A Republic of Delhi or a Union of States?

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January 28th, 2012 Jyoti Mukul

As the Republic Day parade went past our television sets showing the Raj Path and the surrounding Lutyens’ architectural marvels in full splendour, a special feeling came to me yet again. Not that I may be counted as a hard-core patriot—-I am as much an Indian as anyone else–but, simply put, I like the grandeur, the spirit of celebration and maybe just the bandobast around it. I prefer it to the forced colouring of my face in Holi, to put it very frankly.

I have seen the show live from the vantage point exactly opposite the VVIP enclosure and if family members are game will like to go and witness the show year after year. Part of the reason is that as a former Delhiite, now living just little away in adjoining Gurgaon, I feel that the parade is part of the city’s identity just as the Bollywood is for Mumbai. And to that extent, I can boast of the parade. There were days when my school would send a contingent to do a drill and we would anxiously wait for them on our TV sets back home. In those days, only Delhi schools could make it till there.

One thought that, however, came to me only this year was why shouldn’t the Republic, belonging to 28 states and seven Union territories, not distribute this pride evenly across all its population? Not that many of my friends or family feel the same thing as me. Still, among the many more, who stay outside Delhi, the novelty of the show and the grandeur that comes along with it can probably create a spirit that is akin to what I feel. Of course, some will argue that the people in smaller cities probably envy Delhi and the NCR more for the malls, pubs and restaurants and not really the parade for times have changed but I am sure when they see the VVIPs in their cars with beacon lights and smartly dressed military bands march past on the roads, they will feel part of the Rajpath which till then has been witnessed by them only on TV sets.

More importantly, the reason I am arguing for the Republic Day parade to move to say Kupwara, Kulu, Bhatinda and further down geographically, one small city in one state at a time followed by another in another state next year, is not to light up the false sense of patriotic feeling or feel sentimental about the whole thing, but also because it will mean better infrastructure for these cities. More VVIPs and a parade of national symbols of pride will certainly require an infrastructure that suits the Republic of a billion plus population. Few crores and maybe a little less elaborate affair could give the cities a facelift. India, after all, is not just the Republic of Delhi but as its constitution says, in the very first article, India, that is Bharat, shall be a union of states.

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2 Responses to “A Republic of Delhi or a Union of States?”

  1. om Says:

    No action or inaction makes each and every citizen happy. So is the case here in regard to Republic Day parade. Some criticise it as waste of public money which could be spent elsewhere. Some, like in the present instance, consider it useful for building infrastructure and creating patriotic fervour. These are essentially narrow minded views which miss the main point. Republic Day parade is to celeberate the occasion of Republic Day. It is the anniversary of the day when in 1950 India was declared a Republic, peoples democracy that Indian Union is. It starts from the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the abode of Indian Union President, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Head of State and ends at Lal Kila or Red Fort, the symbol of Indian independence and power. In between the two landmarks lies the Amar Jawan Jyoti, the Immortal Soldier, where leaders and common man alike pay tribute. Hence the importance of the parade at Rajpath and onwards to Red Fort. Separately, Republic Day is celeberated in all states, where Governor or Chief Minister leads the celeberations. Then national flags is unfurled at offices, educational institutions and many other places. At these places, heads of offices, educational institions etc lead the celeberations. In embassies abroad, Ambassadors, High Commissioners or Consular Heads lead the celeberations. Thus all over the world, Republic Day is celeberated on a large scale, in orderly manner and in a dignified manner. This is a great day and it should continue to be celeberated in the same way till all the times to come. Jai Hind.

  2. Pucca Ghati Says:

    It is a Republic of Delhi for North Indian and Hindi ! The rest of us from Gujarat downwards and eastwards are all occupied by the 38 % North Indian Hindi speaking minority . Our Army is mainly North Indian , as is our bureaucracy . UP NOT Maharashtra is our most important state ! speaks volumes about the North Indian . Time to wind-up Bharat ,we yearn for freedom ! Jai Maharashtra !

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