"Republic Day is the day our Constitution was formed.Do you know what our Constitution says kids?Read the first page of your Civics Textbook,it bears the Preamble of our Constitution.Tomorrow we have the flag-hoisting ceremony in School."
"Ma'am is it compulsory for all of us to come?"
"No..but come,no?The Boy-Scouts and the Monitors have to come.All of you write an Essay on "गणतंत्र Divas" and bring it on 27th.
This was on 25th January..The year is not necessary because it happened every year on the same day,except in the older standards where only a few teachers told us about Republic day anymore.
You can imagine what it must have been like on the eve of Independence Day.
Honestly,I was very pleased that i wasn't a monitor.Because that meant a nice holiday and being at home.
26th January,2010 2.00 pm
"Write down this program..."
"Sir...let us go..today is Republic Day..."
"Sir,Flag hoisting....heh heh"
(Cackle of laughter from the lame childish eighteen year olds in my Computer Programming classes.)
"You dont take the nation seriously,do you?Country chahiye naa?You don't vote,you are not interested in politics..."
But all the people were still laughing at the 'wise-crack'..Sir left the topic there..
As I left the classes and was walking back home,I saw street side vendors having extra ware today.Paper flags and other Tri-colored decorations.Even in the morning when I had gone to the market,I had seen people going about wearing tiny flags on their chests.In some Societies people were gathered around a Flag where someone was making a speech.A banana vendor had cleverly stuck a flag in a banana.Children were going about singing Patriotic songs.
And I knew what the scene was going to be the next day-
Flags strewn around.Some torn,some still in their places but probably because whoever had placed them there hadn't noticed them yet..why? THEIR day was over wasn't it?The next day would be coming in 6 months now.So people had stopped noticing.A few people might look around to make sure no one is watching,then if they are sure no one is around,they might pick up some flags but then not knowing what to do with them,probably throw them back.The few people who keep it with them,might give it up as a lost cause seeing there are so many around
So thats it,isnt it?We have finally reduced the feeling of Patriotism to something that we feel for some hours on 15th August and 26th January.And maybe after coming out of movie theaters after watching 'Rang De Basanti'-RDB--"Hey did you watch RDB, AWESOME movie man.."
Movie theaters have the National Anthem play before every screening.People stand and wait impatiently,some nervously wanting to sing along but scared that people around them would laugh and point and look around.
Honestly,how many of us would even stand voluntarily and immediately if say all the other people in the theater didn't stand?No..we are ashamed of doing that aren't we?No one wants to be the only person who is proud of his country in a whole hall-full of people.
We don't vote..no.We conveniently say..
"Arrey yaar..kisko vote karega?Saale sab gunde hain!"
"Oh..so then you are thinking of getting into politics when you grow up?So that you can change things around?"
"Ha Ha..paagal hain kya?System ko badalne gaya naa...tho system apne ko badal degi...heh heh.Have you seen that movie..very nice."
At times like this,the few people who do care genuinely feel like fools for caring about the nation.No one wants to be soldiers no..some might want to be fancy pilots yeah,but for Commercial Airlines..with big pay-packets
And I am not making this up.You all might agree at some point.Whenever I say I plan to get into politics some day,people will smile to entertain me.Some say "arrey don't be crazy"..and all those things that they have probably heard someone else talk about and they from some on else...and so on and so forth.
As eighteen year olds we will be very excited about our Driving Licenses..but Voter ID Cards...wait,what are they?
And we are supposed to be the dynamic youth.The go getters,the young blood..I have still to figure out what Dynamic Youth exactly means..Some of us do want to change the system..But we don't know what to do.We join Groups like "Proud to be an Indian" on Facebook..but these groups lay inactive for months together then,except say for a few months after a movie like RDB..Oh its "RDB"..Lose Control..yo!
And I won't even talk about the 26/11 attacks..or the Media-Glorified version "India ka 9/11"..