Today is not just another holiday for Indians. It marks the 69th anniversary of India’s freedom from the shackles of colonisation. The colourful, vibrant, multi-ethnic, multilingual India, thus breathed the air of freedom. And what better can rouse the spirits of Indians everywhere than the beautiful National Anthem. This video of North-East communities singing the National Anthem is making the rounds of the Internet, and rightfully so.
North-East — popularly known as the seven sisters, too – is an integral constituent of this country. Often sidelined and much ignored, this part of the country has struggled with influx of immigrants, ethnic and communal conflicts within and has even battled insurgency and illegal occupation by India’s neighbours.
If this was not enough, the North-East communities continue to face discrimination from fellow Indians in other states, with perverted profanities and intentions hurled at them, more often than not, mostly because of their physical resemblance to people in other countries. Also, because they are seen as easy targets. Which is why, this video of people from North-East coming together and singing the National Anthem, is more than just the obvious visual treat it is.
The next time you probably think of the North-East, should not be when you are planning your vacation. The North-East sure has beautiful tourist destinations, but also so much more. For instance, according to the 2011 Census, Mizoram and Tripura ranks third and fourth, respectively, on the list of states with highest literacy. Much higher than Delhi, Maharashtra or Tamil Nadu.
Vandana Kohli, producer and director of the video, said, “This version of the National Anthem is distinct for its layered harmony of voices. The search for harmony led me to the North East.”
The video was shot with the singers of the choir in their Khasi outfits, along with other singers, in Guwahati.
“We hope this version breaks through barriers of orientation, region and age, and touches you as it did us,” says Kohli about the video. We hope so too!