Rekindling The Lost Magic

Ever wondered, 58 years hence, why should Republic Day be celebrated? Has the Day lost its meaning?

For all the disillusioned, let me put forth a few facts which, I hope, will make you proud of this Day. No, I will not use the usual trump card of patriotism. Neither will I insist that one should be proud of the defence forces that show their wares on this great day.

Something which we all know already, but I will nevertheless remind, the Republic Day is celebrated on the day when the Constitution of India was laid down in 1950. The Constitution is the longest written document of any independent nation in the world, containing 395 articles and 12 schedules, as well as numerous amendments, totalling 117,369 words in the English version. There is also a Hindi version of the same. January 26 marks the change of India from a colony under the British to being an independent republic.

I was extremely proud to see that, although, the Constitution does extensively draw a lot of its laws from the West, it does not blindly, or totally, do so. Even the Upanishads form a source of inspiration with their views on the moralistic and common sense approach towards the treatment of people. After years of subjugation under the British and after years of having had supposed superiority of the Western values being ingrained in each Indian, the Constitution was still incredibly independent in its thought. It sought to stress and put a great emphasis on the need for social equality and a “rebuilding of society for common good”. Furthermore, the Constitution was framed at an extremely sensitive time when the entire world was divided into two teams. Nevertheless, India bravely asserted itself through its policy of Non-Alignment. It was the first assertion of India’s independence and confidence in itself.Since then, India has taken many such radical decisions which have made the entire world sit up and take notice.

Of course, time and again, it has been brought to light how old and archaic some of the laws are. Such laws definitely need to be looked at and changed into those which hold real significance in the functioning of the state. Since 1950, several amendments have been made in the Constitution and many of them have been extremely beneficial and radical. The Constitution, which was released in 1950 defined the way of life for “We, the People”. There was an incredible sense of maturity in the way this Constitution was drafted. All the differences of the people of the state were recognized and yet unification was achieved. Even though economic prosperity was the need of the hour, the need for social justice and equality was not overlooked.

The Republic Day brings out all this beautifully. The parade shows tableaus from different states and unity in diversity is celebrated. I cherish the childhood memories of being incredibly happy and excited at the display of the various tableaus, they represented a dream world.There was a tremendous sense of patriotism which this parade builds up. This one time of the year, the country does not unite for purposes of cricket or some such issues. They unite to celebrate the “unity and diversity” of a great Nation whose forefathers laid such a well rounded Constitution. It would be disappointing if the future generation is unable to witness such a parade and, more importantly, such a feeling. I believe that no one politician can take out any real mileage out of this one day. Truly, this day is for the people, by the people, of the people.

Shravya Jain

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