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Republic Day Reality Check

20 May, 2009 10:06:16 AM, Sachi Mohanty

 

 
 
 
 

 

Video: Message of Unity from Malegaon

'India Unity'

An English Play briliantly staged by Little Kids

 

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B.R. Ambedkar and Drafting of the Indian Constitution:

The most important thing for which Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar is known all throughout India is that he was designer and formulator of the Indian Constitution. Though he was unpopular with many leaders of the Indian National Congress and other political parties in post-independence India, Ambedkar was summoned by the Congress-led Government to take the post of the first Law Minister of independent India. He was also made the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee on 29 August 1947. As he was a learned scholar and an eminent lawyer, he was given this grave task and after the completion of the work, he was praised by all. He used all his experience and knowledge in drafting the Constitution. There are many guarantees and provisions that are provided in the Constitution of India that ensure the general welfare of the common people of the country. He framed the Fundamental Rights and Duties along with the Directive Principles of State Policy that are followed and granted to the people of the country. He also formulated laws and systems for women and backward classes in the society. Ambedkar also tried to eradicate the socio-economic inequalities that prevailed in the Indian society from a long time. He had kept the clauses of the Constitution flexible so that amendments could be made as and when situations demanded. On 26 November 1949, the Constitution of India was finally adopted by the Constituent Assembly.

His stint in Indian politics too did not last for a long time. His resignation from the Cabinet came in the year 1951. He contested for the Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate in 1952 but was unfortunately defeated. However, he became a member of the Rajya Sabha the same year.

With passage of time, Ambedkar’s interest from politics started to shift and he aligned himself to Buddhism. For that he even went to Sri Lanka, where he spent much time with Buddhist monks and scholars. He was so impressed with Buddhism and its principles that he decided to convert himself to Buddhism. Ambedkar also went to Burma twice for enriching himself in the Buddhist religion and culture. He also established the Buddhist Society of India and wrote books on Buddhism and its principles and beliefs. B.R. Ambedkar also attended Buddhist conferences that were held all round the world.

 
 

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Malegaon, a town in India with more than 70% Muslim population has always been considered as a communally sensitive place. However, there is a place in Malegaon where a Mosque and a Mandir exist side by side with Muslims and Hindus, both living there in peace since last many years. Same is the case with the whole town. Except for the...Full Story

 

 

Republic Day Parade in

New Delhi

 

Republic Day Facts

About Republic Day: 26th January

1950 is one of the most important

days in Indian history as it was on this

day the constitution of India came

into force and India became a truly

sovereign state. In this day India

became a totally republican unit.The

country finally realized the dream

of Mahatma Gandhi and...Read Full

Glimpses from the past:

It was on 26th January 1950 that India

became a truly sovereign state .Why?

Well because the nationalists of the

Lahore Session of the Indian National

Congress had unfurled our Tri-Colour

Flag at midnight of December 31, 1929

taking a pledge that every year on

January 26...Read Full

Republic Day: The day India becomes

a legitimate child: Rajendra Prasad,

the first elected President of India in his

speech on January 26, 1950

said, “Today, for the first time in our long

and chequered history we find the

whole of this vast land... brought

together under the jurisdiction of one

constitution and...Read Full

The occasion of the Republic Day prompted me to look inside me and find out what it means. The Day is supposed to commemorate the day in 1950 from which we started running our nation as a Republic according to a Constitution which we gave ourselves.

 

It’s now 58 years since those days when we embarked on our journey. It has certainly been an epic journey but often fraught with tragedy and discord. So, when we look back today, the record is less than stellar, the picture is less than rosy and the future far from Elysian.

 

I want to go back to that time just for a few moments and try to imagine how life must have been like… 60 years spans, may be, two human generations and perhaps the resultant gap is unbridgeable. In 1950, there would have been no computers (Oh, no Internet, of course!), no telephones (no mobiles ??? !!! How can anybody LIVE without a mobile phone !), hardly any cars, certainly no way one could have just booked a flight ticket from one’s home net connection using one’s credit card and taken the morning flight… to wherever. No LPG cooking devices and sporadic availability of electricity – so, no microwaves and certainly, a world without ACs. And mind you, even girls in Delhi and Mumbai in those ancient days were making do without the McDs and the CCDs – how weird, and unbelievable and gross indeed! So, these are a few random issues that come to mind. So, would any of the readers of the present generation like to trade living in the present 21st century with all its vibrancy and razzle-dazzle to living in those bucolic days of the 1950s? Perhaps, no one would.

