India Independence Day 2019 – Today’s Doodle, by India-born, Copenhagen-based guest artist Shaivalini Kumar, celebrates Independence Day in India. On this day in 1947 one of the world’s oldest and most ethnically diverse civilizations became a sovereign nation, free from British rule. The Doodle depicts traditional motifs from Indian textiles evoking the complex yet harmonious “patchwork” of Indian culture, ranging from education, to the arts, to courage and compassion.
India is the world’s second most populous country, and many of its 1.3 billion citizens will join in the Independence Day festivities. While the subcontinent marks the occasion in various ways—from patriotic kite-flying to Amritsar’s “beating retreat” ceremony—no site is more historically significant than Lahori Gate at the Red Fort in Delhi, where then Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru first addressed the newly independent nation.
India’s flag will be seen flying proudly today from Delhi to Bombay and everywhere in between. As the flag is raised each year, a 21-gun salute rings out, accompanied by the national anthem “Jana Gana Mana.” Parades, awards, and cultural events complete the momentous occasion.
Happy Independence Day, India!
Guest Artist Q&A with Shaivalini Kumar
Today’s Doodle was created by Copenhagen-based guest artist Shaivalini Kumar of Supernova Design. Below she shares her thoughts on the making of the Doodle:
Q: Why was this topic meaningful to you personally?
A: As a citizen of India, it gave me an opportunity to celebrate a landmark day in our country’s journey.
As an artist and an individual, it gave me the chance to share my creative vision and try to step towards weaving my personal point of view into this representation.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you were approached about the project?
A: It has always been one of my personal goals to make a Google Doodle and I was thrilled to be invited to create one. The opportunity to create a Doodle for India’s Independence Day was a moment of pride and excitement. As an artist born and raised in India, it was also a chance to explore the theme in light of our country’s progress and development. Knowing that this Doodle would be seen by many, it was a way of sharing my personal vision with a huge number of people.
Q: Did you draw inspiration from anything in particular for this Doodle?
A: India is one of the most diverse countries in the world. I wanted to depict the “Indian patchwork” of core values, beliefs, and strengths for this concept. We represent our freedom and independence by depicting democracy (the Parliament House), growth in science (the ISRO Mars mission), growing infrastructure (our Metro, railways, and local transportation like the iconic auto rickshaw), striving for education (even at grassroots levels — the hand writing with the chalk), compassion (the hands), strength and courage (the tiger), purity (the lotus), and progress (decriminalizing homosexuality). These are just some of India’s many steps towards growth and progress. Interspersed with these symbols and icons of progress are traditional Indian motifs from textiles creating a unique “patchwork.” This complex yet harmonious patchwork is representative of India’s freedom and independence, celebrating the essence of what I believe is quintessentially Indian: the surprising and wonderful co-existence of several opposing forces, ideologies, religions, and cultures.
Q: What message do you hope people take away from your Doodle?
A: It can be challenging to consider belief systems that oppose our own, but the only way to grow and evolve as a human being is by rising up to those challenges and trying to understand the validity of contradictory points of view — particularly when every single piece of information available through old and new media is deeply polarizing. It’s this particular trait of compassion and empathy, which forms the core of my experiences in India, that I hope folks will take away from this Doodle — to celebrate the positive outcomes of diversity and contrast.
You can find more about India Independence Day 2019 on the official Google Doodle Page