January 26 is over. Whose Republic Day was it? Of a man in street unconcerned about the fanfare. Of a tiller in the field who takes it as the name of a new fungicide. Of a policeman on guard who gets a rebirth after the day is over. Of organizers who witness a nightmare when the countdown begins or of someone in the office to whom it means nothing more than a holiday.
Is there a need to celebrate the day all? Sheer wastage of money and resources, as some would like to put it. To some it appears to be a symbolic way of paying homage to the leaders of yore who carved a Republic out of a colonized land called India. Proclaiming their allegiance towards their country, they swear by the tenets of democracy their nation pledges to uphold.
No answer to this question can be ultimate. Those who favour the celebrations are not too far away from the point. To them the show symbolizes their respect and love for the nation they belong to. Brandishing swords of power will send across the message of domination and supremacy. A jingoistic fervour that finds a violent expression on some particular days satiates some power hungry souls. They see safety in the power of their nation. But they forget that the euphoria can be a prelude to disaster. Those who had a smile on the day when their respective nations went nuclear may have some reasons to feel so gung-ho about. But whose smile will weigh more on the day when the weapon so made will annihilate the entire life on the continent. This accumulation of power and authority has always proved so dangerous and flaunting the same on a special day reaffirms the belief. Weapons that you make to guard your sovereignty play a Frankenstein monster that devours the one who creates it.
Nations are notions we all nourish an emotion for. Memory does have a value in the life of an individual and that of a nation as well. An arbitrary landmark of time is remembered as a milestone of history, but the act of remembrance matters. There is nothing wrong in celebration, but wrong lies in the way celebrations are carried out. The capital lavished on the pageantry can find a better use. In a country where millions sleep on pavements and crave for a square meal, where children die in drains, where debt-ridden farmers prefer suicide to survival, where a poor man's plough has to pay for a rich man's mansion, what is there to feel so mad about? Why celebrate and what for?