Republic Day: An Occasion for Revisiting Our Priorities

REPUBLIC DAY SPECIAL

Republic Day celebrations are here and we are face to face with multiple thought-provoking ideas that invite us to probe into issues of collective concern. The article that follows, invites us to revisit the contemporary times in new light.


Anirban Ghosh is a Freelance Journalist – based in Kolkata, India.


Republic day is an important day for India. On this day India celebrates the achievement of being the largest democracy in the world. We are aware that after Independence, on 26 January 1950 India adopted a democratic system of governance.

On the occasion of the 69th Republic Day, we need to walk through the existing circumstances that put forward a critical challenge and warn us of the many unsustainable choices that we have made and which threatens the culture of democracy and its functioning. The Indian democracy is also called the largest democracy in the world. Certainly, it is an ideal for many countries like Myanmar and other emerging nations. But at the same time we need to figure out how the largest democracy is functioning today. And to make this observation fruitful, a look at some few recent is of utmost importance.

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Karni Sena which is protesting against the movie Padmavat./ Image Source: Reuters

We all are aware of the controversy circling the film Padmavat.  Over the last two months we are the perpetual observers of the turbulence and violence that is being perpetrated as an opposition to the release of the film. There are many organizations whose members are roaming around the city, vandalizing cinema theatres, attacking school buses, threatening cinema artists and critically affecting the day to day functioning of the country. But we have not seen any significant role being played in this context by the government and its machinery. The violators are constantly embarrassing the nation’s democracy. Why is the state unable to control such undemocratic aggression?

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1% of Richest Indians Corner 73% of Wealth Generated in the country in 2017./ Image credit: Danish Siddiqui

The second most important issue constantly enlarging its roots in the soil of this nation is poverty. In this week Oxfam foundation released a report saying that one percent of Indian citizens are owning the wealth and assets of 85 percent citizens of India. The government and citizens are not unaware of the economic disparity in India but instead of taking a promising action, they are enabling the gap to enlarge through the weapons of ‘note bandi’, GDP, FDI and Aadhar implementation. The Government’s mandatory Aadhar card policy seems to have become a constant oppressor of citizens in the country. The poor who depend on government food and distribution systems to fulfill their hunger and other existential needs are dying because of neglect. Individual space and privacy are constantly under surveillance. The UDAI scheme has meant the onset of danger for thousands of people, their identity, privacy and rights are in danger and they are being constantly controlled.

In the last few years it is realized that education and its structure is manipulated in many ways. The implementation of new rules and regulations, nepotism in fresh appointments has destroyed the freedom of education. The government agenda of the saffronization of education has severely affected both the primary as well as higher education in India.

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Protesting Tamil Nadu farmers at Parliament Street police station in New Delhi./ Image Credit : INDIATODAY

On 69th Republic Day the capital of the nation is decorated with lights and color. There are many important guests from around the world who have arrived to attend this important occasion.There is high security, thousands of security personnel are moving on the streets of Delhi, high-security check and route diversion has already alienated the people of India in many parts of India. On the eve of Republic Day the film Padmavat has released in many states. There are many protests are the country.

Recently the protesters (Karni Sena) targeted a school bus in Ghaziabad. They are roaming around the city with naked talwars and other weapons.

The Oxfam report reasserted that in the last few years the rich are seen to become richer and the poor are becoming even poorer. All these hidden and manifest contradictions circling the nation are today important for us to debate over. Unless we make the republic inclusive, it will continue to be divided.


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