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Republic Holiday

<This article was published by Deccan Chronicle on Jan 26, 2009>

A friend of mine was thanking God profusely the other day. He was celebrating the fact that this year’s Republic Day was on a Monday and not on the weekend!! I then asked him if he really knew what the day stood for or was it just another beer swilling three day weekend holiday for him. He was stumped! Am sure there are many who don’t appreciate our freedom and take it for granted.

It’s been 60 years, and slowly but surely the meaning of Republic Day has been eroded. Some people think of it as a lethargic holiday and have got used to the “formality” of government celebration. Republic Day probably has become so corrupted with the commercial nature it has come to take on and its not valued for what it is. Ask any living freedom fighter today to tell us what this day really means and the significance it still bears today.

Incidentally, the SMS count on a “Valentines Day” or a “Friendship Day” is much more than the number of SMS messages on Republic Day. Quite ironic, isn’t it?

The adoption of the Indian Constitution and the transition of India from a British Dominion to a republic, is a turning point in our collective lifetimes. I do wish that I was there at the grand parade held at New Delhi.  As the parade starts from  Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan, goes along the Rajpath, past India Gate and on to the historic Red Fort one cant help but thank Gandhi & Co.

In my opinion, Republic Day is not just a holiday of convenience. It is the ideal day for us to remember our strong, brave, hardworking NSG commandos and army soldiers who are having sleepless nights, so that we can celebrate this day! It’s the ideal day to think about what our ancestors had to endure to bring all of us the freedoms we now enjoy. As you salute the flag and sing the national anthem, it’s the perfect time to think about if your work & your life is helping India become a better country. Jai ho!