Republic Day and Patriotism

Sample this:
  1. In the pleasant small town of Jodhpur, the local FM radio channels have been beaming patriotic songs interspersed with ‘Badnaam Munni’ and ‘Sheila Ki …’. The only other 2 days when they do so are August 15 and October 2.
  2. CNN-IBN, one of the leading national TV news channels, broadcasts a show at 7:30 this evening with the old Hindi movie songs that evoke the feelings of patriotism.
  3. The small gathering at one of the leading Science and Technology institute of the nation commemorating the day India became a republic started with playing similar movie and non-movie tracks.


True, we were free in the true sense on this day when we ditched the dominion status and laws that were symbolic of the colonialism in favor of our own constitution. True, every single day is worth remembering and saluting the thousands who died for the Independence. True, music and dance are the best means of celebrations.

But, 61 years on, we seem to have forgotten what the day really stands for. It is fine if the day evokes nationalist, patriotic feelings in you, but it does not celebrate patriotism. It is not just another day when you *must* play the otherwise buried cassettes and CDs.

It does celebrate one of the most hated words of recent times: politics! For 26th January 1950 saw the greatest political venture of its times see the light of the day. It celebrates the inception of a large social structure in a society willing to take its own decisions collectively. It celebrates the and glorifies the notions of socialism and democracy–notions, that even some who do not agree with celebrate ignorantly aligning with the mass mentality of celebrating. Sorry. I do not ask you to have the same meaning and feeling as I have, nor what Ambedkars and Nehrus had. I ask you to actually think and not just follow. I ask you to attach your own meaning having put a lot of thought, this time with the open minds, asking whys and hows.

Happy Republic Day you all.


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