Republic Day 2020: Dhanush gun system on R-Day Parade for first time

(R-L) President Ram Nath Kovind, Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stand for the national anthem during the 71st Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath, in New Delhi, Sunday, January 26, 2019.

(R-L) President Ram Nath Kovind, Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stand for the national anthem during the 71st Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath, in New Delhi, Sunday, January 26, 2019.   | Photo Credit: DD NEWS/PTI Photo

Special security arrangements have been made for Brazilian President Bolsonaro, who is the chief guest for the 71st Republic Day parade

Celebrations for the 71st Republic Day began on Sunday in the national capital with Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro in attendance as the chief guest.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his tributes to martyrs by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the three service chiefs and Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat.

Explained: Who is Jair Bolsonaro, chief guest for the 71st Republic Day?

Here are the latest updates:

 

1.30 pm

Glimpses from the Republic Day parade in Rajpath

Indian Air Force aircrafts flypast at 71st Republic Day parade Celebration at Rajpath in New Delhi on Sunday.

Indian Air Force aircrafts flypast at 71st Republic Day parade Celebration at Rajpath in New Delhi on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

 

Karnataka tableau at 71st Republic Day parade Celebration at Rajpath in New Delhi on Sunday.

Karnataka tableau at 71st Republic Day parade Celebration at Rajpath in New Delhi on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

 

Tamil Nadu tableau at 71st Republic Day parade Celebration at Rajpath in New Delhi on Sunday.

Tamil Nadu tableau at 71st Republic Day parade Celebration at Rajpath in New Delhi on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

 

1.10 pm

Governor Droupadi Murmu leads celebrations in Jharkhand

Unfurling the national flag at the Mohrabadi ground in Ranchi, to celebrate the 71st Republic Day, Jharkhand Governor Droupadi Murmu said all will be taken along in the State's development endeavour and promised inclusive and justifiable development and economic progress.

“To bring Jharkhand in the category of developed States in the country, everyone has to discharge one's role, keeping the State and the nation on top,” she said.

The government's most important priority is to establish rule of law, the Governor said.

Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu hoists the tricolor during the 71st Republic Day celebrations at Morabadi Ground in Ranchi on Sunday, January 26, 2020.

Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu hoists the tricolor during the 71st Republic Day celebrations at Morabadi Ground in Ranchi on Sunday, January 26, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

Ms. Murmu said 65% of the population were youth and unemployment was a burning issue. The government will soon fill up vacancies from panchayat to State level departments, she said. “The youth will be trained and provided self-employment opportunities. Women will also be empowered,” she said.

She said the government will strengthen the tribal tradition of self-rule and that the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act will be strictly implemented.

Constitution is a medium of life, not just a document: CM

Hoisting the tricolour at the State's second capital city Dumka, Chief Minister Hemant Soren said, “The Constitution is not just a document but the medium of life and the State government will work with sensitivity and without any discrimination.”

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren along with District Commissioner B. Rajeshwari and Superintendent of Police Y.S. Ramesh stands for the national anthem after hoisting the national flag during the Republic Day celebrations in Dumka, on Sunday, January 26, 2020.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren along with District Commissioner B. Rajeshwari and Superintendent of Police Y.S. Ramesh stands for the national anthem after hoisting the national flag during the Republic Day celebrations in Dumka, on Sunday, January 26, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

Expressing pain at the recent incidents at West Singhbhum district and Lohardaga, Mr. Soren called upon the people to assist in the development of the State, rising above religion and language.

“The government will not bow before ‘bhid tantra’ (mobocracy),” he said, adding “we are first Indian, irrespective of religion or language”.

” ... let us create a Jharkhand where there will also be all-round development of tribals, Dalits, the poor, the deprived, the backward and the minority,” Soren said.

-PTI

12.45 pm

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar leads Republic Day celebrations in Kolkata

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar unfurled the tricolour and presided over a ceremonial march past by armed forces at Red Road in the State capital on Sunday.

Parades were also organised by the BSF, CISF, the West Bengal Police and the Kolkata Armed Police, on the occasion.

Colourful processions were taken out by students of a city-based school, which was followed by a grand tableau highlighting the importance of water conservation rolling down the Red Road.

Folk artists from the Sunderbans and the Jangalmahal enthralled the audience with their dance performance.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arriving for the 71st Republic Day parade at Red Road in Kolkata, on Sunday, January 26, 2020.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arriving for the 71st Republic Day parade at Red Road in Kolkata, on Sunday, January 26, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who attended the programme along with her Cabinet colleagues, greeted the Governor after the conclusion of the programme.

