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Blind date

If Congress chose Sept 7 as a nice day to commemorate something special, it surely had much to choose from.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2006 01:53 IST

The good thing about the Congress is that it can pretty much pick and choose whichever date it wants to and make the country 'celebrate' the day. Being the leading political party during the freedom movement as well as holding the office of government for the bulk of the 59 years in which India has been free gives it this right. So if the Congress chose September 7 as a particularly nice day to commemorate something special, it surely had much to choose from.

Although September 7, 1539, was well before the Indian National Congress was a gleam in Scotsman Allan Octavian Hume's eye, it was the day Guru Angad Dev became the second Sikh guru. So, to show its Sikh-friendly credentials, the Congress could have commemorated that special day. Centuries later, in 1965 on this day, China announced that it would reinforce its troops along its border with India. Coming three years after the India-China war, this 'incident' was not followed by any conflict. The ruling party could have played up the fact that on

September 7, 1965, with the Congress still at the helm of affairs, no enemy was given any ground - thus, reminding us how the party is good at protecting the nation's citizens. Despite the choices mentioned, the Congress, however, had to pick September 7 as the day our national song, Vande Mataram, turned 100 years. The song was written much before, but who fact-checks a former MP's suggestion that September 7 was the big day? Definitely not the historically-rich Congress. So here's an idea: why not celebrate today, September 12, as the day King Porus stood up to Alexander in 326 BC? It will be great for Indian patriotism, and who is going to check the date anyway?

First Published: Sep 12, 2006 01:53 IST