An idealist aristocrat, who embarked as the architect of Modern India devising a visionary socialism apt for a nation that submitted itself as a protege of Mahatma Gandhi – Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister or the first head servant as he preferred to be remembered as, perhaps can never falter to be the gargantuan manifestation of administration, patriotism, class and ‘love’. 

Nehru has certainly been identified as a leader who empathised with toiling peasants, cared for the innocent children, and above all served people with immense dedication and selflessness, but this stalwart of Indian history has a different aspect to his stern political nature supplemented by the last Vicereine of India – Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten, that hovers several speculations and ‘conjectures’ around it. 

It is no mystery that amidst the political configurations about the partition of India, Congress leader ‘Jawaharlal’, whose name literally means the precious one, developed precious compatibility with Lady Mountbatten which had years to endure and millions of hearts to melt with the story of their bond. 

They did develop a profound relationship that was totally platonic, as mentioned by Pamela Hicks, Edwina’s daughter in her book ‘Daughter of Empire: Life as a Mountbatten’, “She found in Panditji the companionship and equality of spirit and intellect that she craved,” quotes Pamela with reference to her mother and Pt. Nehru. She further recounts the instances when she used to be with her parents and Pt. Nehru, and Nehru and Edwina used to get engrossed in each other’s words and compensated for each other’s yearning which cannot be put in other ways. 

Their relationship paved the ways for an epistolary series that are testimonies of their emotional outsets, deepening and perks as companions of shared emotional pedestal restricted by the same privileges, responsibilities, and realizations. 

What makes this relation a kind of its own is the various anecdotes that sacrament love in an unprecedented manner and leave everyone awe-inspired. From the beautiful letters that the man and countess exchanged daily until her death capturing personal, emotional, political and administrative concerns to the red roses that often found a place in these letters giving symbolism to their bond. Theses exact letters were found with Edwina on her death bed in 1960, according to her biographer and author of ‘Edwina Mountbatten: A Life of Her Own’ Janet Morgan, the American journalist John Gunther has rightly said, “Hardly a dozen men alive write English as well as Nehru,” and perhaps hardly any man is alive that can ‘love’ any well as Nehru. 

The aforementioned line can be affirmed by another story that narrates about an incident where Edwina confronts Nehru by saying that she will miss him when she leaves India, to which Nehru exquisitely suggests that every morning she can pluck a red rose from her garden and put it on her hair and he will pluck one from his branches to fill his pocket-hole, till the end of their lives. 

Although, Nehru never explained the reason for his fondness for red roses, some assumptions go around his symbolic reference to the red of Fabian Society, some say it is in memory of his late wife Kamala Nehru, who died in 1936. One story that is apparently led by Nehru’s sister, Krishna Hutheesing, and pushed by Nehru’s secretary MO Mathai, was that it was a tribute to a young girl who would stand to wait for him with a rose, this sounds romantically fanciful and suggestive to Lady Mountbatten, but no assured evidence could be thought of to support these assumptions. 

But it is assured and proven that every year Edwina would make way back to India to meet PM Nehru and Nehru would frequently pay visits to Edwina in London. Nehru makes frequent mentions of Edwina in his literary works and letters and in his farewell party for the Mountbatten’s prepared to leave India, Nehru addressed Edwina as, “Wherever you have gone, you have brought solace, you have brought hope and encouragement,” with the grief of Edwina going. 

If this love seems interesting, one can surely pick up Catherine Clement’s Edwina and Nehru: A Novel to check Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang’s testimony when he says, “If Shakespeare were alive today, he might not have written Anthony and Cleopatra but rather Jawahar and Edwina.”

Image Credits: The Telegraph

Faizan Salik

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Moving from high school to college may be an exciting transition, but it is also a very tough and stressful one. It is a challenge that the student will struggle with initially, but eventually adjust to overtime.

Being a college student exposes us to a lot of freedom, but at the same time, it requires a lot of responsibility. A lot more than what is required in high school, especially for outstation students who come from regions located far away, and live by themselves in hostels, rented accommodations or as paying guests.

Initially there is a honeymoon stage that new students go through, as the newfound freedom takes on their minds as they can get up and out of bed when they please, and eat whatever they want, whenever they want. However, at the same time, the huge burden of responsibilities is also forced on their shoulders. Hence, it would be apt here to modify the popular Spiderman movie quote and say, “With great freedom, comes great responsibility.”