-PTI

11.45 am

President Ram Nath Kovind and chief guest Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil leave the Rajpath in a ceremonial escort provided by the President's bodyguard to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi waved to the crowds before departing, marking the end of the celebrations.

 

11.35 am

Brazilian President Bolsonaro witnesses R-Day Parade at Rajpath

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with chief guest, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at Rajpath on 71st Republic Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with chief guest, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at Rajpath on 71st Republic Day   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

 

Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro joined a select group of world leaders to have graced India’s Republic Day celebrations in the past few decades.

Bolsonaro, as the chief guest at the 71st Republic Day celebrations, watched the colourful parade at the majestic Rajpath along with President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of other leaders.

This is the third time that a Brazilian President was the chief guest at the Republic Day. The last time a Brazilian President was the chief guest was in 2004 when Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attended the parade.

- PTI

11.30 am

DRDO displays A-SAT weapon system

The DRDO Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) Weapon System was on display at Rajpath in the Republic Day parade on Sunday. With space becoming a vital dimension of any country’s economic and military superiority, A-SAT (Anti-Satellite) weapons play a critical role in providing the necessary strategic deterrence.

In March last year, the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) launched ‘Mission Shakti’, India’s first A-SAT mission and demonstrated its anti-satellite technology.

A live orbiting satellite in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) was destroyed in a “Hit to Kill” mode with 10 centimetre accuracy, with the satellite and the missile approaching each other at a high speed of nearly 11 km per second.

The covert technology of ‘hit to kill’, developed for the first time by India for such applications, enables it to destroy an enemy satellite by directly colliding with it with pin-point accuracy.

The successful demonstration has placed India at par with the elite club of three nations — U.S., Russia and China — that possess this capability.

- PTI

 

11.10 am

Themes for 71st R-Day tableaux: Goa’s ‘save the frog’ campaign, J-K’s ‘back to village’ programme

Goa’s ‘save the frog’ campaign, Jammu and Kashmir’s ‘back to village’ programme, architectural wonders and UNESCO world heritage sites in Jaipur and Gujarat and 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev were thematically showcased among the host of tableaux in the 71st Republic Day Parade on Sunday.

Jammu and Kashmir, which participated in the parade for the first time as a Union Territory, had the “Back to Village” programme as theme for its tableau.

The rich sartorial and cultural heritage of the region was depicted in the tableau with a shawl weaver in the front. The flora and fauna were shown in the middle complemented with Dogra and Kashmiri folk culture.

Out of the total 22 tableaux, 16 were of various states and UTs and six of ministries, departments and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

- PTI

Also read: We’re in the stone age, say Kashmir students on Internet shut down

10.50 am | Kerala

Indianness rooted in diversity, says Kerala Governor

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan inspects a parade on 71st Republic Day celebration in Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan inspects a parade on 71st Republic Day celebration in Thiruvananthapuram   | Photo Credit: S. Mahinsha

 

Leading the 71st Republic Day celebrations in Kerala, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Sunday said Indianness has been rooted in diversity and the Constitution truly reflected eternal Indian ethos.

Governor Khan hoisted the national flag at the State-level celebration at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram and inspected a parade in which armed and mounted police and others participated.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the State-level Republic Day celebration at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the State-level Republic Day celebration at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala   | Photo Credit: S. Mahinsha

 

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and some of his cabinet colleagues were among those present at the celebrations.

- PTI

10.40 am

Dhanush gun system on Republic Day Parade for first time

The ‘Dhanush’ gun system, commanded by Capt. Mrigank Bharadwaj, was part of the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath for the first time on Sunday.

The 155mm/45 Caliber Dhanush gun system is a towed Howitzer designed indigenously by the Ordnance Factory Board.

The gun with a maximum range of 36.5 km has the capability of automatic gun alignment and positioning.

The gun, which is equipped with inertial navigation system and advanced gun sighting system, has been designed to meet futuristic requirements of the Army.

- PTI

10.30 am

Glimpses from Maharashtra's celebrations on the 71st Republic Day

In the presence of Mahrashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, the State celebrates the 71st Republic Day of India.

