Once the frenzy of New Year party ends and people, in their drunken stupor or religious fervor bid farewell to a year and welcome another – the pulses of people in Delhi are set racing at the speed of Bolt. For the month of January is time for the annual jamboree – come 26th. It is on this day that the entire State machinery gets revved up, and its entire cultural history and military might is pimped, decked and presented before the world as a hollow spectacle. All the ills and Annas and Babas’ antics are forgotten, all the scams and rapes and crimes and inflation are forgiven.
And all of this charade just to mark the importance of a date – Jan 26, 1950, when the Constitution of India came into effect. Today, when we look at the past 62 years of our glorious history – we should be proud. Our fiendish “Best Friend Forever” has been hurtling from one chaos to another, and is evidently having fun while at it!! Our little friends down south – they are still trying to come to what exactly they need to do to win Cricket World Cup Finals. Our friends to the East – whenever they get time off from the floods, they must be thinking of how they got left behind in the game of Cricket. Nepal is however not having any trouble – they have a flourishing industry exporting watchmen to states all over India. Maybe the biggest headache of Nepal is convincing the world that it is not the 29th state of India. The most profound problem of all is faced by Bhutan. The people there might all be among the happiest – but the monarch there must be having sleepless nights wondering what he must do to make the world believe that Bhutan exists. Today, more people know of Hogwarts and Shangri-La then Bhutan.
Which brings us to the Zen state of mind that the leaders of our glorious nation find themselves in. For the past 62 years, they have tried all the tricks in the book and even outside to ensure that we fail as a Nation. That they have failed miserably will be an understatement. I think the biggest reason for their colossal failure is this annual circus of Republic Day Parade. The showcasing of missiles and tanks and god-knows-what-it-is weapons must be the cornerstone of our military deterrence policy. Worth wondering, if the singers and dancers from across the border have thought “Your missile looks fine, but does it work?” The instants of showcasing of our culture by super-tacky tableaus probably holds us together as a nation – where we momentarily forget our actual culture of Bribing, Name Calling, Abusing, Leaching, Hooting, Paan-Chewing and Spitting, Copy-Pasting, to remember the mythical text-book culture that our teachers and grand-parents always used to talk of.
The only difference in the republic days over the decades has been that now the Parade can be watched by the candle-burning patriotic Indian in the dangerous confines of his/her drawing room in HD. The clarity of 1080p Cultural and Military spectacle reassures us all that better times will soon be upon us. After all, after the
hundreds thousands of Crores worth of scams can easily be explained by a few Crores spent in marketing our culture. Afghanistan does not have Republic Day parades, look at where they find themselves today.
For all those irresponsible unpatriotic Indians who think that spending hard earned tax payer’s money on such annual fairs is wastage, I would like to remind – Would you prefer the money be “wasted” on such a gala PR exercise or be utilized in funding the scams that our leaders are running even as you read! It is all a simple cost-benefit exercise – Do we want this Circus that is going to entertain us all or will you prefer this money be spent on some poor kid starving in some corner of our glorious nation – the name of which you probably would not even have heard, the name of which you will never even hear. It is the season for spreading the feel good factor all around – imagine it like Christmas coming a month late. Is it a coincidence that not only Sir Jadeja, but even Rohit Sharma has returned to form just as 26th arrives. It no doubt is the feel good time for us and our nation.
Obviously, when the Nation’s elite is busy reading Page 3 of ****** Times (Every city has one 😛 ), and nation’s poor are not going to buy their news with their Rs. 32, then why would the Government bother spending on it feeding the poor kid or repairing that pot-hole or building that power-plant.
At last, just spare a thought for the poor soldier manning the country’s borders or fighting the Naxal “infestation” – not out of patriotism but a desire to put his kid through school. It is due to him that we are enjoying this circus. Sadly, he will have to continue with his watch without even a cursory thank you. Maybe he will just be happy at the end of the day that he has not been beheaded or has not had his body converted into a bomb. Expecting the Government or the Proud Nationalist Chest Thumping Citizens to do anything to redeem the honor or pride is asking for way too much. We are like this only !!