Remembering Why Gandhi Starved Himself

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The military band's quick and terse rendition of India's national anthem was greeted with a few hushed sighs and gentle nods, in keeping with the somber mood of the Independence Day festivities at the governor's mansion. There was little of the chest-thumping pride or fireworks on display for the few hundred guests.

European consuls fiddling with ties in the muggy heat; old freedom fighters standing tall, their faces gaunt and expressionless. Sixty years after the waning British Empire hastily departed after jotting down some lines on a map turning one country into two, the Indian Subcontinent has cause to both mourn and celebrate the day of its bitterly-won freedom. Indeed, Indian independence day ceremonies are largely stoic affairs, steeped in the memory of a nation that was dismembered at the moment of its birth.

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