REPUBLIC DAY–THE FIRM bond Of Nationhood
Being Indian is our identity however; being republican is our Country’s identity
By: Dr. Ashaq Hussain
On 15th August 1947, after the unforgettable struggle and unparalleled sacrifices of the freedom fighters of our homeland, our country India became independent and we got the great blessing of freedom. Today India is one of the largest democracies in the world where people of all faiths- Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains etc are living together with great love as a single family and celebrate their own religious festivals with great fanfare. However, from the last seven decades, there have been two consecutive national festivals, Independence Day and Republic Day, which every citizen of the country has been proud to celebrate. The Republic day is linked to Democracy, and there can be no better system of government than democracy for a country like India, with a vast population of different religions, races, languages and even of different nationalities.
Republic Day is celebrated all over the country on 26th January every year. Let’s take a look at what democracy is and why we celebrate Republic Day and what is the significance of this day in our lives.
On 26th November 1949 the Constituent Assembly repealed the Government of India Act of 1935 and passed a new constitution, the longest written constitution in the world and thanks to this constitution, India at present is recognized as a ‘stable democracy’ of the world. This constitution was officially adopted on 26th January 1950 and as such India became a formal republic country on this day. It is the occasion that we celebrate Republic Day every year. Let me remind you that at the time of India’s independence and even after, many countries of the world became independent but in most of these independent countries democracy died very quickly but the roots of democracy in India are so deep that even after 72 years, India is still a democratic country where constitution, law and democracy prevail. India is perhaps the only country that has managed to establish a stable and successful government, despite the presence of pluralistic, innumerable linguistic and religious sects.
In terms of independency, India is the largest democracy in the world and the real source of this power are citizens of the country. No one here can be discriminated on the basis of religion, caste, creed, region or language. 42nd Amendment of the Constitution is the main spirit of the Constitution where India has been declared as a secular country. In other words, the state is declared to have no religion and no school of thought can be discriminated against on the basis of religion.
In the spirit of the Constitution, every Indian citizen, irrespective of caste, creed, color, religion etc, is equal before the law and every citizen has the right to freedom of expression as well as to practice and propagate his religion, this is what the democracy has given us. That is why Republic Day is celebrated here every year with great pomp and splendor.
Today we are going to celebrate the 73rd Republic Day and on this day today it has become inevitable to think on some very important aspects like; have we really succeeded in implementing the constitution made by our elders? Do the citizens of the country really have the right to freedom and equality at this time? Are we aware of our rights found in the Constitution of India? Of course! These and several other questions are echoing in the minds of every conscious person in the country today. What so ever may be your answer but without any doubt freedom is certainly a great wealth and a great blessing and in a society like India, it is necessary to have a democratic and secular constitution to maintain it.
Recalling the past, the first caravan of the British came to India in 1601 during the Jahangiri era. According to this calculation, the British withdrew from India in 1947 after 346 years. During this time a long story of oppression and barbarism was written when all Indians dedicated to the spirit of freedom irrespective of race and religion were at the forefront and jumped into the fire of danger for the survival of their beloved homeland and their civilization. Thus the history of India’s independence would have no meaning if the sacrifice of any sect or section in the war of independence is separated.
Thus after independence, the biggest problem was the constitution of the country; as whether it should be religious or non-religious, how to determine the rights between the minority and the majority was another issue, so keeping in view all these facts the constitution was framed and the first part of it clearly states that we the people of India suggest that India should be created as a free, socialist, democratic country, in which social, economic, political, justice, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of belief, religion and worship, individual identity and respect for all citizens will be ensured, and the integrity and unity of the country will be maintained.
Thus Indian democratic system is an excellent system, inhabited by people of different ideas, cultures and civilizations. So let us value this system and thereby celebrate this day by paying great tribute to the martyrs of the country and the founders of the constitution and the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives to gift us this day and this democracy. Republic Day Celebrations should reaffirm our commitment towards our constitution and revalidate our faith in the cherished ideals of liberty, equality, fraternity and justice for all, as enshrined in our constitution. So, on this joyous occasion, let us celebrate the achievements of our country and solemnly resolve to dedicate ourselves towards building a peaceful, harmonious and progressive India. Let’s today recall the ideas on which the Constitution was framed, the ideas of Justice, Equality, Liberty, Fraternity, Sovereignty and so on and take an oath to keep them alive in our lives; it shall give us the strength to stand strong in the very violent world around us. Let’s work together to make our country a better place to live in. HAPPY REPUBLIC DAY
Dr. Ashaq Hussain is Assistant Professor (Selection Grade) At Govt. Degree College Chatroo
and can be reached at [email protected]