How an Ancient College Celebrated First Independence Day
Mangaluru: As the country celebrates its 72nd Independence Day, understandably the citizens of India would go back in history to the first Independence Day in 1947. Perhaps, many would recall the historic ‘Tryst with destiny’ speech of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, or the unfurling of the national flag from the Red Fort.
It is indeed a joyful memory that many educational institutions in the country too had the good fortune of celebrating the first Independence Day. St Aloysius College of Mangalore, the second oldest college in the city, also celebrated its first Independence Day in 1947. The College librarians and the archivists recently chanced upon a few photographs of the first Independence Day. It was a moment of great joy to see those pictures, even in their smudged texture and faded colours, and recall the great sacrifices our national leaders had made during the Independence struggle.
We come to know that N. S. Kale, a freedom fighter of the region, unfurled the national flag. Fr Joseph Coelho was the Principal of the College who gathered nearly 1000 students to instil in them the value of freedom on the first Independence Day.
The College has since celebrated Independence Day year after year. This year it was the turn of Principal Dr (Fr) Praveen Martis SJ to join one of the senior-most teachers in the College, Prof. Rajgopal Bhat to unfurl the flag and inspire students.
May our country remain great and celebrate diversity in its true sense of the term.
Submitted by: Dr (Fr) Melwyn Pinto, Dept of Journalism and Mass Communication.