Republic Day - What Does It Mean?
A chorus of young kids singing our national anthem woke me up this morning. It didn't take much time out of my early moments of the day for me to realize that it was the republic day flag hoisting being performed out a few yards from my bedroom window. The 26th of January and 15th of August are the two days that are pretty close to me. They remind me of my novice days as one of the school going lads standing in a queue on the school playground in neat, pressed white uniforms waiting for the chocolates to be distributed. India is our country and all Indians are our brothers and sisters were what we pledged immediately after our school prayer. We said it and we did it all for the sake of a mandate. Today, after a long unexpected midnight support call from the client, all that matters is that it is a holiday. The Republic day has always gifted us - with sweets to the kids and a lazy holiday for working professionals, hasn't it? Sad and true.
More than six decades after independence, seems to be an ample time in the life of young India. Lives have changed and continue to change. Our schedules are busier in the attempts to sustain our own self. This is the time when things are getting real difficult and the situation is getting only worse with the passage of time. The lessons of fraternity and brotherhood have been long forgotten into the pages of the history of the freedom struggle. In a time when it is difficult to protect our own families from getting scattered, how easy is it to think about the country?
Patriotism has gained a new meaning and a newer way of expression. It is exhibited by swaying tricolor flags on the vehicles and motor bikes on the republic and independence days, which is over a day getting replaced by the flags of political parties. It is all about hoisting, saluting and wearing the paper-made tricolor on the national days and later disposing it off recklessly among the other bits of paper. It is about bearing the inconvenience of terrorist attacks on our cities, feeling and seeing the blood of our neighbors spilled around and hoping that things will be fine the next day. It is about watching the political scandals over the news channels and taking it for granted as politics. It is about finding it worthless to cast our votes on the Election Day. It is about considering it as a part of process to bribe the government official in order to get a timely delivery of your marriage certificate. It is about finding it a nuisance to stand up for the national anthem after buying an expensive multiplex movie ticket for the flick you were long trying to catch up with. It is about singing the national song without really understanding the meaning of it.
Today we are celebrating the 61st Republic Day of India, the day when India wrote and implemented its constitution. It is time we ask a small question to ourselves as to what significance it really has had within our lives. In this age where the creamy layered are more passionate about foreign citizenships, whereas the poor is endlessly battling and blaming the circumstances, is it fine to say that we are truly republic?