Being Republic for India is a Far Cry
We have free and fair elections that allow us to democratically choose our representatives, but in reality, there is no guarantee that they would genuinely represent our interests on assuming office, as money and muscle power are increasingly determining electoral outcomes
How difficult this may be to digest, but the truth be told, being Republic for India is still a far cry. This 26th January we are celebrating our 74th Republic Day. On paper, Constitution that is, we are undoubtedly a republic of India. But on a reality check we will find the spirit of republic is still a distant dream.
Another fact is the majority of the people in India do not know why we celebrate Republic Day, let alone they would consider the question if we are actually one. (watch this simple one minute shorts to understand)
Britannica provides the following definition of term republic “republic, form of government in which a state is ruled by representatives of the citizen body. Modern republics are founded on the idea that sovereignty rests with the people, though who is included and excluded from the category of the people has varied across history. Because citizens do not govern the state themselves but through representatives, republics may be distinguished from direct democracy, though modern representative democracies are by and large republics.”
The definition has lots of intricacies attached to it. In understanding the meaning of the term in common man’s parlance let’s quote a definition from Common man himself. Having seen the country’s transition over the years post Independence, Jagdamba Prasad Mishra "Gaurav", a security guard by profession and poet by passion, had some interesting insights to offer. DNA reported his writings in 2014 pertaining to his views on republic.
“Republic means Ganatantra, laws by the people, for the people, of the people. While our leaders eulogize our heritage in speeches, nothing is being done to preserve it. Our freedom fighters fought for independence together. It was a fight by all- men, women of all caste, creed, and religion joined the struggle without any discrimination, but today, we see our country being divided on those lines.“
He further stated “Republic Day have been reduced to mere words today. While the celebrations are carried on with fanfare, there is little soul behind it” (translated in English, original hindi version can be found by clicking on the link)
One of the articles in Times of India on similar lines wrote “This, the murder of citizens by the state, is actually a regular occurrence in India, in the adivasi belt, the northeast and Kashmir. It is not a ‘national’ issue because the killed are not like us. Also, their resistance hinders our development and our version of nationalism. We refer to their questioning of our consensus as anti-national behaviour”
An excellent write up on similar issue is by “Feminism in India” which has enlisted major 6 instances pertaining to the issue. It observed “On paper, we have free and fair elections that allow us to democratically choose our representatives, but in reality, there is no guarantee that they would genuinely represent our interests on assuming office, as money and muscle power are increasingly determining electoral outcomes”
These 6 instances are CAA Amendment Act, 2019, National Security Act, Amendments to RTI Act, DNA profiling bill, The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act (UAPA) and The Transgender Persons’ (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019
With respect to UAPA, which allows to detain any individual on ambiguous grounds, Amnest Internation wrote ““it would open the floodgates to harassment of human rights defenders and activists”
Duty and Role of Citizens in these testing times
When the information received is metamorphosed to suit the interest of politicians and few corporates the duty cast upon the citizens becomes imperative. All the media is corporate owned and aligns with their interest. They never question the intent of the government and their draconian policies.
At this juncture citizens have to collaborate with themselves and stand against tyranny. It needs to be ensured that citizens do have access to the relevant and true information.
Another need is to support independent journalism like ours (The Philox) so we don't out of funds in providing you the access to the information.
This may be a gateway to our true republic.
Sovereignty - supreme power or authority
Imperative - Important and crucial
Metamorphosed - Change its character (especially information)
Far Cry - Long to achieve
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