Mr SVM Tripathi Former DGP, UP remembers his college day on 15 August ,1947 when the Tricolour, our National Flag was hoisted for the first time.
My father was a civil servant since 1926 and had served with the British for a considerable period. But by the time I became conscious of the meaning of the inspiring exhortations of our national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and other stalwarts we always had a fascination for our National Flag, which earlier had a spinning wheel in the centre. Actually in Kanpur, when my father was out of station on tour while serving as Deputy Director of Industries, UP, we hoisted the tricolour flag in 1945 for some period.
In 1946 we came to Lucknow as my father was posted in the UP Secretariat and I, along with my elder brother, joined Colvin Taluqdars’ College as students. Both the Principal and the Vice Principal were British. We eagerly followed the developments which made our Independence a certainty and quietly joined a few ‘Prabhat Feries, and such other programmes.
When the first day of our Independence dawned all of us were almost beside ourselves with joy. Most of us had seen, and lately understood, the overbearing and even boorish behaviour of the British members of the government apparatus.
Even the lower level functionaries, such as soldiers of the British army behaved as if they had an open licence to act in any manner which THEY considered appropriate. And on a number of occasions, their behaviour could be incredibly coarse.
On the first Independence Day we were formed up as a hollow square at the Assembly ground. The Vice Principal, who was earlier an officer in the British army, and always commanded the students at functions such as ‘Durbar Day’ attended by the Governor, UP, etc. gave the necessary commands.
The Union Jack was lowered from the flag staff and the Tricolour, our National Flag was hoisted for the first time accompanied by a lusty, full throated cheer from the students.
To this day I remember that hardly the eyes of any student were dry. To us, who have seen both sides of the defining divide, it appears that Independence is more precious.
Perhaps it does not carry the same passion to persons who were fortunate to be born in a free India.