers, all chief ministers, presidents of all major political parties and all ex-prime ministers. That’s a lot of politicians, which is probably why in their two…