The responsibilities outstation students may confront range from financial ones, like utilizing money efficiently and controlling one’s desires or temptations, to daily responsibilities, like laundry, ironing clothes and arranging clothes, as well as academic responsibilities.

Most students would have already experienced financial or academic duties in school and would be used to handling them, but the daily responsibilities like cooking, laundry, ironing, etc, which were usually taken care of by their families, would appear to be a daunting task as now there would be no one to depend on.

“After shifting to a hostel, you won’t be asking, “Mom, where is my….” You will have to manage things on your own,” says Amit, an outstation second-year student from Bengal, pursuing History Honors at Hansraj College. Hence, it will be beneficial to new students if they quickly learn and get accustomed to such situations.

Learning from seniors is a great way for students to face the rapid challenges they see occurring around them during the transitionary period between school and college as well as getting a hold of the responsibilities they have been burdened with. And the advent of the internet and social media has further made it easier for outstation students to adapt.

“As an outstation student, accepting the very fact that I won’t live anymore with my parents is quite difficult. Before moving out, I didn’t know a single thing that would help me to survive on my own. But eventually, I learned almost everything with the help of my fellow seniors. Although, cooking remains something in which I’m a rookie!” opined Kuber Batla, an outstation first-year student from Rajasthan, pursuing BA Programme at St. Stephen’s College.

These responsibilities may seem to be unnerving or intimidating, but they do teach one many things like taking independent decisions and being responsible for their outcomes, managing funds, etc which end up being great memories one cherishes after leaving college.

“Looking back at the time I was in college, I realized that dealing with the challenges that resulted in my responsibilities was actually fun and I always remember them as some of my best times! There were times when I and my hostel mates ran short on funds and, hence, shared food, soaps, dresses, and many other things,” says Sushmit, a former History Honors student from Ramjas College.

Hence, although students coming from far away, may face a tough time initially, but ultimately it’s a part of their growing up and learning life lessons in a campus which prepare them for facing their futures and confronting any roadblocks which they might face during this journey called life!


Featured Image Credits: DU Beat

Abhinandan Kaul

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All that is old is gold; this holds true in the case of khadi which is, the clothing material that played a massive role in the struggle for Independence.

“Swaraj cannot come through the machine. But if two hundred million people with full understanding produce khadi with their own labour and wear it, the face of India will be transformed,” Gandhi ji’s courageous confidence in khadi was one of his most articulated convictions, and when he said that wearing khadi can change the spirit of India, he was right. He proved himself by making khadi the synonym of swadeshi.

The humble khadi clothing has now transformed itself into a style quotient. To change is to live, and to adapt is to grow; which is absolutely true in the growth trend of the humble khadi. Khadi not only can be produced in variable counts and weights, making it suitable for all weathers, but it is also eco-friendly, and has a low carbon footprint as compared to other types of cloth. Here is how you can style it to make a statement:

Outdoorsy Kurtas

Outdoorsy kurtas can be sported with either a pair of denims, or pyjamas. For footwear, settle on a couple of Kolhapuri chappals that will loan you an ethnic yet contemporary look, which works everytime.

Image Credits: Jaypore
Image Credits: Jaypore

Pastel-coloured Khadi Shirts

Light coloured khadi shirt teamed up with linen bottoms, chinos, or simply denim will surely add to your personality. Furthermore, khadi shirts are moistureabsorbent and skin-friendly, ensuring allround comfort. A sleek look would be to style an oversized shirt, cinched with a statement belt at the waist, paired with comfortable leggings.

Image Credits: I Wear Khadi
Image Credits: I Wear Khadi

Nehru Jacket

The Nehru jacket, paired with a white kurta and pyjama, or with a shirt and trousers, is the go-to for a more casual but effective look. Printed versions add a unique flare to the outfit.

Image Credits:
Image Credits: India Mart

Khadi Sarees

For job interviews or professional settings, a khadi saree is the go-to for a look that is easy to carry yet makes an impact. A range of fabrics from pure khadi to silk khadi, offer a wide range of options.

Image Credits: The Loom
Image Credits: The Loom

One of the biggest khadi exclusive stores in Delhi is in Connaught Place’s Outer Circle, which offers a wide range of products. So, get out there and explore your options with the versatile, comfortable, homegrown and sustainable fabric of khadi!

Image Credits:
Image Credits: Magic Pin

Feature Image Credits: Aakarsh Mathur for DU Beat

Abhinandan Kaul

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Bhavya Pandey

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What happens to the movements that stand against the violence perpetrated at the lesser privileged? Read on to find out the glory and the grit.

