Sare jahan se achcha Hindustan hamara keeps resonating in my ears – more so when I step out of the shores of our beloved country. And it is so very true. I have travelled far and wide and believe me there really is no other place quite like our India. During each of my trip abroad, I have always longed to get back no matter how interesting and enjoyable the trip may have been.
And let me refresh everybody’s memory that the most unique thing about India is that we got our freedom without waging a bloody war with those who were ruling us. We are indeed the pioneers in non violence movement and ably led by Mahatma Gandhi we got our freedom without resorting to violence in any form. Of course there was blood shed, we did lose quite a few of our brave men in the process but we did not pick up any weapons in our arms. Our only weapon was our firm resolution to get back what was rightfully ours. And the names of these brave freedom fighters are written in golden words in our history.
Finally on 15th August, 1947 we became rulers of our country from being ruled for almost 200 years – I mean we became a free country. And on 26th January 1950, India became a republic. And since then we celebrate this day each year with much fanfare and patriotic fervor.
Here, I would like to ask how many of us know the actual meaning of republic. Becoming republic means that the constitution of India came into force and India became a truly sovereign state.
When I was schooling in Delhi, Republic day meant getting up at the crack of dawn, getting togged up in warm woolens and going to Rajpath to catch a vantage point to watch the republic day parade which draws people from not only all over our country but also from our neighboring nations. Also, for one more reason that the food available in this area is simply exotic. The marvelous eateries at Pandara Road near India Gate and the ever-so-enthusiastic ice cream vendors at India Gate – I did not miss an opportunity to get my favourite flavour, even if it was winters!
The function starts with the President of India hoisting the Tricolour in the presence of various dignitaries from various countries and of course thousands of Indians who brave the cold winter morning to watch this entire splendor. And then begins the parade which starts from Rajpath and proceeds along Vijaypath where different regiments of Army, Navy and Air force march past in all their finery and decorations. This is followed by NCC cadets from all over the country marching, children from various schools performing, beautifully decorated floats from representing the various states of India – all which showcase the diversity and richness of our culture. And all through this the President stands in attention taking salute and giving salute.
Today, it is not often that I get a chance to watch the Republic day festivities in person but I do try to catch it up on the National television. Thanks to the live telecast, children of today who are not in Delhi, are kept abreast with our history and culture.