Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Free Some Day
Burning eyes and the excitement of catching the American election news on CNN early this morning brought back memories of another election, one which took place more than twenty-one years ago.
New Delhi, March 20th, 1977, early morning:
My Dad sitting with his ear close to the old Pye Radio, on which the BBC newsreader's crackling shortwave voice announced the unbelievable, all the way from London. The Emergency was over. Indira Gandhi had lost the election and resigned.
My brother, telling us he'd gone to the University everyday during the Emergency singing, 'Free some day, yeah, free some day, yeah, we'll all be free some day.'
Now we were. Never mind that All India Radio did not make any announcements until much later in the day.
No election has roused as much enthusiasm and spirit in me as that one did. My father was wise enough to realise that the revocation of the Emergency in the last minutes of her rule had been Indira Gandhi's cleverest move. He still looked thoughtful while we rejoiced.
Watching Americans weeping with joy after the election results were announced, my elder daughter asked, 'Why cant we feel so much patriotism?’ to which her Dad replied, 'It takes a war or a cricket match to make us feel patriotic.' I like to think that a day will come when a young person will lead our country, too. That day, I am sure our politicians will not be dressed in sleepwear, as they are today.