Today, we celebrate non-violence, we recognise it as the only effective means to counter violence. We exist very proudly as citizens of a nation whose independence was made possible through non-violence. Whether Gandhi would be happy with the palpable threat of violence in every city of every state is debatable, but we will somehow ironically still continue to bask in our non-violent glory. Let us face it – we are obsessed with reminding the world, “Hey, we may be using violence to illegally occupy parts of our country, but remember how we got the British to leave?” It is true that India was the birthplace of large scale non-violent resistance movements that should fill us with pride. But it has been 72 years since Independence and yet, every year on this day, our imagination and knowledge of non-violence does not stretch further than Gandhi, and the Independence Movement.

Post-Independence, we have seen incredibly inspiring and resilient non-violent movements aimed at guaranteeing human rights and protection to everyone. These, too, are a part of our history, and if we are embracing non-violence we have to mobilise against violence as well. It is surprising then, to note that none of these movements has received the support or recognition from a nation that prides itself for non-violence. All hope is not dead and there is one non-violent movement, partially ongoing, that we should be very proud about. Yes, you guessed right. It is the 35-year-old Narmada Bachao Andolan. Even though it did not achieve what it set out to do, the Movement challenged the very core of our developmental model. It recently made the front pages again, on the 69th birthday of our Prime Minister. To celebrate, the Gujarat Government raised the level of water to 139 metres. In 2010, when the Supreme Court allowed work on the dam to continue, it warned the Government that the dam’s height should remain below 90 metres. At this height, according to India Today, the backwater has partially or fully flooded 192 villages in Barwani, Dhar, Alirajpur, and Khargone districts, along with one township in Madhya Pradesh. The Narmada Bachao Andolan was a movement unlike any other – it was all-encompassing.

It was brave enough to ask the most difficult question – is violence against the poor, not violent enough? And it turns out, violence against the poor and marginalised is not violent enough. It would be violence if the dam construction was not allowed and, as a result, Coca Cola lost 30 million litres of water daily. Could you imagine the outcry? Coca Cola not getting water would be the gravest of injustices! Words would be flung around about our economy coming to a halt. What about our humanity coming to a halt? 32,000 of the 40,000 displaced families are yet to be rehabilitated. The three state governments involved (Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra) filed false reports with the Supreme Court, claiming that all the required rehabilitation had been achieved. The fund for this rehabilitation had been spent and we now know that an amount of INR 1,500 crores was scammed in the process.

The people that lost their land for Sardar Sarovar were not “normal” people. They were people already living in the fringes and, surprisingly enough, that was enough for them. They were not making demands; they were just living their lives until they were asked to give up those lives for the greater good of the nation. The worst outcome of violence is death, but this is beyond death because it makes life frightening. So, this year when we think about celebrating and recognising nonviolence, we should give equal thought to how much violence we are condoning in the country by not questioning it. We should celebrate the Narmada Bachao Andolan for educating us that this, too, is violence.

Feature Image Credits: The Week

Pragati Thapa

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Apart from being well known for the intellectual environment and shaping students into future leaders, IP College for Women, St. Stephens, Ramjas and Hindu College have a lot more in common than one might imagine. The colleges have played key roles in the freedom struggle and the independence movement of India and its high time we realise and remember our histories and pasts all the more.

As a part of the four-piece series covering each college and bringing out their insights and contributions in the shaping of the Independent India, the first article is about the role of IP College- the first women’s college of the University and how it had shaped India’s past.

The University of Delhi has countless laurels to itself be it right from national and international contributions in various fields, to its impressions in the student as well as the national level politics. With Independence Day upcoming, here is the first part of the four-part series on how four colleges of the University played key roles in the freedom struggle and the Independence movement of the nation.

IP College for Women is the first women’s college of Delhi as well as the University of Delhi. “I see IP college as a movement. I still see IP college as a movement in the sense of activism”, quotes the Principal of Indraprastha College for Women in the interview to Sahapedia about IP as an institution which has stood the test of times and holds onto its legacy as it celebrates its centenary decade. The college has its own Museum and Archives Centre which serves to tell the students as well as the people around of the college’s glorious past.

An insider view of the Museum and Archives Centre of IP College for Women
An insider view of the Museum and Archives Centre of IP College for Women

One simply cannot overlook the college’s contribution in the freedom struggle. The college played pivotal role in bringing women into the mainstream culture of protest against the British.

Amidst the stigma and stereotypes which had restrained women’s movements in general, Dr. Annie Besant, who is famous for her contributions in women’s rights and education was one of the leading people behind establishing the institution. The girls of IP taking the lead during the Quit India movement was truly a model for the country to behold.

