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Republic Day 2021: Revisiting the Constitution after 72 Years

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
Republic Day
Republic Day 2021

Every year, Republic Day is celebrated with much fervor and frolic. For most of the Indian citizens, the idea of this day is that it is a holiday. So, the excitement is more about the holiday than of the Republic day!  

Yet, in the hearts of every Indian lies zeal and pride to be an Indian. The proof lies in the fact that despite being at home enjoying our holiday, we always switch on the TV to watch the Republic Day Parade. Hundreds of others flock at the site to watch the parade happening in front of their eyes.

We may celebrate the Republic Day by hoisting the India flag on our terraces and vehicles, eating piping hot “pakodas” (an Indian snack) and steaming “adrak ki chai” (ginger tea) at our homes and watching the parade with awe, but do we truly know our Constitution? 

Are you aware of the clauses and the articles in the Constitution? Are you sure they are being implemented as they should?  

The Constitution of India gives Indian citizens certain rights. Are you sure you are getting them? 

Time to think while sipping your tea and munching on the pakoda 

Let’s take a glimpse… 

Guaranteed Equality 

Articles 14 to 18 in the Constitution talk of fundamental rights.  

Article 38 (2) states, “The state shall strive to minimize inequalities in income.”  

Article 39 (c) mentions that the state policy should be such that wealth does not concentrate in a particular section of the society.  

The reality: 

As per a report, about 7 Indians (yes, this is the number, not percent) own wealth, which is equivalent to the wealth owned by almost half of the 132 crore Indians falling in the poor category.  

During the lockdown that happened in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, people worst hit were in the lower middle class category and the daily wagers. Each night of lockdown was a nightmare for them, as they worried about what will happen to their families now.  

Others with secure jobs were paid by working from home.  

The rich were actually on a vacation at home. The lockdown was an opportunity for them to relax, build bodies at the home gym, try new recipes in the kitchen, and pursue their hobbies. When the lockdown was lifted, they came back to work all fresh and healthier.  

What an equality!  

Guaranteed Liberty 

Article 21 talks of the liberty of Indian citizens. As per the verdict by the Supreme Court of India, which came a few months after the Constitution was declared in 1950, it was stated that democracy renders people the right to disapprove with the government.  

The reality: 

Going against the government has always been dangerous for the common man. Either they are arrested, or not heard. There have been examples in the past that show it is not a good idea to talk against the politicians in public in India. Not even in humor! 

The recent incident is that of the farmers’ protest. They do not agree with the central government’s farm laws. And look, they are on the road for months!  

What a liberty!  

Guaranteed Freedom of Religion  

Article 25 of the Constitution talks that every person has the right to choose their religion and follow it.  

The reality: 

We all know what is happening in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This is a recent incident. In the past, there have been instances of lynching of Muslims, vandalizing of churches, and others that prove that Article 25 has been completely forgotten.  

What freedom!  

Guaranteed Nutrition to Children 

Article 39 (f) states the right of children to grow healthily with proper nutrition.  

The reality: 

The right was declared in 1950. It is 2021 now. Yet, about 47 % of children in India are reported to be malnourished.  

A data by Global Hunger Index states that India has more than 1/3 of malnourished children in the world!  

What nutrition!  

Guaranteed Justice 

Article 39A talks of justice by the legal system and that every state must ensure justice prevails.  

The reality: 

Do we need to elaborate more on this regard? Everybody knows how justice is done in India. Do you know about 33 million cases are pending in various courts at present?  

Guaranteed Living Wage 

Article 43 mandates states to secure a particular living wage for workers in India, be it in the agricultural sector or industrial sector.  

The reality: 

The growing unemployment in India makes contract system of working more prevalent than a secure system of working. Matters have become worse after the lockdown due to Coronavirus. Forget a particular living wage, people lost their jobs.  

The post pandemic scenario is that many people are ready to work at whatever the employer is willing to pay because, now, it is the matter of their survival.  

We are not even mentioning the farmers who commit suicide every year due to losses in crop, piling debts, and other problems. Even the farmers protest of 2020-21 saw a few farmers committing suicide on the protest site. Again, one of the agendas was to fix a minimum support price.  

Crux:  

This article is not to paint a negative image of the government or in general. This is to throw light on how certain Articles of the Constitution are completely forgotten.  

The Constitution of India is well-created and takes care of the rights and duties of every citizen of India, irrespective of age, class, creed, and religion. 

The question to ponder over is: where did things go wrong in the implementation of the rights?  

This 72nd Republic Day 2021, while watching the parade, let’s do a collective prayer.  

Let’s pray for the farmers first because they are the backbone of our country.  

Next, let’s pray for a pandemic-free world.  

Let’s pray for every one of us that we are able to assert our rights and contribute to making India a shining example of progress and prosperity.  

It seems right to end with a quote by Bhagat Singh: 

“The people generally get accustomed to the established order of things and begin to tremble at the very idea of a change. It is this lethargical spirit that needs be replaced by the revolutionary spirit.” 

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Hey! I am Shipra Singh. Did you liked this article and have suggestions to improve this article? Mail me your suggestions and feedback.

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