Madhubani Painter Jaya Dourbi Takes Us Back to the Basics This Independence Day

Sir Martin Luther King said – “To other countries, I may go as a tourist, but to India, I come as a pilgrim.”

India is regarded as a holy land not only by us Indians but by people all over the world. We are a mystic country with rich folklore and epic mythologies. Sometimes, when we focus too much on “what should be”, we tend to forget “what is”. Sometimes, it is good to take a step back and revisit the basics. The foundations, on which the entire nation stands are important and should remain relevant. We learn these things in school and by the time we are adults, we forget them. 

We were reborn as a free country 72 years ago and our leaders laid out some foundations along the way, on which the nation was built. We asked Jaya Dourbi – a traditional artist (Madhubani and Aipan) to paint what freedom meant to her. She drew a beautiful piece of Madhubani painting representing eight national symbols of India. 

The fact that we have our own national symbols relevant to our rich cultural, social and political heritage is an amazing expression of freedom.


Jaya has developed the piece in Madhubani or Mithila Painting style, which is a traditional Indian art form with its origins in the Mithila region of Bihar. Her painting shows Bharat Mata draped around in the tricolor  – the national flag with Jan Gan Man (national anthem) written on it. She is perched on a Bengal Tiger (national animal). Beautiful lotus flowers (national flower) can be seen in the Ganges (national river). The national reptile King Cobra, national bird Peacock and national fruit mango can also be seen in the painting. 

This independence day, lets revisit the basics and strengthen our foundations as a nation. To see more inspiring art by Jaya, follow her on Instagram by clicking here.

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