The National Anthem – rendered by Indian Music Choir
Speech by Shubhang Bhattacharya
Good morning, Col.Mohan Mathew, teachers, members of staff and my dear friends.
Although Indian obtained her independence on 15 August 1947, she did not have a permanent constitution. Instead, her laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India Act 1935. The Republic Day celebrates the date on which the constitution of India came into force in 1950. 26 January was chosen to honour the memory of the Declaration of Independence of 1930, that is, Purna Swaraj. The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, it establishes the structure, procedures, powers and duties of the Government and it spells out the fundamental rights, directive principles and duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any country in the world, containing 444 articles in 24 parts, 12 schedules and 24 amendments for a total of 1,17,369 words in the English version. The Chairman of the drafting committee was Dr. B.R.Ambedkar.
Just imagine what an uphill task it is, to make laws pertaining to over a billion people; to the very last detail. The constitution is the backbone of a democracy, and India is the largest democracy in the world.
How ever you may think what does the Republic Day mean to you or me as an individual? Why is it so important to us and what difference does it make? Well we must understand that all the liberties that we take for granted so easily today are given to us by the Constitution. The right to religion, the right to education, right to own land, right to own business, right to information and the right to freedom of expression and speech are all handed over to us by the Constitution. There are very few countries with laws as liberal as ours and which give their power to the people instead of a Government or a Dictator. India is making progress the way it is because of its Constitution.
Every Indian has the power to dream big, achieve it, prosper and afford the best in the world. That is how we are all here in this school gaining education.
The importance of something is only realized once it has been snatched away, so value your freedom and rights. Don’t take them for granted. There is no point blaming the system for corruption for inequality today. There is nothing wrong with the system; the problem lies with the people running the system, people who we as citizens elected. We should not blame ministers for being corrupt; we should blame ourselves for electing corrupt ministers. Don’t criticize the Nation if your rights have been taken away. If you don’t fight for your right’s, no one will. The Government has done its part in giving them to you. Don’t ask what the country can do for you; instead ask what you can do for the country. Watching patriotic movies does not make you an Indian, but contributing and standing up for this great Nation does. Being an Indian means ensuring that these laws are abided by an amended as and when required.
As a famous saying from the movie “Rang De Basanti goes”- “Jo khoon na khaule woh khoon nahi, paani hai.Jo desh ke kaam na aye, bekar who jawani hai”- meaning: the blood does not boil is not blood, but water and a life which is of no use to the Country is a wasted life.
Speech by Trisha Chattopadhyay
Good Morning to one and all present here. Today I would like to present some thoughts on what we are today.
We all knit beautiful dreams, about us, our families and also our country. We dream of a better, prosperous and developed India. But are we really working towards it? Are we a republic? In the true sense are we really democratic? Are our steps heading forward?
The constitution declares our country republic. A republic is a state under a form of government in which the people or some significant portion of them attains supreme control of the Government. A common modern definition of republic is a state without a monarch, the word literally means “public affair”.
In easier words, we people elect a Government to look after us, to govern us. Theoretically all should go on fairly well, but let’s face the reality.
There is manipulation, there is corruption, the power gathers with a few and powers are also misused. But who are we to criticize the system? The most probable answer would be that after all its we who suffer. But the mistake lies here. We are the people who elect the Government, choose them over the others and more ironically, it is we who become the victims of the vices.
A boy belonging to the scheduled caste and poor family is denied admission in a college though he has all credentials to join the college. Why?
Because an MP’s son had bought his seat. Doesn’t the fundamental right protect him? Yes, it does but only in black and white. The boy can go to the supreme court, but will the MP pay for his procedures in the court, so what do you think happens to the boy. Nothing he just goes back to his village and resumes with his family job of tilling the land.
This is one of the many instances millions of people undergo and this blocks many roads which could lead to a developed country. In this situation, can people dream of India to be a super power? On one hand the President speaks about India being a superpower in 10 years. On the other hand she herself knows how the world’s largest democracy works, how the faith on the world’s lengthiest constitution is fading.
But is it the fault of the public or of the Government? No one’s yet everyone’s 70% of our population is uneducated, so how do they choose the right candidate. 23% of the population wishes that the Government was better . They ask what their country has done for them but seldom think what they did or can do for their country. The rest 7% enjoy the mistakes made by these 93% of the Indian population. So its time, its WE THE PEOPLE, it’s we who have to walk the extra mile and change the things which will change our lives.
The makers of the constitution had designed a beautiful nation, it’s we who have to add the colors of life, honesty, patriotism and above all sacrifice to it.
We are secular but we still have communal riots; we are equal but still the rich and powerful dominates; we assure justice but still there are thousands of files closed due to influential causes. States fighting over common river water; a person gets a job in USA and he leaves his motherland the next day, why can’t he stay back and build his mother land? Where are we heading? What are we running after? – an EL DORADO? Max Muller, a German scholar, once said “If I had been asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, powdered into the greatest problems and found solutions, I would point to India”. So lets all together make the world place us on the highest pedestal so that it’s easier to point to India whenever there is a discussion about republic, democracy, greatness and morality all in itself. Today on the 62nd Republic day of India, when the whole country unites together to celebrate the glorious years which have passed, I would like to end by quoting Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, the father of our constitution and would like all of us to keep this in mind wherever or whichever part of the world we may be.
“WE ARE INDIANS, FIRSTLY AND LASTLY”
“Saare Jahan Se Achcha” - rendered by Indian Music Choir
Expression of Gratitude by Mr. Ajith Jacob, Director of Activities