But standing up against the British was not an easy task. With the students participating in the Quit India Movement, hoisting and saluting the national flag amongst other actions of defiance against the British, the wheat rations to the college were stopped and the teachers penalised.

The sound of IP’s actions in Independence struggle had even forced the British to imprison one of college’s student at the Lahore Jail (now in present day Pakistan) who had participated in the national movement.

Central Jail Lahore where one of the students of IP College was imprisoned
Central Jail Lahore where one of the students of IP College was imprisoned

But none of the efforts on the part of the British faltered the courage in the hearts of the brave, young women who later on even joined with the students of St. Stephens, Hindu and Ramjas to protest at various places against the government’s decisions.

Even after the Partition, IP College spearheaded in various spheres, including running the college in evening shift so as to accommodate the huge number of women from Punjab states so that they could complete their education, even if it meant that the degrees would be affiliated to the Punjab University or collecting donations for the soldiers during the India- China war of 1962.

Till this date, the college has been a host people who have played key role in moulding India into the land our forefathers dreamt of, right from first President of India Shri Rajendra Prasad, Independent India’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Smt. Indira Gandhi to the Late Former President Shri. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad takes the Guard of Honour on College Day, 1948
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad takes the Guard of Honour on College Day, 1948

The college continues to thrive and bloom, as it inches towards its hundred glorious years.

Stay tuned to read up the next article another college of DU which played a key role in India’s struggle for Independence.

Feature Image Credits: Sahapedia

Amrashree Mishra

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A 2008 Man Booker Prize nomination , Amitav Ghosh’s eye-opening work of historical fiction touches upon many contemporary social issues.

Set in the pre-Independence, colonial Indian subcontinent, Sea of Poppies by decorated historian and author, Amitav Ghosh is the saga of a phenomenon. In the first installment of the Ibis trilogy, the narrative of the book traces the lives of a diverse set of characters, forced together into complex social set-ups by the opium trade of British colonies with China and a slave-carrying ship.

On the face of it, the book seems only to be characterised by a Dickensian cast and crew that includes an out-of-place American, an opium addict from China and a European girl who’s actually native; but, there is definitely a lot going on under the surface.The book has many unconventional, honest, and raw women characters who break moulds. There’s Deeti, the widow of an addicted opium farmer, who choses and fights for her freedom by marrying outside of her caste after her husband’s death. There’s Paulette, who decides to run away to Mauritius aboard a slave-ship to escape the dire realities of her life back home and there’s Muniya, a young albeit naive girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. These women not only reflect the verity of our sociological growth as a country but also exhibit a deep insight into the kind of lives that women of our land have had.

The book also delves into an exploration of the caste divide in both rural and urban India before Independence and also talks about the rigidity of the society. Panoramic and rich in satire, Ghosh’s writing expresses what we already know in a manner that is opaque yet atrocious. The story-telling is engrossing and well-punctuated by his masterful weaving of local dialects and colloquial slang into the narrative. Painstakingly detailed historical accounts from the 19th century that reflect deep philosophies of an economically strained and colonised nation make the book a delightful read and coerce you to discern the deeper consequences of the historical events of a two hundred year span of imperialism.

With an absolutely appropriate title, Sea of Poppies is a meaningful read for all those interested in historical fiction that provides a lens to look at our nation and society in the contemporary world.

Feature Image Credits:Penguin Random House Canada

Bhavya Pandey

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On the occasion of our proud 71st year of independence, it is vital to retrospect on our long and rich history and ponder, if in this liberal democracy, we are truly free, both personally and publicly.

The foundations of our homeland lie in the legendary pages of the world’s longest written book of rules and regulations, the honourable Constitution of India. The same tome which talks about guaranteed fundamental rights and the duties that surrounds them, also talks about state control and stringent provisions for certain conflict ridden zones under the umbrella of its sovereign territory. As students and young political citizens, mostly presiding in a bubble that is carefully protected by the like mindedness of our fellow peers we tend to ignore the comings and goings of how much independence we are allowed to indulge in. This sheltered existence creates a false sense of security and misleads perceptions around how dependent an individual is in the society when it comes to the choices they are making.
When one talks of freedom and the hundred different notions that exist around it, very utopian and pleasant discernments come to mind. What we fail to acknowledge and understand is that Independence Day is not just a day of nationalist pride. It signifies a sentiment that is powerful and meaningful. It signifies history that aimed to bring about a significant change. When we sit back and contemplate and draw a comparison between the then and now of things, the question of how much has been achieved and actualised in the last 70 years of independence comes to mind. There is an obvious and glaring disparity between how things are and how they ought to be and while we observe this disparity closely everyday, we choose to willingly turn a blind eye towards it.

