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A special article on the Republic Day / Abhik Dasgupta
Picking up the baton
Wishing all a very happy Republic Day!
Since our childhood we are led to believe that certain struggles and sacrifices are intrinsic to a particular era or against some particular people, race, colour, governance. We are a witness to continuous ennobling of martyrs by media and different political parties tickling our emotions, glorifying some and condemning others. It is as if we have come out of a dark phase and only looking back at time like watching a movie or 'Saas-bahoo' soap on TV with tears and pent up feelings of nationalism. After all these years some people have only turned into a few dates in our calendar, some days have only added to our list of holidays. The TV and radio increase their channels' TRP by discovering restaurants arousing our interests for places where our beloved leaders used to hangout, dine or hold their secret meetings. We watch with reverence in museums .. the dresses, the caps, the specs they wore, the revolvers they used, the bullets with which they were killed like our trendy dresses, perfumes and gadgets as if they are also commodities.
We love to flock at these places, take selfies. We take pride in being the descendants of people who have fought for a cause their entire lives, those who have become stars now, expectant of wetting ourselves a little in the spotlights thrown on them except that try how much hard as we might we fail to relate to those causes . Our feelings of nationalism get commercialized into earning crores of rupees and we remain content watching movies at multiplexes diving our hands into multi cuisine food at costly food outlets or better still sitting cosy in our homes sipping glasses of wine and sending patriotic messages to our friends from our trendy smartphones enjoying just like other holidays.
Is this the freedom our leaders had laid their lives for? Is this the complete Independence our visionaries had struggled to bring into effect? When shall we realize that every age has causes of its own. What we need is to identify them. The war for Independence from several social and political maladies still rages on and it will continue to do so. The need of the hour is to set up the spark of truly determined people in our hearts again and again and never let it die. That is the only way they will continue to live out of our school text books glorifying a certain genre of philosophy desisting from a mere mention in political rallies to earn votes or a cool glass of sharbet passing down our throats which the owner of an eatery desperately tries to prove to have been the favourite of a certain freedom fighter to boost his sales.
Hoisting the tricolour singing national anthems or watching the republic day parade with elan on certain days of the year is not enough. Our duty towards remembering and paying homage to our martyrs, reformists, visionaries lie in taking the baton from their hands and continuing the war.
JAI HIND !
Article by - Abhik Dasgupta Photographs by - Hemant Das 'Him' (upper) & Courtesy- Abhik Dasgupta (lower)
Sri Abhik Dasgupta is a writer and poet in English. His two books have been published - one titled as 'Soulmate' is a collection of stories and another one " He lives in Kolkata.