 

But, wait a second. Let’s just pause and reflect if everything is rosy and hunky-dory about living life in the hip and happening India of the early 21st century. What about the unending traffic chaos in every major city of India and the unceasing blaring of horns by the GenX drivers of those vehicles? What about the sheer numbers of people – anywhere and everywhere? Whether it be the morning rush hour – on the streets or inside the Metro, or the struggle every evening to reach home? It’s fashionable to shower praises on our soldiers as the Unsung Heroes of the country, but what about the toiling commuters of Mumbai who leave their homes for office at seven in the morning and reach home at midnight? Perhaps, their daily struggle is more excruciating than most of our soldiers who are not posted in the forward areas.

 

There are cars alright but also there are fights for parking space and more fights when you accidentally bump somebody on the roads or somebody bumps you. There are ACs alright but an uncertain power supply and the weather keeps getting more and more unusual and mercurial.

 

Food is plentiful and various but so is disease: disease that’s on account of a surfeit of food. The ‘old’ diseases have been conquered: diseases such as malaria or TB or cholera or polio. But, ‘new’ and malicious viruses have taken their place: AIDS and the emerging threat of bird flu. People don’t die suddenly and unexpectedly in their 20s from some minor disease; rather, they live to be quite old and develop debilitating heart disease may be, or cancer or dementias such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. These are the Two Horsemen of the Apocalypse now: cancer and heart disease.

 

So, these are the two inevitable sides of the coin. And what about the ‘future’ – that question which is on everybody’s mind at a time when India seems to have virtually ‘arrived’ on the global scene and it seems as if we are only moments away from becoming a ‘developed’ nation and a ‘superpower’. I would only like to shake up anyone who has such thoughts and wake them from their day dreaming.

 

In 1963, the Rev. Martin Luther King talked about poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. He was talking about America of the 60s. What is the reality of the India of today? I think it would be appropriate to describe it as nation with a few islands of wealth in a vast ocean of destitution. I don’t think we should start dreaming about becoming a superpower or an economic powerhouse just on the basis of a few software export companies or call centers or a booming stock market whose recent fluctuations showed that it is merely a symbol of human greed and a far from reliable indicator of the state of the Indian economy.

 

A reality check: India’s per capita GDP stands at some 800-900 dollars on a nominal basis and at about 4,000 dollars on a PPP basis. The respective figures for the United States stand at, well, it’s about equal on both bases and it’s about 44,000 dollars. How about that! So, dear readers, are we about to catch up with the United States anytime soon??? I happen to be someone who doesn’t believe in hiding the ugly reality of India or burying my head in the sand and pretending that poverty and destitution that have always been synonymous with this country have somehow miraculously disappeared into the remote past. No, dear friends, they haven’t – they are very much a part and parcel of contemporary India. If only we take our focus away from matters such as the ‘performances’ or lack of it of the ‘Men in Blue’ which somehow seem to occupy our attention round the year no matter what season it is or other more seasonal occupations of ours such as music competitions on TV or Bollywood movie releases or the private lives of some people who somehow always manage to be in the media limelight, and bother to look in the dark places and bring ours heads out from under the sand, we’ll find much to worry about.

 

Courtesy:

http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=c3174f99-6911-4cbc-9e01-135eae1f928b

This article was first published on 28 Jan 2008

 

 

 

Video: Message of Unity from Malegaon

'India Unity'

An English Play briliantly staged by Little Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sare Jahan Se Accha

Hindustan Hamara

In 1905 more than 100 years from today, when Iqbal was a lecturer at the Government College, Lahore he was invited by his student Lala Hardayal to preside over a function. Instead of making a speech, Iqbal sang Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara in his style. Iqbal compiled this poem in praise of India and the poem preaches the communal harmony that had unfortunately started ceasing in India by that time. Each and every word in this poem depicts an Indian’s respect and love for the motherland and the values the Indian society inherited for long...Read Full

 

 

 

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