15th of August is an important day in our lives. Making our children understand the concept of freedom and its value is critical.
It is essential to make them understand that freedom from Britain came at the cost of the lives of lakhs of people. If you have an ancestor who was a freedom fighter, then introduce your child to them.
It will help them understand that we must fight for what is rightfully ours. Please don’t assume your child is too young to understand; introduce these as stories.
Here is an approch to help you introduce the story of India’s independence to your child.
1. Explain the concept of freedom
To explain how India got its independence, it’s important to explain what it means and why we wanted it and had to fight for it.
Is your child fond of a toy or a particular game? Does your child like to go out to play with their friends? Does your child have a favourite dish or a snack?
When they can do what they like, it means they are free. Will your child be ok, if not allowed to play with their favourite toy at a given time? Or they are not served their favourite dish no matter how much they plead!
Please mention that there are certain rules and boundaries that everyone must follow. Then explain how people from another country were occupying India and they started ruling us instead of our own kings.
2. Talk about Britain
If you have a globe handy, show them Britain and talk about how the British travelled by sea and came to India to explore trading. Young kids may find it hard to understand the concept of trading. Try to explain the barter system – how you can exchange something your toddler has with something you have. Or take them to a shop and explain the concept of purchasing something.
Explain how India had spices, cotton, silk, and precious gems that the British wanted to buy. You can explain how the British came on the pretext of business and started conquering the Indian kingdoms.
3. Explain how they started controlling India
They brought in more people and started building military bases in India. They started controlling Indians, telling them what they could do and could not. Due to this, Indians couldn’t freely move, work, or do anything they wanted to. When the restrictions became unbearable, some Indians realised they were being controlled by outsiders in their own country and wanted their land and freedom back.
4. Describe the freedom struggle
India’s freedom struggle spanned centuries and involved several revolutions. Explain that some bold and determined fighters decided to do what it took to send the British out of our country.
Finally, the British had to leave India and Indians were free to live the way they wanted.
The British left India on the 15th of August, and we celebrate it every year as Independence Day! Explain it in the context of how your family celebrates your toddler’s birthday.
5. Independence Day celebrations
Make sure your kid attends the Independence Day celebration at Kidscasle; and talk about the tricolour, our National Flag. You can show the flag of Britain or any other country to explain that each country has its flag.
Your child might not understand everything, but it will be an excellent way to introduce tricolour and being Indian.
Above is an approach and a few pointers to explain the story of India’s independence to your child. You can tweak it at your discretion. Be aware that your child will have many questions and doubts; it may require you to dig deeper and research more about our country than you have in the past.
Happy Independence Day!