In the presence of Mahrashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, the State celebrates the 71st Republic Day of India.   | Photo Credit: Emmanuel Yogini

Mumbai celebrates 71st Republic Day

Mumbai celebrates 71st Republic Day   | Photo Credit: Emmanuel Yogini

 

10.25 am

PM Modi continues ‘safa’ tradition, sports saffron ‘bandhej’ turban on 71st Republic Day

Continuing his tradition of donning colourful turbans on Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sported a saffron ‘bandhej’ headgear with a tail for the 71st Republic Day on Sunday.

Bandhej is a print developed using tie and dye method practiced mainly in states of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Turbans have been a highlight of the Prime Minister’s sartorial choices at Independence Day and Republic Day events.

PM Modi had sported a multi-coloured turban when he gave his sixth Independence Day speech from the rampants of the Red Fort last year after securing a second term.

For his maiden Independence Day address as the Prime Minister in 2014, Modi had opted for a Jodhpuri bandhej turban in bright red colour with green at the tail.

From bright red bandhni turban from Kutch to mustard Rajasthani ‘safa’, the Prime Minister has sported varied turbans at his Republic Day appearances too.

- PTI

10.20 am

Google’s vibrant doodle showcases diversity, harmony of India

Republic Day 2020: Dhanush gun system on R-Day Parade for first time

Internet giant Google on Sunday dedicated a special doodle to mark the 71st Republic Day, which captured the country’s vibrant diversity, rich sartorial and cultural heritage as well as its beautiful bio-diversity.

The multi-hued doodle, with a dominant blue tone, depicts iconic monuments interspersed with images of famous music instruments and dance forms.

The six letters of the word Google have been portrayed colourfully and using images of India’s national bird and an iconic south Indian dance form. In the six letters of G-O-O-G-L-E, first ‘O’ has been represented with a peacock, second one with a face of Kathakali dancer, and the ‘L’ with a traditional musical instrument ‘sitar’. The rest of the three letters carry colourful images of life in India, making the logo of the search giant stand out, against a rich tapestry of the backdrop.

In the background, on top an image of Humayun’s Tomb, a World Heritage Site, can be seen while India Gate with an auto-rickshaw and a pedal-rickshaw figure in the lower portion of the backdrop. Kites fly in the back of the logo, while a woman dancer strikes a pose atop the letter ‘E’.

Google India also tweeted the special doodle and wished people on the occasion.

The doodle, illustrated by Singapore-based guest artist Meroo Seth, highlights the rich cultural heritage that permeates and unites the diverse Asian subcontinent — from its world-famous landmarks like the India Gate, it said.

- PTI

10.10 am

Military parade kicks off

A major attraction at the parade is the anti-satellite missile tested under Mission Shakti by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The Army will showcase the recently inducted 155-mm Dhanush towed howitzer.

There are 16 marching contingents this year, including six from the Army and 22 tableaux from various States and departments, Maj. Gen. Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area, said. The Army would be represented by a mounted column of 61 cavalry, eight mechanised columns, six marching contingents and a fly-past by the Rudra and Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters of Army Aviation. The Army’s Signal Corps contingent would be led by Captain Tanya Shergill.

Read more
 

9.58 am

Chief guest Bolsonaro welcomed by PM Modi

Stronger ties: PM Narendra Modi greeting Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, as President Ram Nath Kovind looks on. Photo taken on January 25, 2020.

Stronger ties: PM Narendra Modi greeting Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, as President Ram Nath Kovind looks on. Photo taken on January 25, 2020.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Chief guest Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, accompanied by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind arrive at the Rajpath for the ceremony. They were welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who wore a traditional kurta-pajama and a jacket. The Prime Minister sported a saffron turban on the occasion.

Explained: Who is Jair Bolsonaro, chief guest for the 71st Republic Day?

During the unfurling of the tricolour, the band played the national anthem with a 21-gun salute in the background.

Most ministers of the Modi government, including Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar were present on the occasion along with former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and Deve Gowda, and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.

9.55 am

 

Prime Minister's cavalcade arrives at the 71st Republic Day Celebration at the Rajpath in New Delhi on Sunday.

Prime Minister's cavalcade arrives at the 71st Republic Day Celebration at the Rajpath in New Delhi on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

 

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, along with his spouse, arrived at Rajpath. They were welcomed by PM Narendra Modi, who arrived at the venue a couple of minutes earlier with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the three heads of the Indian Defence and the Chief of Defence Staff.

 

9.45 am

Governor Purohit leads Republic Day celebrations in TN

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit led the 71st Republic Day celebrations in the state, unfurling the national flag at the Marina in Chennai.