To this date, the issue of reservation remains contentious, with current enduring protests and active debate around the same. Even now, our society is deeply rooted by the shackles of the patriarchy, with political leaders blaming women for crimes they did not commit, and men being deprived of adequate mediums of expression and therapy, because there exist few forums to discuss their emotional needs. Compared to the societal standards that subsisted when India celebrated its independence for the first time, the reality revealed is distressing and incommodious. Material progress for the sake of progress has been made, but the much awaited development has not yet been achieved.
Every decision (no matter the nature or degree of its personal or communal nature) an individual takes in this society is social. We are, without the luxury of choice, a part of a social contract, making us dependent on the state and the society for our day to day survival, and obligating those in power to sustain us and provide us with security. The dependence in this matter however, goes both ways. Those in power are dependent on those seeking necessities to ensure their power sustains.

This vicious cycle of dependence seems never ending and poses the following questions:
Does freedom in status quo imply the freedom to make your own choices, or the freedom to make governed choices? And are we too dependent on the state or the society to help us formulate our independent thoughts?
This Independence Day, it is time we think about all that we have achieved as a nation and how much of it is truly impactful.


Bhavya Banerjee

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After school, university is the place where you learn to be independent and responsible. Many of us took the decision to stay away from home and begin our academic careers at a far-off place. At every step of this journey, there will be loads of opportunities and experiences of both good and bad forms, and it would be up to you how you determine to manage them.

There are many ways for parents to manage the issue of pocket money, but first, you will need a good idea of what it costs to be a teenage student. The contemporary family is described increasingly in ‘democratic’ terms of individuals’ ‘rights’, ‘choices’, and ‘discussion’ where parent-child relationships are being renegotiated – especially those involving teenagers. At an age when it is important for students to learn the significance of saving money, parents with their perpetual hesitance don’t make their kids value hard-earned money. In the Indian scenario, parents do not feel the necessity for their kids to earn their own money even in the late teenage years. It must not only be left to the impoverished and hard-hit students’ to have a part-time job in the student years, but it should be a step for self-dependence from an early age.

After I shifted to Delhi, a senior of mine informed me about home tutoring young students of the locality. When she was in college, she used to tutor kids of fifth to eighth class. I would definitely credit her for inculcating the seeds of self-dependence in me. I started home tutoring young students via an agency that worked towards connecting students who are searching for tutors and people who are willing to tutor. It might not always be financial issues that instigate the realms of part-time jobs, but they can also be a source of independence and responsible behaviour. From my very first class till date, I have had innumerable experiences, both good and bad. I realised the value of small things in life that didn’t make sense to me earlier. When I stepped into the shoes of a teacher, I realised how important it is to have a curious student who wants to know more about the subject. I learned the basic conducts that a teacher expects from a student: attention and respect. I was ecstatic when I heard my first student call me “ma’am”, and glad to know that I became her favourite teacher. “Knowledge is a treasure, practice is the key to it” – I believe in this, and in “Expanding the bounties of knowledge.” I learned that teachers too have a lot to learn from their students, and maintaining a healthy relationship is a key aspect of education. Besides, in our student life, if we are practicing what we had learned in our yesteryears, it would prove to be very encouraging for our future competitive exams.

I would suggest you to open your door to endless possibilities of self-dependence, second to which the storehouse of experiences is that prepare you for adulthood.


Feature Image Credits: My Cute Graphics

Radhika Boruah

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65 years of independence, 65 years since we shooed away the British. 65 years, since trains pulled up at railway stations, loaded with dead bodies. 65 years since everyone wanted to kill each other.

We, the youth of India, are a safe 60-something years away from all the violence, bloodshed and gore. But are we really free, in every sense of the word?

In a country where people wearing Armani sunglasses and holding Gucci bags look out of their BMW windows only to see beggars and slums, in a country where a law graduate’s throat was slit because she put up a fight against a rapist, in a country where brides are burnt in kitchen fires over dowry issues, in a country where honour killing is considered honourable, in a country where modernity is given the tag of promiscuity, in a country where politics is a mud-slinging arena, FREEDOM, in its truest form, cannot exist.

