How August 1947 was, we never knew. Down south, hardly any ripple about the partition was felt. From what I learned from stories told and retold in my younger years, from the only transistor (public property) in Luz, Mylapore, the All India Radio broadcast Jawaharlal Nehru’s famous speech ‘when the whole world sleeps….’ – of the oft-quoted ‘Freedom At Midnight.’ Hundreds of men had gathered there waiting for hours to listen to this historic speech that was tuned to maximum volume. ‘National flag hoisting in schools and offices next day which was declared government holiday (August 15th) followed by sweets distribution, then all went home. Next day business as usual with schools reopening!!!’ is the exact way the Independence Day August 15, 1947 was described to me. As uninteresting as that!
72 years later, August 2019 is being a different one. Our Independence Day this year was a buoyant one, no doubt. What a journey this has been for India. A short recap of this whirlwind month of August’19:
CENTRE SCRAPPED ARTICLE 370 AND ARTICLE 35A GIVING SPECIAL STATUS TO JAMMU & KASHMIR ON AUGUST 5TH, 2019. LADAKH BECAME A DISTINCT UNION TERRITORY. FOR THE PRESENT, JAMMU & KASHMIR TO CONTINUE TO BE A UNION TERRITORY, TO BE RESTORED WITH STATEHOOD IN TIME. WITH THIS, THE NEHRU BLUNDER WAS RECTIFIED BY BJP PRIME MINISTER SHRI NARENDRA MODI’S GOVERNMENT IN A SINGLE STROKE. HISTROY REWRITTEN, HISTORY MADE! AFTER 72 LONG YEARS, JAMMU & KASHMIR WAS INTEGRATED WITH THE UNION OF INDIA.
CHANDRAYAAN 2, INDIA’S SECOND LUNAR MISSION, LAUNCHED JULY 22ND, CONTINUED ITS VOYAGE TO THE MOON, BEAMING THE FIRST SET OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF EARTH & MOON THIS AUGUST. AT LEAST TWO INDIAN SCIENTISTS HAVE THEIR NAMES ETCHED IN THE MOON NOW: SISIR MITRA AND VIKRAM SARABHAI, FOUNDER OF ISRO, WITH LUNAR CRATERS NAMED AFTER THEM.
INDIA’S PV SINDHU CREATED HISTORY BECOMING THE FIRST INDIAN TO WIN THE WORLD BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIPS (BWF) ON AUGUST 25H, 2019
INDIA AT G7 ON AUGUST 26, 2019 ON INDIA’S TERMS.
Earlier, our Prime Minister was also presented with highest order of awards by the UAE and Bahrain- two of them in a single day. This takes the count to 6 – the number of islamic nations that have honoured Shri Narendra Modi with their highest civilian awards.
The other side:
INDIA LOST SMT SUSHMA SWARAJ, EX HOME MINISTER – INVALUABLE ASSET TO THE NATION, ON AUGUST 6TH 2019
INDIA LOST ARUN JAITLEY, EX FINANCE MINISTER ON AUGUST 24TH, 2019. JAITLEY WAS THE MAN BEHIND GST.
Two gems lost in a single month from the crown. This is not just BJP’s loss, this is national loss. With them, BJP and the nation have lost three precious sons and daughter of India including Manohar Parikkar who was our ex- Defence Minister. Irreparable loss.
What an August this has been for us. In between, there was the telecast of ‘Man Vs Wild’ featuring PM Modi with Bear Grylls in the Discovery channel. It came as a breather. None of us anticipated August 2019 to unfold this way. It has been one roller coaster ride for us Indians.
Neither is Rupee doing great. Once again after over an year or two, INR breached the 70 rupee mark against dollar, thanks to China-US trade spat. Markets are not good. Manufacturing slowing down. Registering Production losses and lay-offs. Monsoon mayhem everywhere in India except for in Chennai where it’s raining for a month now to no avail. Some gains and some losses.
We in India cannot say that the Amazon fires do not concern us. The enormous impact the fires will leave on our very existence in future is worth making the issue our top priority. My humble request to everyone who cannot directly do anything in his/her/their lone capacity to put off the raging fires: say a small prayer for Bhooma Devi, Mother Earth. Pray for quick extinguishing of fires. The array of flora and fauna lost to the fires is unimaginable! The loss of habitat for the wildlife and the native tribes is worse. There is every reason to believe this is corporate managed which makes this whole tragic affair a sordid one. Still, in whichever forum you can, please put in a word about the Amazon – Brazil and Bolivia fires. The fires now encompass nine Latin American nations. Wherever you are, write/add/speak a word about wildlife, environment, water resources, pollution. Thank you! You won’t be making a penny out of this probably, but neither will you be losing one!
Now what does September have in store, I wonder.