Every year since 1947, Indians all over the world celebrate the independence of India from the imperial rule of the British Raj on August 15. It was on this day that India became an independent, sovereign nation after almost a century of British rue. This year marks the 74th Indian Independence Day. This is a national holiday in India, and is celebrated with flag hoisting ceremonies, parades, performances and more. In honour of India’s Independence Day, Google also shared a Doodle to commemorate the independence of the ‘world’s largest democracy’.
The Google Doodle by Mumbai-based artist, Sachin Ghanekar, features the many folk instruments of India which make up India’s rich musical legacy that spans more than 6,000 years. The features instruments included the tutari, shehnai, dhol, veena, sarangi and bansuri. According to a statement, “The musical diversity represented by this unique collection reflects the patchwork of Indian cultures that is celebrated across the nation today.”
Sharing what inspired him to make the Doodle, Sachin said in a statement, “At a philosophical level, my inspiration was the diversity of this country. This rich cultural fabric meticulously woven together always amazes me. For the execution of the Doodle, I included various musical instruments, drawing inspiration from various Indian art forms like Kalamkari, Madhubani, Warli, Gond, Phad, and Pichwai to bring this idea to life.”
He also shared what Independence Day means to him personally, “Independence Day is a matter of pride for every citizen, and for me as an artist, it signifies the freedom to express your ideas, views, thoughts and opinions. I owe my freedom to all those who dreamt of it and fought for it.”
In the past too, Google Doodle’s have often commemorated the independence of India. Here are some of them that served historical and cultural lessons along with the breathtaking art:
August 15, 2018
The 2018 Doodle showcased a brilliant landscape of India’s flora and fauna and was inspired by Indian truck art, ‘a long-standing tradition in this four million square kilometer nation where truckers who live on the road surround themselves with cheerful folk art to occupy their minds during long months away from their families’.
August 15, 2017
The 2017 Doodle was the creation of Mumbai-based artist Sabeena Karnik, who used a unique paper-cut art style to create the unique Doodle. According to a statement, ‘the Parliament House depicted in her work commemorates this day, this movement, and this triumph of independence’.
August 15, 2016
In 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru said these iconic words as he introduced a free India to the world, “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now that time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of today’s midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” The 2016 Doodle depicted the historic delivery of that speech in the Parliament House before the Indian Constituent Assembly.
August 15, 2015
The 2015 Doodle drawn by Leon Hong depicted the Dandi Salt March of 1930, led by Mahatma Gandhi, which ‘served as the impetus of the Civil Disobedience Movement. At the end of the march, the dissenters boiled mud and produced illegal salt in defiance of unfair salt laws, resulting in more than 80,000 arrests’.