“Republic” is not just a day’s celebration, Mr Prime Minister!
“The Republic Day is a solemn occasion that joins all Indians in a shared celebration of nationhood. This is not the time to score political points, embarrass state and local administrations…or to promote divisive agendas. It is my hope that all our citizens and political parties will heed this call and will do nothing that will disturb peace and harmony, or detract in any way from the dignity of Republic Day. It is up to the states to ensure public traditions are honoured and they would be well within their rights to insist upon punctilious adherence. The Government of India will support them in this endeavour.”
—Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Dear Mr Prime Minister!
You have said that the Republic Day is a solemn occasion that joins all Indians in a shared celebration of nationhood.
Who are Indians according to you Sir? The persons who want to respect their nation by unfurling the National Flag, or, persons who threaten those unfurling the national flag, or, ministers and chief ministers who refuse permission to the flag hoisting ceremony, or, persons who have the temerity to talk of separatism in the nation’s and state’s capitals?
What is the meaning of ‘Nationhood’ in your dictionary Sir? Is it the state of being a nation or the state of being separate entities? Is it the state of being united as citizens or the state of being divided along caste, communal and linguistic lines? Is it the state of a nation with a Common Civil Code or the state of a nation with different civil codes felicitous for minorities and discriminatory against the majority? Is it the state of equality like the India of our dreams or the state of inequalities like the present India?
And you want to ‘celebrate’ this nationhood Mr Prime Minister! Are we in a status of celebrating Sir? Can you please tell us one good thing that happened under UPA since 2004 which could be a genuine cause for celebration?
Have you got any idea about what the aam aadmi feels about your governance or the total lack of it, Sir? There has been a rapid price increase of all the essential commodities since 2004. The prices of fuel (petrol, diesel and kerosene and cooking gas) have also been on a steady rise beyond the imagination of lower and middle classes. The prices of vegetables have soared. On the other hand rice and wheat are allowed to rot in the government godowns inviting the wrath of the Supreme Court. Hoarders of vegetables and food grains are having a whale of a time. Economy is in doldrums with rising price and inflation despite you being an expert in Economics.
Agriculture is supposed to be the backbone of this nation, whose nationhood you want to celebrate Mr PM But with a ‘Cricketing’ official as Agriculture Minister, your regime has seen the maximum number of farmer suicides across the nation in general and Maharashtra (Cricketing Minister’s state) in particular. And the same minister was responsible for the rotting of food grains too!
The Health sector was so bad in the last six years that we have witnessed a steady surge in diseases like Bird Flu, Chicken Guinea, and Swine Flu, etc. The Health Ministry and the Medical Council of India have attained a new low in your period.
There is nothing to feel good about education also, Sir. While there is no substantial improvement in primary and secondary levels of education, the fiasco of 27% reservation for OBCs in the higher education was the highlight of your education policy. We couldn’t include even one University or Institution in the list of Institutions of International repute during your period.
Please have a look at Foreign Affairs, Sir. The happenings around us in the neghbourhood are enough for the pathetic state of affairs in the External Affairs Ministry. India could not have a say in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Australia, Malaysia, et al. Also yielding to the machinations of America has been another blot. Foreign affairs is not measured by means of attending Summits, but by means of improving relationships with foreign countries to our advantage. It is also measured by the assertion of our sovereignty and territorial integrity in the international arena.
Mr Prime Minister, catching the attention of the nation, you have mentioned about “Dignity of Republic Day”. The UPA has made this great nation to hang its head in shame by its sham of a governance Sir. Please retrospect and start counting the corruption scandals of your regime. You will certainly lose count. What a phenomenal growth Sir! Your favourite word “Growth” assumes significance only with number of scams and the amount of money involved, notwithstanding the number of terror and Maoist attacks. It is a known fact that Corruption is a “Way of Life” for your party, Sir. But, your government has spread it right across the nation, which is the only “achievement” of your regime. When we, as a Republic, have lost our dignity because of a series of scandalous scams under your regime, where is the question of upholding the dignity of Republic Day, Sir? Or is it enough to uphold the dignity just for one day?
The most important aspect of governance, Sir, is the safety of the people and security of the nation, both internal and external. While we are found wanting in foreign affairs, China has been developing very good relationship with our close neghbours which causes grave concern. On the other hand, internal security scenario is in a perilous state. Jihad, Separatisms of all hue, Maoist and Naxal menace have all reached their heights in the last six years like never before. Thousands of innocent people and security forces have died at their hands and they still continue perpetrating terror attacks at will. Investigations of terror attacks have become a sham under your government, which seems to be interested more in playing politics by “Saffronising” terror than ensuring security of the nation.
Mr Prime Minister, you have also said, “This is not the time to score political points, embarrass state and local administrations…or to promote divisive agendas.” Sir, from when hoisting a national flag become scoring political points? Does hoisting a national flag embarrass governments? Do we need such governments, Sir? If the J&K Government and the UPA Government in the center are embarrassed by flag hoisting ceremony observed by the principal opposition party, then what sort of a message you send to the people especially on unity, peace and harmony? By attempting to thwart the flag hoisting and preventing the popular elected leaders entering Srinagar, you have acted like British Colonial Government thereby disrespecting the national flag, assaulting the nation and insulting our Freedom Fighters. By this action, you and your government have exposed yourself that your loyalty is elsewhere.
The Republic day Parade is normally an exhibition of our Military Might to show the world that, we are a powerful sovereign country. But are the Armed Forces treated well by the UPA government? They were made to run from pillar to post for their genuine right to have a pay commission. And how are the Military Veterans treated by your government, Sir? Thousands of ex-servicemen have returned Lakhs of Medals and the Rashtrapathi Bhavan shamelessly collects them from the Veterans. Till date, neither you nor the Honorable President felt the need and necessity to talk to them and keep them happy. Ironically the President will take the Salute and inspect the Guard of Honour and you will watch the entire parade without any remorse for not meeting the demands of the Armed Forces and Veterans.
Lastly, Mr Prime Minister, “Republic” is not just a day’s celebration. Republic is Democracy; Democracy is good Governance; Good governance will ensure Equality; Equality is true Nationhood; and the Republic can celebrate only such a nationhood. But alas, there is no good governance under UPA and hence there is no equality and nationhood.
Please ensure Governance before Celebration, Mr Prime Minister!
BR Haran, Chennai