Republic Day marks the day on which the Constitution of India came into effect. Every year, Republic Day is celebrated on 26 January. The glory of this day is well-known around the globe. The Constitution was adopted on 26 November 1949. We celebrate it on this day as it was the same day in 1930 when the Indian National Congress proclaimed the Declaration of Indian Independence.
“Republic” is a state in which the people and their elected representatives hold supreme power. Our democracy is the largest in the world. Our constitution ensures its citizen’s justice, equality, liberty, and fraternity. This implies that our constitution is highly inclusive in nature and adds to the glory of our country. It takes into account the rights of every individual in society. The Government of India has declared Republic Day a national holiday. However, people have reduced the glory of Republic Day to an ordinary holiday. The journey from colonialism to the Republic has witnessed painful events such as the bloody partition, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, and the revolutionaries who sacrificed themselves to protect the nation’s glory.
THE FORGOTTEN PATRIOTISM
During the British Raj, India lost its past glory and faced problems such as the exploitation of peasants, monopoly over foreign trade, or the loss of cultural identity and unity. It was one of the darkest times in the history of our nation. This darkness did not come to an end that easily. The cause which helped India see the sunrise of independence was true patriotism. This patriotism prevailed in the hearts of some great revolutionaries who did not think twice before putting their lives at stake. On the eve of Republic Day, we pay tribute and remember those who laid their lives for the honor and glory of the country. However, the Republic Day ceremonies mainly take place in government bodies and offices. The significance of Republic day is now just about outings, partying, or a random day off for taking rest. It has lost its glory.
Establishing India as a “Republic” was not a cakewalk. Our national flag “Tiranga” was not just a piece of cloth with three colors. It used to be our identity and we took glory even to touch it. The colors saffron, white and green meant strength and courage, peace and truth, and fertility and auspiciousness in their true senses. The youth of the country are the flag-bearers. However, it is saddening to see that rather than playing their part most of them are ignorant. Moreover, they even fail to realize that they belong to the land of those patriots who devoted their entire life to the nation.
The path of attaining the glory of an independent nation and a republic has been a series of challenging events for the “people” of the nation. The “people ” constitutes individuals from every section of the society be it the marginalized and underprivileged, religious minorities, tribal people and the differently abled, etc.
Even after celebrating Republic Day for 75 years, we face division on the grounds of caste, class, religion, and gender. Even though the true glory of our constitution lies in the equality of all, it still works in the favor of privileged sections of society. Many sections of society are unaware of their basic rights. Women and differently-abled people are still fighting for their rights. They are struggling to be a part of mainstream development. One day we will celebrate Republic Day in a real sense when each and every citizen of the country has the feeling of empowerment and contributes to adding to the glory of the nation.
THE REPUBLIC AWAITS
The glory of a nation depends on the fate of its people. The fate of people depends on the socio-political situation of the country. In a democratic setup, the citizens have the supreme power to elect their representatives. Thus, they should use this power wisely. The use of political powers should be to maximize the welfare of the people. The ruling, as well as the opposition, should play their respective parts to make the citizens self-reliant.
India at 100 should celebrate Republic Day with true patriotism. The vision of India at 100 should be to eliminate poverty, increase employment, women empowerment, and a special focus on healthcare and education. Everyone should come together and strive to make India an awakened republic to regain its lost glory.
-VANSHIKA SOROUT AND SURABHI SINGH