74th Republic Day
“Ours is a portmanteau constitution with borrowings from every country except China.” the insightful quizmaster spoke, standing at the proscenium.
I wonder, is this the reason we have surpassed China and become number one in the population after playing second fiddle for a long time? On this day of our 74th republic day, witnessing the quiz as an ignorant audience, my thoughts deviate in pursuit of the unapparent.
The two very astute and intelligent questioners moved in tandem to unfurl the intricacies surrounding the constitutional history. Not that the Britishers gave us the opportunity to frame a constitution for sovereign India way back in 1930, but the fact that we could not bring it to life was a disheartening revelation.
Earlier in the morning, the tricolour was unfurled by our national IMA president Dr Sharad Agarwal, along with Dr Sundeep Varshney, President IMA Ghaziabad, in the presence of an august gathering of members. Morning was cold, breezy, and the Sun didn’t unfurl himself. Yet, the heavy tinge of patriotic emotion kept the inertia at bay. As we raced to reach IMA Bhawan Ghaziabad for the ceremony, I could smell the lingering sense of nationalism. The city’s skyline was bathed in tricolor. I myself was dressed in saffron and white traditional with a blue jacket. “Speaking of colors, our flag has a navy blue Chakra. How many spokes are there in that wheel, and what does it signify? The quiz continues.
The significance of the colors and the chakra in the national flag was amply described by Dr S Radhakrishnan in the constituent assembly which unanimously adapted the flag. Dr Radhakrishnan explained– Bhagwa or the saffron color denotes renunciation of disinterestedness. Our leaders must be indifferent to material and dedicate themselves to their work. The white in the center is light, the path of truth to guide our conduct. the green shows our relation to soil, our relation to plant life here on which all other life depends. The Ashoka Wheel in the center of white is the law of Dharma. Truth or Satya. Dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principle of those who work under this flag. Again the wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change.
The entire event was well planned and executed. The constitutional quiz was a welcome addition to the usual Ominum-gatherum. Both Quiz masters were excellent and seemed that they had left no stone unearthed in researching the literature to ensemble an informative program. All credits to the organizers. From the festooning of Bhawan with tricolor balloon and flowers to assigning the nationalistic team nomenclature, every notion was thoughtfully crafted.
Nationality is a birth right while nationalism is a virtue that needs germination and nurturing by continuous infusion of patriotic emotions. Some may willingly sacrifice their lives chanting Inqilab Zindabad in lieu of their devotion to motherland, others refuse to even stand as mark of honor for our national anthem. If our constitution is a bag full of borrowing, then I think its time we need to write it again with patriotic ingenuity, without any boisterous biases.
Dr Sarla Mehta
Great input as usual…Admire your writing skill…