REPUBLIC DAY – THE TRUE NATIONAL FESTIVAL OF INDIA
‘Republic’-A form of government where the head of the state is neither inherited nor a monarch nor divine ruler but an elected one and is the representative of the overall political will of the people of that state and today 135 out of 206 sovereign states use the word ‘republic’ as part of their official names.
So, democratic form of governments and the word ‘republic’ are intricately linked though there were some integrationist states like USSR which have used the word ‘Republic’ but are not the one’s in true sense of the term.
But, we are different. We, Indians are different .NO NO –India is different. it is hard to imagine a country which is multi diverse, multi cultural, a home to all of the world’s religions except Confucianism and Taoism, multi lingual, multi ethnic, with its varying geographical and climatic conditions from the south to north to west to north east, more over a country which was never under a single empire except for a brief period of time during the reign of Asoka and possessing many rivers dividing the country into different swathes of lands with varying productivities and types therefore dictating the plethora of regional flavors-etc factors make India a miracle in the world map and still it’s a nightmare to historians as to how this country could remain united for so long.
Baring the oppression and suppression of nationalism for over 250 years under colonial exploitation and expansion , A largely illiterate population with subsistent economy and whose resources are drained and wealth was plundered by the British to fuel their development and industries , having the Presence of many local Rajas, Kings, Rao-bahaddurs, Nijams etc with their local fiefdoms , who were seen by their subjects as the men born with the divine right to rule – when our first generation national political leadership talked about “democracy “ and the right of Indians for swaraj ( “self rule “) , it was seen by many nations, political scientists , authors and the so called intelligentsia representing the then world order as a crude joke. British denied us independence saying that we , Indians are incapable of ruling ourselves and it is their military , police , administration and governance structures that are making and safeguarding India and once they get out they said “ India will plunge into chaos and Indians will become beggars “.
But we resisted. We fought. We won. And we proved each one of them wrong and 65 years after successfully conducting democratically elected parliamentary form of governments with successive lok sabhas sitting and deliberating public policies , and the robust constitutional framework proving time and again as the greatest strength and the torch bearers of Indian democracy and the institutions like election commission and CAG having gained international applause for their efficiency and unitary judiciary upholding the rule of law and coming to the rescue of common man very time it is required, Democracy in INDIA is not only a successful experiment but also the one to be worth emulating .
The idea of complete freedom ( the purna swaraj ) has become the sole objective of Indian national movement was adopted in the Lahore session of INC on 26 Jan 1929 proposed by shri Jawaharlal Nehru under the steward guidance and leadership of our beloved father of the nation sri Gandhiji and other eminent national leaders which demanded the complete withdrawal of British forces from India and ultimate self rule for Indians and India as a constitutionally bound sovereign republic .When the British ultimately realized that their days in India were numbered , our constituent assembly was formed with Dr. Rajendra Prasad as its chairman and the proud son of India Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, being the head of the all important drafting committee in Feb., 1946 after the cabinet mission plan.
I think, there was never in history it so happened that a bunch of 350 odd people sat together with the baggage of slavery in their minds, many differences, representing many social and economical strata, baring with several points of views , to sow the seeds of a nation with lofty ideals and extraordinary rights. In spite of their differences , I feel , the underlying force behind the success of our constituent assembly , therefore our country was their unflinching zeal to make India proud of herself , their unwavering patriotism and more so , their uncompromising faith on Indian people.
That is why we, the people of India has given to ourselves the constitution which is the basic law of the land forming the indestructible union of destructible states called India, that is BHARATH on 26 Jan 1950 , an year later after constituent assembly adopted and enacted it on 26 Nov 1949 as a sentiment for upholding the date of purna swaraj resolution. As Ambedkar said in the assembly, “democracy in India is a top dressing phenomena and we have to work extremely hard to inculcate the values enshrined in the constitution to work “. I can say, our politics were reasonably successful in doing so till now.
Barely at the same time, a nation came up from the wounds of ww2, which has seen two nuclear bombs, plunged into economic and political disarray and whose constitution was drafted by 20 American military generals, Japan started its journey anew. Two parallel happenings ,In India, when the efforts to plant the seeds of democracy, universal adult franchise to 90% illiterate electorate, imagining giving fundamental rights to people who do not know the meaning of ‘right’ and never enjoyed one , Japan had lost everything to America’s wills and wishes.
After 65 years of journey, both the nations came far way. India has achieved significant things in the past 20 years and is in the twilight of making reforms both politically and administratively delaying which it can ill afford and Japan became one of the strongest economic powers and one of the biggest strategic partners OF India, our relationship has been growing from strength to strength. That is why, upon seeing this year’s Republic day guest Abe, the Japanese PM, evoked a sense of nostalgia in me and motivated me to write this piece.
26th Jan is a true festival day for India and all Indians must celebrate this as this is the day we became a sovereign, socialist, democratic, secular, republic, this is the day which gave new life to our sober souls and gave us an identity and a sense of pride as the world’s largest functioning democracy. On this day , I appeal to all my Indian brothers and sisters that Every principle, ideal, vision enshrined in our constitution must be kept in mind and every citizen of India must respect and show tolerance towards the diversity of India. One must keep in mind that whatever we are, what may be our beliefs, faiths, interests- we are first humans, then Indians and republic day must not become another public holiday but is a day we must remember the founding fathers of this great nation and must inject the spirit of constitution into our blood and re -dedicate ourselves to strive for India’s prosperity and growth .