On the tithi of Magha Shukla Ashtami in 1950, India became a Republic. On this day, our Constitution came into existence. We have provided guidance on National awareness about celebrating this festival to our student friends.
(Compiler : Mrs. Rupali Vartak, Sanatan Ashram, Ramnathi, Goa.)
We love our mother, we respect her; similarly, we should be proud that India is our Motherland. We should be aware of the importance of being born in the most ancient and cultured Nation like India. We need a deep sense of respect for our Nation. Our revolutionaries loved our Nation more than their lives. That is patriotism. Do you love your Nation ? It will not be enough to just say that you love your Nation ! It should be seen in our actions.
What to do to enhance patriotism ?
If we learn the glorious history and supreme culture of our Nation, we will be proud of our Nation.
If there is pride in the Nation, a sense of patriotism in the mind, there will be respect for everything that is a symbol of the Nation !
What are the symbols of a Nation ? – The National Flag, National Anthem, National Song ‘Vande Mataram’, map of the Nation are our national symbols. It is our national duty to respect them properly. Are we performing this duty ? What is the situation today ? At many places, we see the National Flag, the National Anthem, the map of our Nation being insulted. We must respect our national symbols and stop their insults if these are taking place anywhere. If we do this, it will show our patriotism. Our patriotism is also to fulfil our duties as ideal citizens of our Nation.
How to respect the national flag ?
When 26th January or 15th August are celebrated, we see National Flags strewn on the roads. Some are thrown in the gutters, some are trampled upon. The hoisting of the National Flag is a symbol of our Nation’s Independence. When on National days, we hoist the National Flag and sing the National Anthem, we are proud to be the citizens of this independent Nation, and the next day, we see the same National Flag strewn on the roads, torn, etc., how can we not feel bitter ? How can we be insensitive to our National Flag ?
It is our national duty to uphold our National Flag forever. Let us pledge to uphold the National Flag.
If you see a National Flag lying anywhere in your classroom, school, street, pick it up and deposit it in your school. You should not use plastic flags so that these are not strewn around. They should not be placed on a car or in your pocket. Some people paint the National Flag on their face, some wear clothes with the colours of the National Flag, and some cut cakes in the colour of the National Flag. If this is happening anywhere, it is inappropriate, and it is an insult to our National Flag. We must educate people who perform such acts. In some places, the National Flag is hoisted upside-down or painted on a surface, which is an unforgivable crime.
We should also remember that it is a legal offence as per the National Flag Code to desecrate the National Flag.
If anyone does not agree with you, tell them that it is a crime.
Be alert to honour the National Anthem and map of the Nation
Wherever the National Anthem or National Song are being played, we must stand in ‘attention’. This amounts to honouring our Nation. Some keep sitting position at that time. Singing of the National Anthem takes only 53 seconds. Do we not have enough patriotism to stand during this time ? The National Anthem should be played at the proper place only so that it is always duly respected.
On some websites or in other countries, the map of our Nation is drawn incorrectly. Parts of Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh in India are shown as parts of other countries. This means that those parts are not in our Nation. This is a big crime. This is an insult not only to the Nation, but to every Indian citizen. All of us should be vigilant in this regard. It will also increase our love for our Nation.
How to fulfil the duties of an ideal citizen ?
Obeying all the rules of the road, walking on the left side of the road, not littering on the road, etc., such are the duties of an ideal citizen; then only we can say that we love our Nation.
Today our Nation is in a crisis of sorts. Enemy countries such as Pakistan, China are intruding our borders, while terrorism and corruption are rampant within the Nation.
You are all young today, you cannot fight these things. If you have a strong sense of patriotism, you will be able to face these problems when you grow up.
Keep the ideals of staunch patriots in front of you
We can live safely in an independent India today because of the struggles waged by devout Hindu kings such as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Shambhu Raje, Maharana Pratap, Bajirao (First) and countless other patriotic revolutionaries.
In the pre-Independence period, revolutionaries brought the British (who were armed and tyrannical) to their knees. The flame of patriotism had been burning in many revolutionaries since childhood. In 1918, Udham Singh from Punjab was only 19-years-old when he had gone to Jallianwala Baug to listen to a speech. Thousands of patriots had gathered at this meeting. When the meeting began, suddenly General Dyer, an English officer, ordered the troops to open fire. The meeting ground was walled on all sides. Udham Singh saw with his own eyes the horrific massacre of 2,000 Indians by Dyer, with the intention that Indians should not come together and carry out a revolution in this way. This scene kept the flame of intense vengeance burning in Udham Singh. After 20 years, he killed another English officer O’dwyer in England. Like Bhagat Singh, Sardar Udham Singh embraced the noose with a smile. Many such Udham Singhs were hanged; this is how we became independent. We need to remember this always.
On the National Days, we can commemorate revolutionaries in our school or where we stay by organising lectures, oratory or essay competitions on their lives.
We can visit the birthplaces and monuments of nationalists or revolutionaries with our parents or teachers.
Hindu Janajagruti Samiti also has an exhibition on revolutionaries, which can be put up at several places.
We can celebrate the Memorial Day of National heroes and revolutionaries, and organise guidance or experiences of patriotic personalities.
Republic Day Celebrations
Each year, 26th January is a day on which every Indian heart fills up with patriotic fervour and immense love for the Motherland. This was the day when the Indian Republic and its Constitution came into force. It was this day in 1965 when Hindi was declared the official language of India.
Republic Day is celebrated every year with much enthusiasm all over the country and to mark the importance of this occasion, a grand parade is held in New Delhi, from Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s House), along the Rajpath, past India Gate and on to the historic Red Fort.
The event begins with the Prime Minister of India laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, commemorating all the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country. Soon, a 21 gun salute is presented, the President unfurls the National Flag and the National Anthem is played.
The President of India is accompanied by a notable foreign Head of State – who is the invited Chief Guest at the celebration.
The Parade begins with winners of gallantry awards passing the President in open jeeps. President of India, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute at the grand parade. The Indian Military also showcases its latest acquisitions such as tanks, missiles, radars, etc.
Soon after, awards and medals of bravery are given by the President to the personnel from the armed forces for their exceptional courage in the field and also to civilians who have distinguished themselves by their acts of valour in different situations.
After this, helicopters from the armed forces fly past the parade area showering rose petals on the audience.
The military parade is followed by a colourful cultural parade. India’s rich cultural heritage is depicted in the form of tableaus from various States. Each State depicts its unique festivals, historical locations and art. This exhibition of diversity and richness of the culture of India lends a festive air to the occasion.
Celebrations, though on a relatively smaller scale, are also held in all State capitals, where the Governor of the State unfurls the National Flag.