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Independence Day - Part I

I was in Switzerland on their national day (when the Swiss Confederation was formed) and it was nothing less than surprising that there was little celebration in Geneva. I also have been hearing how there is no National Day of Britain and patriotism is the last thing people think of in the West (with exception of Germany)!
As I sit in London on the Indian Independence Day – it is – or rather was- very surprisingly difficult to understand what keeps the western nations intact, whose citizen care for little but their personal lives and private re-creation. However, a book I picked up from the local library (Hitler and Churchill) gave me some historical perspective on this subject. I quote –
“Our world is still recognizably that which post-Hitler settlement of 1945 bequeathed us … Saddam apart, the West is presently enjoying those ‘broad sunlit uplands’ that Churchill promised and Hitler tried so hard to raze …
“Many another nation has had its golden age, its moment in history’s limelight … The Times wrote in a leader on 5 June 1990: ‘Many countries celebrate the day that their independence was won or their ancien régime overthrown. Neither is applicable to Britain, a country without a national day of its own … Britain remembers a national year … The iconography of 1940 cannot be very far from those with Britain on their mind.’ ”

My own thoughts for Europe were no different, when strolling through Bern (the Swiss capital) we noticed (amusingly) that every street had entries to an underground basement almost every 5 metres built in the days of the World War II for shelter from air strikes. Indeed, the very existence of Europe could have been different but for the outcome of the Second World War! Indeed it is the right to remain sovereign, the feeling of being independent that keeps every nation in the world intact!

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