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A Nepali Who Composed  the Music for India's National Anthem and Performed It on the First Day of India's Independence
60 Years of Independence: India is Stronger than Ever


Red Fort also known as Lal Killa in Delhi. Photo: eEyeCam


New York, August 15, 2008- Nepal's neighboring country India turns 61 today. The Independence Day is celebrated annually on August 15 to commemorate its freedom from the British Raj (colonization) in 1947. The Prime Minister of India hoists the National Flag at the Red Fort in Old Delhi and delivers an extensive speech from there.

60 years ago, a Nepali son Captain Ramsingh Thakur, who composed the music for India's national anthem "Jana Gana Mana...", played it at the Red Fort on the very first day of India's independence on August 15, 1947. On that day, the first Indian Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru delivered his famous speech titled as "Tryst with Destiny,"

"At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance...
 

In this 1945 photograph- Mahatma Gandhi is seen listening the Indian National Anthem played by Captain Ramsingh Thakur. Photo courtesy: Birharuka Pani Bir Mahabir (Bravest of the Brave) by Pradeep Thapa Magar, Jilla Memorial Foundation, 2000). (Above) Capt. Ramsingh Thakur at his home in Lucknow, India.

The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?

...The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over...

It is a fateful moment for us in India, A new star rises, the star of freedom in the East, a new hope comes into being, a vision long cherished materializes. May the star never set and that hope never be betrayed! We rejoice in that freedom,..."

And, look at India now: it is one of the world’s emerging economies. India's vast technological prowess is powering most of the major IT and financial companies of the world. India is becoming a vibrant nation with the skilled human resources and wealth to match.

I
n his message to mark the Independence Day, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh says, " Four years ago, on this day, I stood here before you and spoke to you about our Government’s new vision for a new India. I said to you that it is our desire to build an India that is just and humane; an India that treats all its citizens as equals; an India that is prosperous; an India that lives in peace; an India in which everyone can find work suited to his or her talent and can work for his or her brighter future. An India that is secular, that is fair and just to all its people. An India united in its diversity. It has been our sincere endeavour to work for the building of such an India."

Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh. Photo courtesy: pmindia.nic.in

Prime Minister Dr. Singh presented himself as the common man, speaking as the parent of any Indian child, saying, "I spent the first ten years of my life in a village that had no electricity, no drinking water supply, no doctor, no roads and no phones. I had to walk many miles to a school. I had to study at night in the dim light of a kerosene lamp. After independence there has been considerable development in rural areas, yet many of our citizens still live a life that I lived in my childhood."

And he continued, "That is why when our Government took over, we launched Bharat Nirman, to build rural infrastructure. Our Government is committed to transforming rural India. In these four years we have taken important initiatives. I am confident that a new and prosperous India will be built due to our efforts."


Presiden of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil. Photo courtesy: presidentofindia.nic.in

In separate statement, India’s first woman President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, said, "I have no doubt that India will progress, our national wealth will increase and the economic and social conditions of our people will improve. No one should be left behind as the nation progresses. It is my wish that growth and prosperity reaches every state, every district, every city, every town, every village and every individual of the country."

Of India’s 1.1 billion total population there are about 13 million Indians of Nepalese origin in India who call themselves "Gorkha". And there are more reasons for us to be part of the Independence Day celebration: during the Indian Independence Movement, thousands of Nepalese and Indians of Nepalese origin fought the colonial British Raj and sacrificed their lives for the freedom of India. Nepalese Indian martyrs Major Durga Malla (executed in Old Delhi Jail, near Delhi Gate-August 24, 1944) and Capt. Dalbahadur Thapa Magar (executed at Central Jail, near Lal Killa, Delhi-May 3, 1945) were among the Indians who were executed by British Raj.

77 years ago (1930) when Mahatma Gandhi launched his famous Salt Satyagraha (Salt March), the most inspiring event in the history of the freedom movement of India, there were two Nepalese (Mahavir Giri and Kharag Bahadur Singh Giri) among 78 other Satyagrahha marchers.

We Nepalese, as well as Indians, should not forget to salute the bravery, martyrdom, honesty and loyalty of hundreds of thousands Gorkhali (Nepalese) who have been serving in the Indian army and fighting many wars from Kargil to Kohima to protect Indian sovereignty and independence:

"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

-From the Kohima Epitaph in the Kohima War Cemetery.

-Pradeep Thapa Magar in New York. Comments? 551-358-7726

Red Fort (Lal Killa) photo feature by eEyeCam:
Courtesy: eEyeCam.Com and FortsofIndia.Com














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