Republic Day | India’s Secularism and our Constitution
Happy Republic Day to you all our constitution completes 72 years in 2022. On the occasion of republic day, people change their status and profile picture to country’s flag.
Our Indian flag has saffron, white, and green horizontal bands, blue Ashoka chakra in the middle. There are many people in our country who associate color with religion. Instead, our flag is a symbol of unity.
As we celebrate Republic Day, let us not forget that secularism is ingrained in Indian culture, it is the bedrock of our society. Multiculturalism and diversity are part of our constitution. Secularism is the foundation of India, no Mughal, British, or Political party can destroy secularism. It is strong and no matter how hard one tries to break it apart, it stays. Taking a few examples from our history we will conclude “Why Constitution & Secularism will always win”. The British used all their might to dismantle India’s secularism. In 1947 when they left the disharmony was at its highest. A nation was split on the basis of religion there was a divide between all religions.
Olympic games of 1948 India defeats Britain
In 1948, the Olympic games after the second World War saw participation from many countries, including India. India was playing as an independent nation with its own flag. As expected, the hockey team also performed well. Our team has Kishan Lal as captain, Balbir Singh was a high scorer, Patrick Jansen was among the highest scorers, Latif-ur Rehman was in the team as well. The British tried to divide India into religious lines but the Indian hockey team, showing unity in diversity, beat the British team 4-0 on their own land.
1983 World Cup Victory
Hockey is our national game and the English were inexperienced, but they invented cricket and we won the 1983 world cup. Nobody expected team India to win it was a miracle of a sort. We won the first cricket world cup. In the semi-final, India beat England on their soil. Our wicketkeeper was Syed Kirmani, Captain Kapil Dev, Roger Binny, and Balwinder Sandhu as bowlers, the Indian team defeated the two-time champion West Indies team and unfurled the tricolor at Lord’s ground. The English might have wondered what kept our unity intact. The team was representing India above all differentiation. It was a victory for a secular united India.
Our Brave Armed forces
Now, let’s talk about our armed forces. The highest gallantry award is Param Vir Chakra, 21 people have won this medal. The list of winners includes Capt. Vikram Batra, for his bravery during Kargil, led one of the most difficult mountain warfare operations. Flying officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon in recognition of his lone defense of Srinagar Air Base. Lance Naik Albert Ekka was martyred in action during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. Company Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid, who received the Param Vir Chakra for his role during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. They are different people of different religions with one goal protection of India.
Indian in the field of Arts and Entertainment
Moving on to arts and entertainment. The highest honor in this field is the academy award, popularly known as the Oscars. Bhanu Athaiya was the first Indian winner. Resul Pookutty, A.R. Rahman, and Gulzar won for their collaboration. Satyajit Ray was also presented with an Honorary Academy Award. World’s most popular Time magazine has featured Shahrukh Khan, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and current prime minister Narendra Modi. SRK is also a global ambassador of India. People overseas recognize India by SRK.
Read More: History of Indian Constitution
Best Examples of Unity in Diversity
Now, an interesting observation is while some people talk of disrupting unity, others are dedicated to preserving it. Who has constructed most mosques in the country? It’s not Aurangzeb, his name is actually Govindan Gopalakrishnan. Architect Govindan Gopalakrishnan has constructed 110 mosques, he is famous as a mosque man. It is fascinating, isn’t it? In our country, it is hard to divide people in terms of religion. Unity is inherent and does not need external influence. Independence in 1947 was not possible without Gandhi’s movement, Bhagat Singh’s revolution, Ashfaqulla Khan’s loot, and Bose’s resistance. They were of different religions, but their goal was the same.
Our billionaires give up wealth when the country demands it. Azim Premji, businessman, and philanthropist is known for generous donations. Tata sons donated to the PM cares fund. Rohini Nilekani leads among women donors. The list includes people of all religions.
Along with people, Jama Masjid also participated in the freedom struggle in its own capacity. The mosque and surrounding areas were epicenters of activities related to the freedom struggle. Temples and mosques became sites for political discourse against British rule. The Britishers must have been surprised by our unity.
Observation of Communal Harmony during Pandemic
These days, the media labels people of all religions, but despite that, we came together in support of one another during the pandemic. In Gurugram, gurudwaras offered space to Muslims for namaz. A team of Muslim men served Langer all day to protest farmers at Singhu Border. Muslim youths formed a human chain to Protect the Hanuman temple at Bengaluru. Vaishno Devi Shrines prepared Sehri, iftari for 500 quarantined Muslims there any many more such reports have been published in news articles. These reports show the deep-rooted harmony between religions in the country. We must celebrate this and strengthen it further.
Verghese Kurien ushered in the dairy revolution. Missile Man Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam strengthened our defense systems. Aryabhatta taught the world about the importance of zero. Har Gobind Khorana gave genetic engineering its biggest breakthrough. Remember these contributions as Indian it is a collective achievement of people of India overcoming all religious boundaries. Our Constitution is also above religion.
More on: Republic Day
Some people dislike the usage of the word secular in the constitution. But they don’t know that secularism is the foundation of the constitution. The making of the constitution was also secular, with 299 members of the constituent assembly involved. They drafted a constitution that overcame all divisive boundaries including religious and gave fundamental rights to every citizen. This is why India became a successful democracy, unlike Pakistan, and got respect globally.
On this auspicious occasion of Republic Day, I am signing off with some important lines written by Muhammad Iqbal – “Mazhab nahi sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna hind hain, hum-watan hain, hindustan hamara, Saare jahan se acchha Hindostaan hamaraa“