Eeshani Godbole reports…
At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom
On the occasion of the 68th Independence Day, the national flag of India was hoisted by Dr Habbu, the President of the UDCT Alumni Association at ICT. As the tricolour unfurled against the sky, all of us felt the lump in our throat. Our voices were thick with patriotic fervor as we sang our national anthem together, professors and students alike. The Independence Day celebrations began on a high note. Soon after the flag hoisting, the gathering moved to the KV Auditorium. Along with Dr Habbu, gracing the occasion were Dr Ravi Raghavan, the Vice President of the UAA, Professor Laddha, the acting Vice Chancellor of our institute and Dr Smita Lele, Registrar of our institute.
Akshata Kulkarni, the TA Cultural Secretary welcomed the gathering. This year, metal badges were distributed to all those present in place of the usual paper flags, owing to the fact that our institute had conducted a dignity drive last year. Also, we pledged to plant more trees and so the dignitaries were welcomed with saplings rather than the traditional floral bouquets.
Dhwani Mistry and Nishtha Pant paid homage to our national flag with a graceful classical dance. I was given the opportunity, on behalf of all students, to passionately present our views on what we, as the youth, feel on Independence Day. Our institute has its very own anthem which was also played during the celebrations. This institute anthem never fails to bring within our hearts a surge of pride for all that we stand for, and more.
Professor Laddha, in his address, urged all to take ICT on to an even higher pedestal.
Dr Habbu reminded us that all citizens are the true protectors of their own nation. He elaborated about the true meaning of independence. He said that we achieve true independence when we are free to take our own decisions. He said, that independence is a state of mind and that it was time for all of us to introspect. Furthermore, he encouraged all of us to be proud of our emotions of ‘Indian-ness’. It is time for us to move towards substantiation and not stick to mere symbolism of being Indians. He gave a clarion call for all of us, to realize our responsibility towards our motherland, and to take actions keeping in mind these responsibilities.
Following this motivating speech, Archit Datar and Mallika Jain, members of the Music Club enthralled the audience with their melodious rendition of a patriotic song.
Soon after, Lele Ma’am gave the vote of thanks. She reminded all of us to bear deep gratitude towards all those patriots to whom we owe the privilege of living in a free nation.
The program drew to its conclusion with the TA General Secretary, Siddhant Prabhu’s concluding statement. All in all it was an event filled with the deepest emotions of patriotism and devotion to all that is “Indian”. Jai Hind!