To some it may be just another holiday, but to any discerning Indian, January 26 is a day to be proud of. It was on this day India became a republic, accepted the Constitution for the people and by the people, took oath to head the nation on a judicious path. But even after decades, India is still grappling with the issues of social injustice, economical inequality and corruption. On 68th Republic Day, we quiz some of the known faces from Bollywood and television about what they expect from this country and how are we faring as a republic…
Prakash Jha: So far as our democracy is concerned, we are faring pretty well actually. We know that historically, even mythologically, societies in India have been stronger than the US. Hence there is an inherent resilience to any kind of authoritarianism! I feel we in India are hugely benefited by our unity in diversity! No aspiring power in India can take the power of the people for granted!
For Republic Day, I pray to God that we aim to live in a first world country where all people are treated as equal, irrespective of their class and gender, where all children can get an opportunity to learn and play, because that’s the only hope we have; where financial advancement goes hand-in-hand with respect for nature, not at the cost of it, and where leaders work towards making people’s lives better without greed.
I just expect Indians to be more self aware of their responsibilities as citizens and not have a ‘me first’ attitude. Go out there and make a difference in the smallest ways. As a republic, I think we are doing fine. We just need prompt action against criminals to set example rather than let them out.
While we might have progressed in several areas, we have regressed woefully in others. Our secular fabric is constantly under threat. Our law and order is never reliable, and safety for women is almost non-existent. But what distresses me most, is that we’ve destroyed nature mercilessly and rampantly. On this Republic Day I ask a very basic question: What do we do with all the technology and money if the air we breathe is unhealthy, the food is full of pesticides, and our basic water resources are under threat?
I would like the two basics, education and healthcare in India to be taken care of by the government using tax payers’ money (as it is in most nations) considering we are paying taxes of all sorts. We also pay taxes for all utilities and infrastructure provided in terms of road tax, tolls, water bills, electricity bills, property tax, wealth tax, fuel surcharge, airport tax, etc.
Sharman Joshi: I want India to be free of poverty and everybody should get equal opportunities regardless of their background. India has also become unsafe for women. People who misbehave with women should be strongly dealt with.
As a Republic, I dream that we do not succumb to majoritarianism to dictate the law. The Constitution is made because it limits power in a republic, to protect the individual’s rights against the desires of the majority and what worries me is that increasingly majority demands in name of tradition/culture and religion seems to overrule the law that should be uniform. I dream of a uniform law for the entire population based on human rights.
I expect India to be pollution and corruption free country with sports compulsory for everybody. We are faring fine as a republic but surely there is lot of scope for improvement in all spheres. India is a progressive nation and we need to do a lot of work if we want to be a developed nation.
I want India to be far cleaner, be it corruption or cities, and roads and infrastructure has to be way better than it already is. I want my country to set an example for other countries. No other country is as diverse as us. We are very rich in our culture. We are faring okay as a republic but I think we need a social revolution.
India should be one country where there is no issue for roti, kapda aur makaan. Employment opportunities have to be far more. We are doing decent. The Prime Minister is trying out new things including demonetisation. I really hope we progress fast.
On Republic Day, I wish for free education for the poor to be implemented because it’s really important for everyone to get basic education. I hope a law gets passed soon.
India should be one country where happiness and brotherhood should become a way of life and people should control their words and actions. We are overreactive and that needs to change. We should adapt better as citizens and human beings. We are faring better but not the best as a republic. We make controvers