Note: This article is dedicated to my friends Anahita Thukral, Jayasharadha Chandrakalatharan and Lasya Jagirdhar, a fun-loving group of people who love to talk. This article is a result of a long discussion in a small hostel room in BITS Pilani, a few minutes before the clock struck 12 to the 61st Republic Day of India.
I guess we all were taught the significance of Republic Day in Indian History. But the question is whether it actually holds any significance for us beyond passing an 8th Std history exam? Is it just another holiday, an excuse to not go to work, maybe just a dry day.
It brings us to ponder over the meaning of Republic Day Celebrations.
Republic Day of India is celebrated with great zeal. It is a people’s day. On Independence Day, the past is re-called , on Republic Day, the pledge is renewed.The essence behind the celebration of Republic day is not only to celebrate India’s secularism and democracy but also to make us feel proud of our culture, languages, social norms, traditions, customs, religions that make India a wonderful multi-cultural country. The Republic Day Parade is reflective of the united India that is one despite the apparent diversities in culture, lifestyle, languages, traditions and religions.
But does our urban youth realize this attribute of our National culture? Or is it just a mid-week break for them? In this fast-moving world, these celebrations are just an indication that says “Dude! Stop. Relax. Think” if not “Dude! Stop. Relax. Die for country”. It’s an occasion to take some time off…stop cribbing about how you are leading the most miserable life anyone can have or how the political system of our country is going down the drains or how the population and corruption is exponentially increasing et al and maybe start trying a little harder to change these things that are hampering our society.
Republic Day is a time to enjoy the rich culture, acknowledge people who have made an attempt to put their lives to good use for others’ sake… and maybe derive some inspiration from it. A day when you stop cribbing and start shouting for the fulfillment of the pledge. A day running high on idealism.
I know being too optimistic can be mistaken for being naive which I do not want. At least a day is all I am asking for. A day to celebrate your nation… to celebrate your nationality.
P.S. A Random Trivia : Prem Behari Narain Raizada calligraphed our Indian Constitution.
The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz and also a student of BITS- Pilani