It is republic day. The rhetoric of greetings in the form of scraps, messages and handshakes are in the air all around. It truly is time, for all us to introspect about our fundamental duties as citizen and how we have reduced the noble processes of our Constitution to the level of a carnival of cowardice, claptrap and chicanery.
A few days ago I was part of a discussion on radio about the reaction of public after the terrorist attack in Mumbai.
In this you can hear one of the anchors of the show and a young lady named Neelam who apparently had good knowledge of constitution pointing out how the constitution has failed us. The question that has been clouding my mind since then is finally forming into words on this republic day.
I ask myself whether the foundations of the Constitution are weak or it has been shaken by lack of sensitivity of our elite, the corruption of our politicians and the negligence of the common man.
I had an extra class this morning and the first question I asked the students was ‘how many of them had ever read the preamble of constitution.’? I wanted to probe their awareness about our fundamental duties but the usual ominous hush almost mocked me and I realized the stupidity of such question in what was supposed to be class of semiconductors physics. I am sure there could be a lovely discussion if I had questioned about the films that are released this Friday. This nonchalance of youth is worrying. In an Independent Sovereign Democratic Republic India, what I see that our thoughts and believes are limited to matinee idols, cricketers and of course the statues that we call Gods.
Well the preamble of the constitution talks about Justice, Liberty, Equality and fraternity.
Is it equality that a boy securing 90 percent cannot get the admission in decent college but an out and out second-rate student can have the privilege of best education just because he or she was fortunate to be born a so called Dalit? On the other hand, there are still villages in this country where dalits have to carry their foot-wear in their hands when they pass through the dusty roads of village where the upper caste Hindus live.
Is it justice that around 10 people lost their sight in neglectful eye operation camp in Pali and almost everyday we have people dying because of negligence of doctors? Was any doctor ever been convicted?
Liberty we have got but our attitude has not changed a bit, we are still slaves mentally. There is an enemy to be conquered and that enemy is WE. We have to change; we cannot afford to stand frozen on the escalator of mayhem and corruption in revulsion and apprehension.
The problems of the society cannot be solved by just having number of laws all we need are citizen who have respect for law, all we need are young people who have respect for their fellow citizens, all we need are teachers and parents who will consider making good and moral citizen rather than making a brigade of uneducated degree holders.
This poem of Gurudev Ravindra Nath is my vision for this republic day….
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee to ever-widening thought and action -
Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.