The legendary ‘Tryst with Destiny ‘speech at the stroke of midnight on 15th August, 1947 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, heralded India as an independent nation, deservedly earned after a long and arduous struggle which liberated it from the British dominance. But the road towards becoming a Republic Democratic nation which would be helmed by leaders of our own choosing at the helm was yet a long one. India, though independent was still a Constitutional Monarchy under George VI and Earl Mountbatten as the Governor General as we still did not have a constitution to lay down the policies to govern our nation.
The responsibility was handed over to the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly with Dr. B.R Ambedkar, as the Chairman to draft a permanent Constitution.
The man was an inspiration in the way he and his Committee tirelessly plodded for the many months and subsequently on 4th November, 1947 the first draft was submitted to the Assembly which required further 2 years 11 months and 18 days to adopt the Constitution. 26th January, 1950 was the chosen date for adopting the Constitution and India was declared a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular Democratic Republic, pledging Indians the right to justice, equality and liberty. Monarchy hence stood abolished and the colonial Government of India Act, 1935, stood abolished.
The date itself has special significance for those involved in the struggle for independence, as on this date. 1929, the call for complete Independence from the British rule was adopted by the Lahore session of Congress who raised the cry for ‘Poorna Swaraj’. In order to commemorate the memory of that date forever in the consciousness of Indian sub-continent, this date was honored as the Republic Day.
For the first time in 200 years Indians were assured of their Fundamental Rights and Freedom of Speech and Indians could now express their will and enjoy equal law and a life of dignity in their own land. Hence onwards, Indians could be assured that they would be elected by their own chosen representatives since India has chosen to be a democratic nation and an elected Head shall be the Head of the Nation/ President, as is the norm for a Republic Nation.
It is an unfortunate turn of events that the principle laid down after so much of blood, sweat and tears has been sublimated in the consumerism of globalization. Today’s youth needs to take stock of the principles of liberty, equality, justice for all and maintain the sanctity of this Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic. Peace and peaceful development, as Dr. Lal Bahadur Shastri said, cannot be for one individual or a section. It has to be for all or none.
India today has the privilege of being counted as the biggest Republic nations and it was the concerted dedication and tireless plodding of an entire generation which made it possible. It is the duty of the present and coming generations to take it forward and make India a bigger, better and more powerful force to reckon with, in future.