Students performing the cultural programme on the 71 st Republic day celebration in Thoothukudi on Sunday.

Students performing the cultural programme on the 71 st Republic day celebration in Thoothukudi on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: N Rajesh

 

An impressive march past by the members of the Armed Forces, state police, scouts and guides was held on the occasion.

A pageantry of floats by government departments highlighting various initiatives, including Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s 2019 tri-nation visit to attract investments, was among the highlights.

Students and artistes presented colourful dance performances.

District Collector inspect the police parade during the 71st Republic day celebrations in Tiruchi

District Collector inspect the police parade during the 71st Republic day celebrations in Tiruchi   | Photo Credit: M. Srinath

 

CM Palaniswami presented various awards, including the Anna Gallantry medals for police personnel.

Besides CM Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, state Ministers and others participated.

- PTI

9.35 am

PM Modi pays homage to fallen soldiers at newly-built National War Memorial for first time

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to the fallen soldiers at the newly-built National War Memorial here on the Republic Day for the first time instead of the Amar Jawan Jyoti beneath the India Gate arch.

The iconic memorial in the India Gate complex behind the canopy was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 25 last year.

Amar Jawan Jyoti is symbolised by an inverted bayonet and soldier’s helmet over it with an eternal flame burning beside it. It was built in 1972 underneath the India Gate arch to commemorate soldiers martyred in the Indo-Pak War of 1971.

- PTI

9. 20 am

 

The Hindu Editorial on January 26, 1950

Dr. Rajendra Prasad takes oath as the first President of the Republic of India on January 26, 1950.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad takes oath as the first President of the Republic of India on January 26, 1950.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

 

The inauguration of the Republic of India is an act of high faith in the people of this country, a gesture of dedication of all the nation’s talent and resources to the realisation of worthy purposes. It amounts to an implicit pledge on the part of every Indian that he will to the extent of his strength and capacity uphold the honour of his country, augment her strength for good and persuasively convey to a distracted world her immemorial message of abhaya. A democratic Republic, which is what our Constitution aims to build, is one in which the worth of the individual is not submerged in the collective will but sustains it. In such a polity no man may walk on crutches or regard public business as no concern of his. Every citizen must remember that if matters go wrong with the State it is he that is ultimately responsible. He must, therefore, not only acquire by study enough familiarity with the working of the machinery of Government through which democracy functions. He must understand the basic problems which have to be tackled if the good life is to be realised here and now. He must have the strength of character which alone is a nation’s true capital. And above all he must have the will to put his shoulder to the wheel and push and pull, never getting out of step with his fellows, never seeking short cuts, never succumbing to the temptation to find scapegoats.

Read more here.

 

9.10 am

 

Glimpses from R-Day rehersals

Female police contingent takes part during full the dress rehearsal for the 71st Republic Day parade in Srinagar, Kashmir

Female police contingent takes part during full the dress rehearsal for the 71st Republic Day parade in Srinagar, Kashmir   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

 

 

Newly-inaugurated Mounted Police Unit participated in a grand ceremonial attire during full dress rehearsal of Republic Day Parade at Shivaji Park in Dadar, Mumbai. The unit was centre of attraction for other participants. Disbanded in 1932 due to traffic issues, Mounted Police Unit set to return after 88 years in Mumbai Police.

Newly-inaugurated Mounted Police Unit participated in a grand ceremonial attire during full dress rehearsal of Republic Day Parade at Shivaji Park in Dadar, Mumbai. The unit was centre of attraction for other participants. Disbanded in 1932 due to traffic issues, Mounted Police Unit set to return after 88 years in Mumbai Police.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe

 

 

9 am

 

Full list of 2020 Padma awardees

Eminent personalities, including former union ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and George Fernandes, Olympian boxer Mary Kom, former Mauritius Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth have been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan on the Republic Day this year, officials said on January 25.

Padma Awards — one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz. art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.

Here is the full list of 2020 Padma awardees

 

8.30 am

 

Celebrating Republic Day with the Architect of the Indian Constitution

School children perform during the State-level Republic Day function, at Chhatrasal Stadium in New Delhi

School children perform during the State-level Republic Day function, at Chhatrasal Stadium in New Delhi   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

 

 

8.10 am

PM Modi, Union Ministers greet people on Republic Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his greetings to countrymen on the occasion of 71st Republic Day.

“Wishing everyone a happy #RepublicDay. Jai Hind,” he tweeted.

