Thursday, 27 January 2011

Republic Day through the years...

The Tricolour at its best...
Today India celebrates 62 years of being a Republic. How do I know this? Well apart from the obvious general knowledge, it is the countless status updates and video postings of national anthems on Facebook and other social networking websites. Thinking about it, I realize just how much the way we celebrate Republic Day has changed over the years. At least in my case it has.

During my school days I used to look forward to the Republic Day as it was a school holiday and a welcome break from the routine of waking at 6 in the morning. But my mother had other plans. She would wake me up at 8am to get ready and go down to the "Flag-Hoisting" ceremony in our complex. We used to assemble at the one garden our complex had with children lined up in front, uncles behind and the aunties bringing up the rear. One of the uncles would proudly unfurl the flag and salute it with so much pride, as if he were unfurling it at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. After the national anthem, the uncles would line the children up and take us on a rally where we used to wave the flags at every random man on the street.

After lunch in the early evenings, the complex used to organise a series of sports events, where invariably I used to win or come runners-up in all the events. Later just before dinner I would feel really proud to get my cups and shields in a casual award ceremony.

By the end of my school days Republic Day for us had changed from singing national anthems at assemblies to watching the endless reruns of the classic patriotic movies like Krantiveer, Tiranga, Border, 1942 A love story, LOC, Pukar, Lagaan, Bhagat Singh (all 5), Rang De Basanti, Chak de and Nayak on the local TV channel. As my dear friend rightly said, the 26th Jans and the 15th Augusts should be more appropriately known as the J. P. Dutta day.

In college the way we looked at Republic Day changed again. For us Republic Day was not only a holiday but also a "Dry Day". More important than our dear country proudly becoming a Republic, it became a day when all the Bars and Alcohol shops were closed. The topic of discussions ranged from how much the Bars and shops loose money to how it is a sad day for all the alcoholics, instead of how well the country was doing now and how much it has improved over the years.

It has taken a long trip away from my country and home to realise how many memories are linked to this day. None of them patriotic in any sense, but memories nonetheless.

God Bless India!!
Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra, Jai Punjab, Jai Haryana......


  1. The dry day reminder isn't actually necessary. You shouldn't rub it in. :P

  2. Dear Sambit,

    I have gone through this blog and wished to post a comment but restrained my self. I have no idea of your uplifting up to bar level. I also could not comment as you are out of the range of my remote. The only solution, I find for me is to wait up to 15th August and see your blog.

    Any how go ahead.


  3. sambi...ur so right with this one...but admit it dude..somewhere down the reeeeealy deep in your heart all those re re re re runs of patriotic movies and strike a chord and mke u feel a wee bit proud ..ATLEAST that day of being an indian..dont they? :)

  4. ruju, they do. that is the reason I keep watching those movies so many times!! can't get enough of Sunny Deol or Nana shouting out patriotic lines in order to get our adrenaline pumping!!!

  5. The beginning is good and memorable but it ends abruptly.Not up to YOUR standard.
    We need something better on this special day.
    Hope to see another blog soon.