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Monday, August 13, 2001
Kids chat

Know your country; send I-Day cards

HELLO kids, welcome to our weekly chat.

Fluppy: Hey guys, do you know we have a holiday coming this week?

Windy: I know. Its for the Independence Day, right?

Cliparti: Gosh! Does our Independence Day mean just a holiday to you people?

Fluppy: No, it means that India got independence from the British on 15th August, 1947.

Cliparti: The way you say it, it seems like a kid got some lollipop from his brother. You are living in this free country because of all the sacrifices made by the great people of our country. And you remember this day as just another holiday! It is such an irony and a pity!


Fluppy: You are right, Cliparti. We should be ashamed of ourselves. We do not value it because we have not struggled to get the freedom.

Cliparti: We are lucky that we didn't have to struggle. But the least we can and should do is appreciate other's struggle.

Fluppy: I have started appreciating already!

Cliparti: Not like this, stupid. You can never really appreciate truly, unless you know all facts and know how exactly they attained freedom.

Fluppy: But I can't go back in history.

Cliparti: Of course, you can. In fact, I would say that you are lucky to have been born at this period of time. You get freedom served in a full plate and you also have the facility of the Internet to get all one would ever want to know at the click of a mouse.

Windy: You are right, Cliparti. We guys have all the resources that one can think of. There should be no reason that children of our age remain ignorant of the struggle of our countrymen.

Cliparti: In fact, I feel that to know your present well it is important to know your past. To safeguard your self in future and not repeat the mistakes of history you should learn from the past. You should know what our loopholes were that the outsiders used to their advantage.

Fluppy: Yes, it is like knowing where the thieves got into the house from. That way we can take special care of that door.

Cliparti: Quite right. Our country is our home and we should safeguard it.

Fluppy: Tell me of some nice site that might help me know our country better, Cliparti.

Cliparti: Sure, honey. I am so glad you have asked. I hope all our friends out there get equally inspired and make India proud of them. To begin with, you can log on to www.kamat.com/kalranga/freedom/timeline.htm. Here you will find the story of India's freedom struggle and other important events. It will take you back to 1498 when Vasco-da-Gama arrived in India. You can also learn how East India Company was formed and then about the Anglo-French war and so on.

Fluppy: Tell me some more .... I am already getting in it.

Cliparti: The sequence of events does hold you if you go through it seriously. Anyhow, some more bits go like this: the battle of Plassey in 1757, how the British defeated Tipu Sultan in 1799, the Anglo-Sikh war of 1846 and the Indian War for Independence in 1857. You will be so proud to know the role of Sikhs in this struggle.

Fluppy: I really feel like going through this site straightaway.

Windy: Hold on, Fluppy, there are more sites to come.

Cliparti: Why don't you suggest some good material, Windy?

Windy: Sure, why not? At www.123independenceday.com/indian/independence/day/ you will again come across some good stuff on Independence Day. Not just the struggle, you will also learn about the prominent freedom fighters who are the living spirit of our nation. Then it will also tell you how this day is celebrated all over the country and about the various symbols of freedom. Guess what, you can even send Independence Day wishes to your friends and dear ones. On a message board you can hear the "voice of India" on this important day. You can also read the popular speech that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru made at the time India attained Independence.

Cliparti: You mean the one that has those popular lines that go "... at the stroke of midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom."

Windy: Yes, those very lines.

Cliparti: Aren't they simply beautiful?

Windy: Yes, it is said that Panditji had an excellent command over words and was a very good orator.

Fluppy: I will send my friends a card for this day that will have a portrait of dear Gandhiji and quotes of Panditji. Isn't that a nice idea?

Cliparti: Yes, indeed. At www.egreetings.indiatimes.com/utsav/iday.html you will find loads of cards you can choose from.

Fluppy: Thanks. Bye for now, and wish you a happy Independence Day. Jai Hind!

Cliparti: Jai Hind!

Windy: Jai Hind!

ó Ira Verma

Hey, kids! Letís be friends. You can send your suggestions and queries to us at Kids Chat. Our e-mail address is login@tribuneindia.com. Cliparti Sweet, Fluppy Little, along with me, of course, are all here to answer them. ó Windy