The battle lines have been drawn, as an age-old debate rears its head once again this August 15 as India celebrates 66 years of independence.
Or is it 65 years?
Even media outlets across the world are divided, using either number to mark India’s Independence Day, Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh addressed the nation today, saying: “The journey we began on 15 August, 1947 is now 65-years-old. We have achieved much in these 65 years.”
The Ambassador of India to the UAE, Lokesh MK, confirmed via text message when quizzed, simply writing back: “66!”
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in his televised address stated: “Fellow citizens, it is a privilege to address you for the first time in Indian and those in the 100 corners of the globe, on this 65th anniversary of India’s Independence.”
Emirates 24|7 reader Mukesh Tiwari says: “Of course it’s 66 years of Indian Independence. We have entered the 66th year, so that’s how you call it.”
Tiwari finds support in Dubai resident Akaash Tripathi, who said: “We calculate according to the Indian calendar, which always calls the year you have run into.”
Chirag ND on Twitter wrote: “65-years-old? 66th year of Independence starts, no?”
However, Raj Bakshi, a Dubai resident also stated: “I never understand the Indian system of running, hopping or skipping a year; if it’s my 25th birthday, I am told its 26 years running – whatever that means!
“It’s 65 years and let’s not argue on this. We should call it the way normal people do.”
Calculating it via the Gregorian method lands 2012 celebrations as the 65th year for India, but Ram Sampath, a 72-year-old Abu Dhabi resident explains this further.
“We don’t calculate from zero, but from one,” he said, adding: “Which simply means, 1947 was the first year of independence for India that tallies to 66 in 2012.”
However, Dubai-resident Justin Pereira has a new theory: “If a person’s first wedding anniversary is celebrated one year after marriage, then by that same calculation, this is India’s 64th year officially if 1948 is its first anniversary.”
The argument continues…
(With inputs from VM Sathish)