From the very beginning of the the day, to the very end- we find ourselves ensnared in various violations of the term freedom. From the haggling with the uncouth autowalas, to the formidable looking aunties pushing you out of the queue at the ticket counter; from the steady line of eyes peeping into the women’s compartment in the metro, to the judgement and competition between cousins; from the rude personal remarks your teacher makes at you before the whole class, to the back-stabbing between friends; from “customer care” services that put your call on hold for the next hour or so, to power cuts and unfair billing, we live each day only to discover it’s a man-eat-man world.

I refuse to believe that there is even a single teenager in this country, who at some point or the other, hasn’t considered “Lucknow wale chachaji aur delhi wali maamiji kya kahenge” before making a decision- be it about a piercing, a haircut, an outfit, or his/her career.

I refuse to believe there is a single teenager who has never felt a violation of his or her freedom of choice and expression.

DUTA (Delhi University Teacher’s Association) and DUSU (Delhi University Students Union) apparently did not get a say in the decision of semesterisation of undergraduate courses in Delhi University that was made a year back. And now, WE are the ones living it’s consequences (read: inflation of marks scam).

The great Indian illusion of independence and freedom shatters to reality every time a young girl is made to wear traditional clothes and forced to carry a tray of biscuits and chai into a drawing room full of prospective in-laws. It falls to pieces every time a rape survivor is blamed because her clothes were “provocative”. It breaks down even further every time parents tell their child not to play the guitar or play sports or paint or write, and practise chemical equations instead. It decays every time a mausiji or buaji wrinkles her nose at the idea of her nephew/niece pursuing a humanities course.

And what do the elderly have to say this?

Bharat ke paas ek aisi cheez hai, jo videsh mein nahi milegi- hamaare sanskaar!

Ab aaj kal ke bacche raat mein pub jaayenge, toh ye sab toh hoga hi na!

Girls being physically assaulted at a pub in Bangalore by the Sri Ram Sena activists, does not look like sanskaar to me. Couples deciding not to meet on Valentine’s Day for fear of being dragged to temples by the same Sena, does not look like sanskaar to me.

True, if sanskaar is to discriminate, violate, and suppress- then there is no country like India.


In Delhi, the arrival of 15th August brings with it a spectacular array of granduer and splendour. The streets are filled with festivities and the bright Indian sky is speckled with multicoloured kites. Young and old unite as one while each family tries to prove its mettle to their neighbours by taking them down in a fun-filled yet competitive ‘kite fight’. Big or small, cheap or costly, monochromatic or brightly coloured, these stringed machines reign the skies of our capital on the day we won our Independence.

Historically speaking, the relationship between Delhi and Kite flying goes back to the Mahabharata, where it is mentioned that Krishna spent his leisure time flying kites with the Gopikas. Kites have also played a significant role in the freedom struggle as they were used by the common people as a symbol of their unity against the oppressive Simon Commission, in 1928. The Indian skyline was filled with an army of paper birds, with the slogan ‘Go Back’ plastered over their bodies. Thus, it doesn’t come as a surprise that these kites are used, till date, to signify the freedom and Independence we have rightfully earned from our oppressors.

Kite Flying is more than just a yearly festival for people living in Old Delhi. Lal Kuan market, known for its large number of kite manufacturers and sellers, has seen families in which successive generations dedicate their life to a practice they consider a Kala-an art form. Delhi also boasts of close to 150 kite clubs, such as Evergreen Kite Flying Club and Galaxy Kite Flying Club to name a few. Members of such clubs often come together every Sunday, with bright kites and manjhas (Thread), all set to watch them soar into the sky. On some days, intense kite-matches are also held where groups are made and everyone comes together to enjoy a morning full of passionate team spirit and camaraderie.

Despite the existence of Kite clubs and enthusiasts, the unfortunate truth is that kite flying is now a dying sport due to ignorance and lack of cultural enthusiasm by the younger generations. Many attempts have been made in the recent past to revive the significance of this age-old game. 2011 saw the introduction of a kite-cutting competition organised at India Gate to encourage its revival. Many of the kite enthusiasts are now trying to promote their passion though the marketing of the already existing Kite clubs. Some blame the exorbitant price hikes as the main cause of this fading art, but a lot is left unsaid when today’s generation turns towards their computer and Play Stations instead of choosing to pursue something traditional and timeless.

No matter how disconnected we might be from this ancient sport, today on 15th August, a majority of people living in Delhi will bring out some thread and a colourful paper kite, ready to spray paint the blue canvas above with a splash of vibrant hues.