"At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance….. We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again." – Nehru

I was in India doing my PhD fieldwork in 1997, the 50th anniversary of independence, and wore a hideously warm T-shirt with a map of the Indian nation on it. I remember feeling an excitement and buzz about the event that was curiously absent amongst those around me in the city (Varanasi, UP). I was certainly the only person wearing such an obviously patriotic garment – apart, that is, from the many wearing khadi (homespun).

Would it be any different today I wonder?