I don’t know if there was a presidential address, or a prime-minister’s talk, the ‘P’in both cases is deliberate, the offices have lost their sanctity.
At our toastmasters meet the theme was Republic day what the Toastmaster of the day threw out introductions from the information that he gathered as sent by the speakers. What I could see was that most of us could think of long week-ends, the younger toastmasters spoke of Republic day being a day where they got off from school, got sweets and other goodies and got to go out with their parents. The president of the club actually wondered aloud if we remembered the National Anthem—that moment was a moment of truth and I was ashamed, that we as citizens are at a point where even make a comment like that!
Most parents plan their family get away around this too.
Good for the family.
Before I pointed fingers I wondered what republic day meant to me, today in my cynical state just another day in the calendar. Some day long ago it meant a day of cultural activity. There was a period after the emergency before I became establishment there was this pride, about my homeland and what it stood, there was a passion for it and a dream for it. Our ancestors dreamt that a day would come when we would be free and comfortable in our identities.
Sometimes I wonder if we have a Stockholm syndrome, we, want white masters we dream the great American dream … that is a dream to get to America, with increasing Asians in America and diminishing European hues we do contemplate hopping into the kangaroo land but stay home and keep our dignity intact, be enterprising and create our success stories?….. oh! No!….. That’s for losers.
With the disappointment cast away let’s look at what Republic is all about.
A REPUBLIC is
- A government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president. — A political unit having such a form of government.
- A government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitle to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.—a political unit having such a form of government.
- A body of persons freely engaged in a specific activity.
- A constituent political and territorial unit of nations eg. USSR, Czechoslovakia etc.
We are a nation that has a chief of state who is not a monarch, the supreme power resides in a body of CITIZENS entitled to vote, WE elect a body of officers and representatives who are responsible to govern the state by the law it is about US.
The celebration of Republic Day in short would mean celebrating ourselves, our empowerment,
acknowledge that we accept the responsibility bestowed to us with this power. Unfortunately the holiday, the speech competition, the cultural programs have over ridden the true celebration, the celebration of ourselves.
If nationalism is a religion, then the national flag becomes its symbol and the anthem its prayer. As we are busy being Hindus, Muslims, Christians instead of Indians I guess this is the Epiphany.