Children’s Day is celebrated every year on the 14th, of November, this being the birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He was the first Prime Minister of free India, and we celebrate his birthday as the Children’s Day because he was very fond of children, and, the children of the country addressed him as Chacha Nehru with love.
In order to reciprocate his immense love for the children of India, India celebrates his birthday as Children’s Day.
This honour the whole country gives him so; no school can be very far behind in celebrating the day in memory of the great soul. On this day, all institutions that deal with children have wonderful time enjoying with playing, eating, and the like.
Last year I had the opportunity of attending a function organised by some Children’s Society. This function was a magnum affair, to be held in a very huge auditorium of, I don’t remember which school. What I just remember is the unique function they had organised.
The function was as though a live performance of the life of Chacha Nehru. How he lived with his parents at Allahabad, his studies abroad, and, his turning out to be an absolute Anglicized Indian.
His marriage was an occasion that the entire community of Kashmiri Pandits of Delhi attended, and this was beautifully depicted with all the grandeur of an Indian marriage.
Next came the depiction of his married life with his family and the birth of his only daughter, Indira Gandhi. The next important landmark of his life, his entry into politics was the next scene of his ever-full life.
Now the scene was whey’s he joined the freedom movement with Mahatma Gandhi All this, believe me, was depicted in great detail and done very well too, so much so that, the audience were keeps sitting alert on their seats for the next and the next incident of his life.
The most touching scene was when he was shown! Sitting in the premises of the Nain Jail near Allahabad, and writing letters to his family members. When I saw this I was deeply touched, and wondered how that man of princely birth could sacrifice so much and live for years in jail.
My heart went out to him and my admiration for him increased by leaps and bounds. I really started imagining! As to what material that generation was made of, to be so loyal and loving to the country. All this was when he had spent his youth in riches and abroad.
How did the loyalty get ignited in that heart that had been born and brought in riches and out of India was the question that gnawed into my very inside. Today, on the contrary at least I do not notice a single politician Oh! No, not a single Indian whose loyalty could stand comparison with that of Jawaharlal Nehru.
With the end of the Freedom Movement, he took charge as India’s first Prime Minister. Oh, I felt so excited when I saw him taking the oath of office, and really felt that, yes this is the man – who deserves it all.
After his appointment as the Prime Minister of India, I was so excited that, I had no more patience to see any more. All this up to this point was depicted so very well it appeared as the reality was just being enacted in real life.
It was so very fulfilling that now I wanted to go out for a change as I felt that the ultimate had been achieved.
After half an hour’s break when we re-entered the hall, what we saw was just shocking. The Prime Minister had died and his regime had completed, and he was being carried on a truck decorated with buntings, flowers, and the flag – the Tricolor. He was being taken for cremation.
However, even this scene was heart rending, and gave the true impression of what the man must have been. There was a sea of men and, as far as the eye could see in any direction it appeared as though there were no roads, there were only human heads.
On housetops, on treetops, on roads, on pavements there were men and only men. Seeing this scene I was completely put off and decided to leave the hall. This celebration of Children’s Day had been unique and gave all the children who saw it, an insight into the life of the Chacha, in whose name they celebrate the day, year after year.
A wonder of wonders that we now saw was that, seeing the hero being dead and carried away, in this condition all children big and small were sobbing and tears were flowing out of their eyes. Now, this was too much to bear, and, I wondered whether, we had come here to enjoy or to cry?
No, no, in spite of the long crying session in the function, it was a very good function very well performed, and very meticulously organised. Besides the details of his life being seen must have given the clear idea of the man whom the children idealize.
Shall never forget this unique Children’s Day function. We all had come to know the Marv we adore and why we adore him came so vividly in front of us. Though we all came out sobbing aloud, but, were happy to know that our country has produced such great men, such loyalists who sacrificed all that was theirs, for their motherland.
It would be great if at least some of us emulate that man and try to maintain that great heritage of humanity in India. The question that arose in my mind was that, how have we stopped producing such men in India? That generation produced not only this great man but also a galaxy of such men.
What is lacking now that we do not reproduce those types of men now?