Independence Day Special

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On Independence Day, la grande dame decided that this Independence Day issue would treat the day not only as some sort of day of reverence in honour of the country, but also talk about the liberated spirit. Two books that talk about absolute opposites in that sense are Train to Pakistan and 1984.

Khushwant Singh’s Train to Pakistan, is one of the most famous works based on Partition, and was also the basis for a movie starring Mohan Agashe and the late Nirmal Pandey, who passed away in February this year. Written in extremely simple language, “Train to Pakistan” portrays the lives of an ordinary cast of characters turned extra-ordinary by their changing world. What does independence of thought, of action, of country, mean when whole train-loads of dead people arrive at the railway station everyday? The answer, perhaps, is thought and action that goes against the grain of thoughtless violence, even if it has serious, perhaps fatal consequences.

While Khushwant Singh’s novel is based very much in the reality of history, George Orwell’s 1984 is as dystopian a novel as dystopian novels can be. The novel envisages a world completely under the control of one party. The world has been divided up into three and the book’s setting is remembered perhaps most for the ubiquitous “Big Brother”, the larger-than-life leader whose presence is prevalent through every sphere of life, but who is never seen in person. Independence is stultified to the extent of the absolute control of history, total control over every aspect of a person’s life; ‘thoughtcrime’ (the thinking of rebellious thoughts) is among the most serious crimes.

These two books differ widely in their settings and their stories, but are extremely crucial to understand the importance of independence of an individual.

Eeshaan Tiwary


V for Vendetta
Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, V’s plan to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption. The Wachowskis’ adaptation of Alan Moore graphic novel is remarkably faithful. The direction is bold and some dialogues powerful. It depicts violence as a means to free the state. It’s not a call to rise up against authority, but a warning about the way fear can be used to give a person or organization too much power.

Haqueeqat is National Award winning film about the Sino- Indian war of 1962. Directed by Chetan Anand, the film is memorable for its songs sung by Mohd. Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar. The plot centers around Capt. Bahadur Singh (Dharmendra) who dies fighting along with his girlfriend in order to protect other platoon members from the Chinese. A gut- wrenching movie with excellent songs like, Kar Chale Hum Fida, Jaano Tan Saathiyon, Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon, Haqueeqat makes for ideal I- Day viewing.
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
Hazaaron is a story of three people consumed by angst and desire during a turbulent period of modern Indian history, the Emergency of 1975. Siddharth (Kay Kay Menon), Geeta (Chitrangda Singh) and Vikram (Shiny Ahuja) are Delhi University students in the 1970s. Siddharth, born to judge and raised in luxury lives in abject contempt of the noncommittal attitude of the power bearers of the country, wants to be the harbringer of a revolution. Vikram, on the other hand, born to a Gandhian father and having been around revolution all his life, wants nothing to do with it. Both are in love with Geeta, a shy and reserved South Indian girl. All of them seek true happiness, but all they really find is that they’re cogs in a machine which they really can’t control.


This Independence Day, DU Beat brings to you; a list of absolute must listens. If you haven’t heard them, you must and if you have, revisit them this I- Day. They are songs, not just about India’s freedom struggle but about independence, freedom in the very base sense of the word. Freedom to be; for an individual, a nation, a world.

Kar Chale Hum Fida, Jaano Tan Saathiyon, Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon, sung by Mohammed Rafi

The Wall- Pink Floyd

Redemption Song- Bob Marley.

Bharat Humko Jaan Se Pyaara Hai- AR Rahman, Roja

Gimme hope, Jo’anna- Eddy Grant

Wavin’ Flag- K’naan

Winds of Change- The Scorpions

Vande Mataram- AR Rahman

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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