India is celebrating 66th Republic Day on January 26. It is a great Day in the history of India. I greet and congratulate my fellow countrymen on the Republic Day. It has come a long way since 1950 when the constitution of India was promulgated and India became a Republic under the constitution. India is the largest democracy in the world. The second largest country, population wise, with 1.25 billion people, is one of the fastest growing economies. India has created a due space for herself in the comity of nations through diplomatic interaction. The polity and the society are governed smoothly under the constitution. It is a matter of great satisfaction. We take pride in this and rightly so. Though it seems that we are on track yet still we are to go a long way to fully redeem the pledge we took in the famous ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech of PM Jawaharlal Nehru at the dawn of independence on August 15, 1947. The political democracy is yet to be transformed into social and economic democracy as visualized by our leadership particularly by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, father of the Indian constitution.
There are problems and difficulties which are to be tackled, if we intend to see that India remains on rails of development and further progress. Mere rhetoric on good governance, corruption free polity and economy and also society, casteless society, social empowerment and communal harmony will not do and deliver. Something concrete has to be done. The current issues of religious conversion, the so called Ghar Vapsi, and Hindu Rastra, which divide the society and create communal tensions, should be avoided. In this regard, it is advisable to read and consider the warning Dr. B.R. Ambedkar gave in the run up to our Independence in his book Thoughts on Pakistan or Partition of India. He said, “If Hindu Raj does become a fact, it will no doubt be the greatest calamity for this country. No matter what the Hindus say, Hinduism is a menace to liberty, equality and fraternity. On that account, it is incompatible with democracy.”
With this, I conclude by wishing ‘Long live the Republic of India’.