The Prime Minister was joined by Union Ministers in wishing people on the micro-blogging site.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted, “Greetings to all Indians on 71st Republic Day“.

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said, “On the occasion of Republic Day, I congratulate students, parents and all related to the education sector.”

“Wishing everyone a happy #RepublicDay,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted, “Greetings and good wishes on the occasion of 71st Republic Day. #RepublicDay #Indian”.

- PTI

 

8 am

Glimpses from celebrations across the country

Cultural artists of Vandemataram group dressed in tricolour and paints their face before their public awareness campaign on the eve of Republic Day celebration in Bhubaneswar.

Cultural artists of Vandemataram group dressed in tricolour and paints their face before their public awareness campaign on the eve of Republic Day celebration in Bhubaneswar.   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

 

Police personnel during the 71st Republic Day celebrations at the VOC Park Grounds in Coimbatore on Sunday, January 26, 2020

Police personnel during the 71st Republic Day celebrations at the VOC Park Grounds in Coimbatore on Sunday, January 26, 2020   | Photo Credit: M. Periasamy

 

 

7.50 am

Capital under multi-layered, ground-to-air security cover for Republic Day celebrations

A view of Rajpath ahead of the Republic Day Parade

A view of Rajpath ahead of the Republic Day Parade   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

Aided by dozens of drones in the air and hundreds of CCTV cameras and facial recognition devices, besides several anti-aircraft guns on the ground, the security personnel are keeping a hawk-eyed vigil over Rajpath, where President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be celebrating the occasion along with chief guest, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and other dignitaries, besides thousands of citizens.

Over ten thousand security personnel have been deployed to keep vigil over the Republic Day celebrations on Sunday, said officials.

Read more
 

7.30 am

Entry, exit at 4 Delhi Metro stations to be closed for few hours

Entry and exit at some of the metro stations in central Delhi will be closed for a few hours in the morning of Republic Day on Sunday due to security reasons, officials said on Saturday.

An NDMC vehicle fumigates the enclosures along the Rajpath, which is all-set for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 25, 2020.

An NDMC vehicle fumigates the enclosures along the Rajpath, which is all-set for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 25, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

Entry and exit facilities at Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan metro stations will not be available from 6 am to 12 pm, they said.

While entry and exit at Patel Chowk and Lok Kalyan Marg metro stations will be closed from 8:45 am to 12 noon.

Interchange facilities will be available at Central Secretariat station, they said.

To facilitate the public attending the Republic Day parade, corridors like Yellow Line, Blue Line, Red Line and others, which commence operations at 8 am on Sundays will start their services at 6 am on January 26, officials said.

- PTI

 

 

The four phases of constitutional interpretation

The Constitution of India came into force 70 years ago, on January 26, 1950. The enactment of the Constitution was an ambitious political experiment – with universal adult franchise, federalism in a region consisting of over 550 princely states, and social revolution in a deeply unequal society. However, it was equally a unique achievement in terms of constitutional design. This Republic Day therefore provides an opportunity to take a step back from political contestations about the Constitution and consider how the text has been interpreted by the courts over the last seven decades.

Read more
 

 

 

 

The Republic whose heart beats to love, confidence and liberty

Moving from a life-career of startling austerity to that high domed mansion of great expectations, India’s first President Rajendra Prasad said with un-restrained optimism: “Our Constitution is a democratic instrument seeking to ensure to individual citizens the freedoms which are so invaluable. India has never prescribed or prosecuted opinion or faith and our philosophy has as much room for a devotee of a personal God as for an agnostic or atheist. We shall therefore be only implementing in practice in our Constitution what we have inherited from our traditions, namely freedom of opinion and expression. Under the new set up which we are inaugurating today we hope to live up to the teachings of our Master…”

Seventy years on we are entitled to ask if we have someone or anyone, who commands universal love and someone or anyone who commands universal confidence among us, the people of India. The frank answer is, there is none. I say this not to make anyone look smaller than his right size or to diminish anyone’s stature below his own natural height. And I also say this with the knowledge that it is quite standard and regular for persons to have non-overpowering attributes! But the fact is that we have today no one in our public life who may be said to command that purest of sentiments – love, or that truest of offerings – confidence. True, we have loyalists and followers. But loyalty and following come from sources and for reasons, un-related to the heart of feeling.

Read more
 

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 9:20:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/republic-day-january-26-2020-as-it-happened-live-updates/article30656772.ece

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