Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was popular for his social reforms and campaigned against social discrimination against Untouchables. He was a hero for the women and labour community. On 6th December every year, people from all over India come to pay homage to Babasaheb Ambedkar at Dadar’s Chaityabhoomi where his last rites were performed. On 6 December every year I visit Dadar without fail to my tribute.
Indian war of Independence has always had me awestruck. I, Saurabh Khillare, have been active in such events taking place in my city of Mumbai. Mother India has produced some of the greatest warriors and freedom fighters. One among them was Kanhoji Angre, the brave fighter who fought against British and Portuguese on the coast of India. The fighter who was nicknamed as ‘Pirate’ by his enemies was undefeated until he died.
Talking about his early life, he was born in Anganwadi in the year 1669 and his original name was ‘Kadu’. Although not much information can be gathered regarding his early life, it is known that he spent most of his childhood in exploits at sea. Later, he was appointed as the admiral of the area of Satara in the year 1698. It was during this period that he began his heroic feats of taking over British ships and was feared by most of the British authorities.
He then negotiated deals with the king of Maratha and was appointed as the head of Maratha Navy. During this period, Maratha kingdom became weak, and forces were sent to control Angre, but Angre won the war and captured the Maratha throne. Slowly, his power began to rise, and he was the master of the Indian coast who was feared by most of the colonial powers.
Before his death in the year 1729, he was the master of the Arabian sea and Konkan. He left behind two sons named Sekhoji and Sambhaji, who ruled the sea till 1733 and then the kingdom was split into two parts and later was captured by the British.
Kanhoji Angre was one of the most notable admirals of the Maratha Navy. At the peak of his power, he was the commander of more than hundred ships, some of which were even European. He, in the following years during the Battle of Swalley, established a small naval force that is now being regarded as the Indian Navy. Today, this great leader stands as a proud symbol of bravery and has a statue established at the Indian Naval Dockyard Mumbai. His original Fort, although has vanished, but the boundaries remain where the headquarters of Indian Western Naval Command exist. There is a feeling of pride that develops as soon as we remember that we are the descendants of such a great leader.
Each Indian takes pride in the fact that the nation got freedom from the British rule on August 15, 1947, and this year marks the 69th year of independence! Before this, for several centuries, our Nation was ruled by foreign countries, first by Turks from the east, then by Mughals and then by the Great Britain. All of us know from the history books in our schools about the sacrifices that were made to recapture the power of our homeland. It is also known that on this day, the nation celebrates this accomplishment with pride and happiness. The National Flag is lifted at the national capital of New Delhi, and at the different state capitals and union territories.
The Prime Minister lists the accomplishments of the nation since the last Independence Day, raises the present and critical national and worldwide issues, and requests fellowmen to meet up to tackle it. Different social occasions, and unique functions to respect the martyrs and the surviving freedom fighters are organized. This is generally how Independence Day comes to an end, the very day our ancestors and the pioneers of pre-autonomous India longed for.
While we are celebrating, we should likewise recall, with all admiration, warmth and gratefulness, every one of those great individuals, particularly Mahatma Gandhi, to whom we owe our freedom in light of the fact that a large number of them sacrificed their lives so that Indians can live in peace and freedom.
Another thing to recall is that our freedom is not the same as the freedom of different nations. Every other Nation that threw out a foreign rule did as such by bringing on bloodshed. Our freedom was won through standards of truth and peacefulness under the shrewd and righteous initiative of the Mahatma. We all today should be grateful for the sacrifices made in the past by our pioneers and let each of us work and serve with genuine patriotism with the goal to help to realize the future that our pioneers dream on 15th of August 1947.
After the two month special Operation Vijay, the Pakistani outpost in the high hills were completely captured by the Indian Army. This devastating long war also called as the Kargil war finally ended on the 26th of July in 1999. To remember all those souls, on this day every year the war heroes are paid homage at India Gate and ceremonies are organized across the country.
Every 15th August, we celebrate the independence of our country and the freedom of living on one of the greatest nations on earth. That is our day of pride, of freedom and of happiness. To have this freedom, we have been helped by many heroes who sacrificed their lives for a better nation. One of those heroes in history was born on 23rd July 1906 in Badarka (Unnao). His birth name was Chandrashekhar Tiwari which later changed to Chandrashekhar Azad for his work towards country’s freedom.
Chandrashekhar Azad was 15 when he heard of the Jalianwalabagh massacre in Amritsar. Since then, Chandrashekhar got involved in revolutionary activities to revenge the sacrifices made by hundreds of people. In 1922, he became an active member of Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), a revolutionary organization being formed by Ram Prasad Bismil.
The motive behind the association was to make India a place without any discrimination on castes and religions. With the support of HRA’s colleagues, Chandrashekhar executed various revolutionary activities such as Kakori Train Robbery (1925), the shooting of J. P. Saunders. His ideology was to build an India based on social principles.
Chandrashekhar used the forests of Orchha as his area of practicing the shooting, and also trained some of his fellow members. After the death of Ram Prasad Bismil, he reorganized the HRA under HSRA (Hindustan Socialist Republican Association) with three other major revolutionists, Roshan Singh, Ashfaqullah Khan and Rajendar Nath Lahri. He started impacting a lot of young Indians to join his movement that also included Bhagat Singh.
During his meeting with freedom fighter Sukhdev Raj on 27th Feburary, police attacked him to which he replied back by killing 3 policemen. He also got injured during the process but didn’t stop shooting until his last bullet. He was adamant that he would never fall into the enemy’s hands. When it became clear he was going to be captured by British Police, which would mean subjection to persecution and a court-ordered death, he did the unimaginable. He shot himself with the last bullet left into his gun.
Today, Alfred Park where he shot himself has been named after him and popularly known as Chandrashekhar Azad Park. One should definitely pay tribute to this legend on every 23rd July who sacrificed his great life to have an independent India.
Shahu Maharaj (शाहू महाराज) was the first ruler of the Indian princely state of Kolhapur and ruled her kingdom with might and bravery from 1900 to 1922. He was heir of the Bhosale dynasty, he helped the lower castes in India be recognized and not be condemned to a life of slavery!
A women who sowed the seed “Swarajya” (self governance). Rajmata Jijau Bhosale played a very crucial role in the rise of Chhatrapati Shivaji as one of the most remembered emperor in Indian history. Jijau Bhosale represents the glory of the great maratha empire.
Adi Shankaracharaya Jayanti is celebrated on the birth anniversary of the great guru and philosopher who also has the honour of consolidating the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta and this was instrumental in giving a new birth for Hindu culture when it was on the verge of decline. In 2015 it falls on April 23rd, and marks the 1227th Birth anniversary of the guru.
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanthi is celebrated on April 14th and it is with great respect and awe the people of India celebrate the birthday of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. It is a public holiday and the president and the prime minister and other important political leaders pay homage to his statue. He was also awarded the Bharat Ratna for his contributions to the Indian society.
Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jayanti is celebrated on April 11th, which is the birth date of this great man who was born in 1827 in Satara district of Maharashtra. He was a great social reformist who actively fought against the caste restrictions in India in the 19th century. He fought against the domination of the upper caste and the social restrictions imposed on the lower caste people.