Tuesday, January 26, 2016

26th January - The Significance of the Day

In 1930, the first Independence Day was celebrated in India. The Indian National Congress had fixed the last Sunday of January, 1930 as the day of complete independence. The entire country celebrated the day with solemn gatherings and peaceful marches. From that day onwards, every 26th January was celebrated as the Independence Day.

When the Indian Subcontinent finally achieved Independence, Lord Mountbatten chose 15th August 1947 as the date to hand over the power. This was the day when Japan surrendered to the Allies and brought the World War II to a close. So, this was not a day of India's pride but a day that marked Britain's power and supremacy. Still, the date was accepted as no one was ready to wait till 26th January 1948.

For the next two years, 26th January only remained as a memory of nationalist sentiments. Then, when the date to bring the Indian Constitution to force was to be chosen, 26th January became the first choice. In many ways, 26th January is the most important day for our country. It is the day when we have proved to the world that we can rule ourselves, write our own Constitution and lead our nation to glory.

The Indian Constitution, with 395 articles and 8 schedules, is one of the longest in the world. It was framed over a period of three years, with innumerable sittings, discussions, revisions and refinements. B.R. Ambedkar was the chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution. On the final day of this Committee, Ambedkar gave a moving speech, in which he identified three pitfalls to be avoided in the future:

1) He asked people to give up civil disobedience, satyagraha and non-cooperation and avail constitutional methods of redress.

2) He warned people against submitting without thinking to charismatic authority. To quote him, "in India, Bhakt or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship plays a part in its politics unequalled in magnitude by the part it plays in the politics of any other country in the world." He said this was a "sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship."

3) He asked the people not to be content with "mere political democracy". He said, "In politics, we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril."

At every period of history and at every level of politics, independent India has been witness to recurrent events signifying the ignoring of these warnings. It is time we walk out of this trap. What better way to do that than by embracing the spirit of our Constitution.

To quote 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."

Happy Republic Day!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Flash Fiction

Recently, I began the #SaturdayShots feature on my Author page on Facebook (Please do like the page to be updated www.facebook.com/archanasaratauthor ) and I love the response that it is gathering. Every Saturday, I share a flash fiction on the page and it has been absolute fun to garner likes and comments. I concentrate on a variety of genres, themes and social issues and it is fun to see the responses pouring in. Sharing a few here...


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