Today is 4th of July. America’s Independence Day. Happy Independence Day to all.
Just like India, America got her independence from the British. But they did not get through non-violence. British did not grant them independence. Americans just beat the crap out of the British, made the British Army surrender, and declared their own independence.
Today, there will be a lot of fireworks, parades, and cookouts throughout USA. Fortunately this is a 3-day weekend also.
There are a couple of similarities between India and USA.
They both do not celebrate Queen’s birthday. USA is not a member of the Commonwealth Realms. Most Commonwealth members (former British colonies) still recognize the Queen as their monarch. Some of them are Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Fortunately, even though India is a member of the Commonwealth, it does not celebrate the Queen’s birthday. Thank God.
Another similarity is both countries chose their own Independence (USA) and Republic (India) dates.
In USA, the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress was signed on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Even after this date, the British were fighting the Americans. They finally surrendered to the Americans in 1781.
(Latest trivia published only yesterday. Thomas Jefferson, one of the people who wrote the Declaration of Independence, wrote “subjects” when he referred to the American public. He then erased that word and replaced it with “citizens”. Only the British are subjects. Americans and Indians are proud citizens of their country.)
(As I wrote in a previous post, the British Army surrendered to the Americans in Yorktown, Virginia. The surrender ceremony took place on October 19, 1781. The commander of the British Army, General Cornwallis did not attend the surrender ceremony saying he was not feeling well. He sent his deputy, General O’Hara, to officially surrender. Yes, he is the same Cornwallis who became the Governor General of India from 1786 to 1793.)
The Purna Swaraj declaration or Declaration of the Independence of India was promulgated by the Indian National Congress, on January 26, 1930. It was declared in LAHORE. (Nice twist to this post.) Therefore, India selected January 26 in 1950 as the Republic Day.
I am an American Citizen. And, I am of Indian Origin. I am proud of both. Especially for kicking the British out of these 2 countries. Thank God we don’t have to curtsy to anyone. We bend our knees only to God and our elders.
Example for Indo American Friendship. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has a huge flight facility at the Wallops Island. In the main reception hall of that flight facility, there is a huge painting depicting soldiers trying to rocket launch against the enemy. You know who those soldiers are? They are Tipu Sultan’s soldiers trying to rocket launch against the British troops.
Dr. Abdul Kalam wrote: "It turned out to be Tipu Sultan's army fighting the British. The painting depicted a fact forgotten in Tipu's own country but commemorated here on the other side of the planet. I was happy to see an Indian glorified by NASA as a hero of warfare rocketry".