Subhas Chandra Bose (1867 to 1945): Can the enemy of your enemy be your friend? Would you ask your enemy’s enemy for help even if they had done things that were terrible?
The famous Indian freedom fighter, Subhas Chandra Bose made this troubling choice in his fight to liberate India of British rule during World War II.
March 23 is the death anniversary of one of the most heroic figures of the Indian freedom movement. Few people remembered it, though. Forget the rest of India, even the children of the village where he was born, do not know anything about him.
Thinker, statesman and nationalist leader, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi not only led his own country to independence but also influenced political activists of many persuasions throughout the world with his methods and philosophy of nonviolent confrontation, or civil disobedience.
Mystic, painter and Nobel laureate for literature, Rabindranath Tagore was a prolific writer (3,000 poems, 2,000 songs, 8 novels, 40 volumes of essays and short stories, 50 plays), who drew inspiration both from his native Bengal and from English literary tradition.
On August 15, at the stroke of midnight, the Indian flag replaced the Union Jack of the British Empire. And millions of Indians went to sleep in a state of excitement. For, they would literally wake up in a free country.
Whenever I go to my ancestral home in Nainital, I never forget to brush my hand across an engraved name-plate and feel the name on it. The name belongs to my great grandfather who used to work for the British Empire.
He was a poet who spoke out for the poor. He was also one who truly believed that India and Pakistan could be friends, if the countries tried hard enough. From the time he was arrested for writing against British rule in India, to when he climbed onto the famous Lahore “peace” bus with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee last year, Ali Sardar Jafri spent his entire working-writing life speaking out for what he believed in.
July 22: Ever found your school uniform displayed on the pages of your textbook?
Well, students of schools run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), did. In a colourful English primer brought out by MCD a few days ago.
October 28: The roots of the present-day education system in India lie in British attempts, more than one and a half century ago, to raise a breed of English-speaking Indians who were ‘babus’ or clerks and could manage the affairs of the British rulers.
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