Is the Republic Day still relevant?

India celebrates it’s 67th Republic day today. It is the day in 1950 that the Indian constitution came into effect for the first time since Independence.

My early memories of Republic day, like the Independence Day, were the various sports/cultural activities in the school before the occasion and a parade that displayed the country’s military might and the cultural diversity on the day. It was also a time to revisit what the constitution meant to different people, though it only came up conversations that were very rare.

Here is one such rare conversation with myself.

The leaders’ who built the Constitution would be utterly ashamed if they witnessed the mass murder of the Constitution not once but day in day out.

The book that was supposed to be rule book became a play book, where players called on audible based on their whims to score brownie political points.

The sanctity of the lower and upper houses is being smeared election after election by the MPs with the criminal record.

There is little or no appreciation to the democratic proceedings. The opposition doesn’t respect the ruling party, the ruling party returns the favour, MPs don’t respect the president or vice president(remember the controversy of VP not saluting the flag last year), the state and centre cannot get along.

People’s voices aren't heard. The amount of disconnect between the people and political parties is mind numbing.

The voice of dissent is stifled.

People are/were categorised based on the religion, caste,region while the constitution asks for the separation of the same. What is the point of framing laws that are based on these “differences” while the leaders preach for the separation of these “differences”.

Media houses are looked upon with cynicism partly because they earned it. It is a convenient nexus between capitalists, politicians and the media houses. Talk of clear conflict of interest.

Whoever envisioned the separation of state and religion would be disgusted with what is going on in the country. A silent attempt to radicalise the nation with one religion or the other.

The appreciation for science and critical thinking is quickly being replaced systematically with pseduo-science.Forget appreciation, Education is still not a fundamental right which in my mind is preposterous. For country, that trusted its illiterate and provided universal adult franchise should have pioneered the education reform.

There has been little innovation in the field of engineering barring the success of the India’s space programs.

It is just ironic that “president’s rule” has been imposed in a state on the day we celebrate the constitution. Forget whether it is right or wrong, it is an interesting paradox.

All this makes me wonder, what are we celebrating? Has the Republic day been reduced to another side show?

For a majority of people this day doesn’t really mean anything because they are busy trying to make three squares meals a day. If only, had it meant something to everyone in this country, India would have been a much different nation today.

On a different note, does the idea of a one nation still hold relevance ? It is a question worth pondering; with globalization, internet cutting across borders, inter-nation trade and the gridlocked nature of today’s economy, the phenomenon of a nation ought to be relooked. Nations might be bound together on religious, cultural,language or a common ancestry but that boundaries are quickly changing. The Indian nation is a prime example that the homogeneity on any of the above parameters isn’t really a necessary condition for a nation to stay together. India prides on the unity in diversity. May be it is worth exploring the idea of shedding the borders. May be, just may be we will start to empathise with the other human beings who are different from us.