Don’t we take Republic Day for granted? I am ashamed to say that I do too.
Independence Day is important because that day we earned the right to rule ourselves. Republic Day is as important, if not more, because today, 58 years ago, we gave ourselves the right to speech, the right to life and liberty, the freedom to live as we want – each one an equal.
Isn’t that what we live for? Isn’t that what our Constitution gives us?
I once heard a sex worker on G.B. Road tell someone that when, years ago, the Republic Day Parade used to pass through that part of town, that used to be the one day in the year that they too felt like a part of the country, and not like the ostracized lot that they are. And then, someone decided that the exalted Parade couldn’t, shouldn’t go through that part of town – and it stopped.
Makes me think of these lines from this poem by K. Satchidanandan:
Dear child, say without shame
that I am your mother
and this city is your father.
Go, tell the chaste wives,
I teach their men how to love.
I offered myself
in place of a thousand women,
and became a saint.
A very Happy Republic Day to all.