As we try and orient the next generation towards the Republic day celebrations... animatedly explaining what it is about, one can't help the nostalgic images of our own past.
Somehow the 26th of January was a different experience back then. It was the day when children use to be happy to go to school - no bags, no classes..just a grand celebration of life as we knew it!
At the break of dawn loud speakers blared with some of the most celebrated foot tapping, blood pumping patriotic numbers. The soilders, the martyers, the freedom fighters, the land itself and every drop of blood shed for its glory sung in heroic splendor.
The anticipation of the day started the earlier night itself. The perennially dirty brown shoes would be washed out.. and putting white polish on them was the highlight. Getting up early in the morning and wearing clean white crisply ironed uniforms complete with super white shoes lending a special skip in the steps; oozing with national pride and the kind of a enthusiasm and energy that only children are capable of.
But most of all it was about the school march-past...so painfully perfected for weeks. The build-up to 'The Flag Hoisting' and the National Anthem that followed almost gave goose bumps. The speeches, the prizes the sweets the applauds all confirmed it as the
day of achievement. Running around all day with the flag, imagining it fly high in the air. The triumph had no parallel.
Do children feel that triumph today. Maybe they do and it's just that we have grown up and the world isn't the same anymore. Perhaps the Tri-coloured glasses we wear today are muddled with reality. However it is our duty to breathe hope for tomorrow. No matter what our reality is children should be ingrained with the feeling of belonging to something so grand and glorious that it can never be destroyed. They should be safe in the knowledge of its strength and the identity of who we are. They must feel all the pride and happiness that we felt..they must celebrate it like we did so they have a treasure full of memories to pass on.
Our children are our future. For them, the Indian Flag can never lose it luster, the colours can never lose its brightness and the Tri-coloured glasses through which all is well and good can never splinter.
Today lets revisit the preamble to our constitution -
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into
a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
Let us all try and live by it Happy Republic day to all.