Sixty Years of Indian Republic - What Lies Ahead ?

Jan 26, 2010

This year, 26th January 2010 marks the completion of sixty years of the Indian Republic. On 26th January 1950, the Constitution of independent India was implemented making India the Sovereign Democratic Republic.  The choice of 26th January 1950 was significant. It was on 26th January 1930, following  the pledge of Complete Independence (Poorna Swaraj) taken by Jawahrlal Nehru as the President of the Congress at its annual session at Lahore on 31st December 1929, the people  of India were called upon to gather in mass meetings on 26th January 1930  to voice their demand for Complete Independence from the British rule. In commemoration of this day, 26th January 1950 was chosen to implement the Constitution of India.

As per Indian Constitution, the head of the Indian State is the President elected indirectly by the elected members of the Parliament for a term of five years. Hence, while independence day has been celebrated by the Prime Minister unfurling the national flag at the rampart of the Red Fort at Delhi and addressing the nation, the Republic Day has been celebrated on the Rajpath where the Presidents would unfurl the national flag and take the salute of the armed forces and other paramilitary divisions during the march past on the Rajpath. The broadcast and telecast of the address of the Presidents  to the nation have been on the eve of the Republic Day, that is, on 25th January every year.

This year,  along with Mrs. Pratibha Patil the President of India, Mr. Lee Myung- Bak the President of South Korea will be the guest of honour for the Republic Day Parade. The Republic Day parade has been the occasion to show case India’s achievements through the march past by contingents of Indian armed forces, display of latest weapons and other scientific and technological advancements on floats and manifestation of India’s unity in diversity through tableaus and cultural groups. The Republic Day parade traditionally ends with a flypast by Indian Airforce jets. Republic Day celebrations are also held in state capitals, where the Governor of the state unfurls the national flag.

As India completes sixty years of existence as a republic and celebrates her 61st anniversary on 26th January 2010, it would be appropriate for us to take a stock of the achievements of the Indian Republic in different fields and what are our weaknesses and shortcomings during the past sixty years and to ponder over what lies ahead for the Indian Republic.
In geographic terms, India is the seventh largest, second most populous and the largest democratic  nation in the world. The Indian Republic comprises of twenty eight States and seven Union Territories with parliamentary system of government.  The economic reforms since 1991 have transformed India into one of the fastest growing economies of the world making it world’s twelfth largest economy at market exchange rates and fourth largest in purchasing power. Being the home for a pluralistic, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, the Indian Republic has been proud of her unity in diversity. India has been also blessed with diverse flora and fauna and rich deposits of mineral wealth.

The most significant achievements of the Indian Republic during the past sixty years include a robust democracy, deep roots of secularism, development of science and technology, growth of higher education and impressive economic progress. Today India is recognized as a super power in the making. She is a proud member of the International forums and no one can ignore this factor. India today is acknowledged as the third largest storehouse in the world for technically qualified workforce.  There was a time when we were dependent on others even for feeding ourselves. However, today more than 2300 high yielding hybrid varieties of food grains and cash crops have been developed which make India self sustained in terms of food production.

India’s advance in military and space technology has been remarkable. India has developed indigenous missile systems that include Prithvi, Agni and Akash. The space research programmes have enabled India to place a number of satellites in the space for verity of purposes. The greatest achievement of India’s space research was sending an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in last year. There has been a revolution in communication with computers and internet facilities as well as the cell phone connectivity. The improvement in transport facilities are also quite impressive with many highways being constructed and railway lines being laid.

While we are proud of the tremendous progress that our nation has been making in different fields, we still have many more miles to go before we sleep. Since recent past there has been threat to Indian secular fabric due to the emergence of fundamentalist and obscurantist forces. The communal divide and violence in the name of religion and ethnic clashes in different parts of the country are slowly weakening theIndian Republic from within. The cancer of terrorism and attacks on innocent citizens of this country are serious matters of concern. The Naxalite menace is a major internal challenge to the sovereignty of the Republic of India. Personality and family dominated  political parties and unscrupulous political practices  have been causing  great damamge to a healthy democratic system. Corruption that has been rampant in administration and law enforcing agencies has spread its tentacles in judicial system and even defence establishments eroding the faith of the people in the sanctity of these institutions.

The benefits of the economic reforms and progress have not yet percolated down to the larger section of the Indian population. Though there is progress in higher education in cities and towns, still a large portion of the population is still illiterate. Crimes against women such as molestation and rape and  domestic violence have not registered any marked decline. Women and female children still suffer due to a number of  disabilities and lack of proper education. Millions of people living in slums in large cities and downtrodden in rural India do not have proper living accommodation. Unemployment has been on the increase resulting in young people indulging criminal activities. Caste panchayats still rule the villages imposing their own system of justice  to those who dare to breach the so called caste rules.  Exploitation of the poor and marginalzed and atrocities against the downtrodden still make news.

There has been an acute shortage of electric power production and supply throughout the country  forcing the authorities to resort to load shedding that has been affecting the economy and lives of the people. The sharp price rise since the past few months has eroded the purchasing power of the common people. Hoarding and black marketing by unscrupulous traders and merchants have made the lives of the common people miserable.

The strained relationship with India’s neighbours especially Pakistan and the economic and security challenges   from China are matters of grave concern for the Indian republic. Attacks on Indian students and other residents in Australia have created a scare among the prospective Indian youth desiring to immigrate to other countries. The world economic meltdown in the last year and the financial crisis in the Middle East, especially in Dubai have rendered thousands of Indian workers jobless.
There have been questions regarding the need to change the Constitution to meet the modern challenges. Many people have been demanding the introduction of  the Presidential system of government in the place of the Parliamentary system for effective governance. However, it should be born in mind that the Constitution of India that was implemented exactly sixty years ago was drafted with tremendous care and foresight by the eminent constitutionalists and leaders of integrity under the leadership of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. There is an inbuilt mechanism  in the Indian constitution that allows amendments of certain provisions to meet the needs of the time and in fact the Constitution has been more than 100 amendmeents to the Indian Constitution so far.

Those who blame the Constituion of  the Indian Republic for not being in tune with the time should remember that there is nothing wrong with the Constitution of India, but some thing is drastically wrong with implementation of its provisions by all the three wings of the government, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. Let us as a nation have an introspection and accept the fact  that it is not the Constitution of  the Indian Republic that has failed us, but it is we as a nation have failed the Constitution of the Indian Republic.

Though it seems that the list of the problems faced by the Indian Republic is longer than its achievements, it cannot be denied that in a complex society like that of India problems cannot be avoided but could be controlled by adopting policies with a foresight and administration that is efficient. In spite of the monumental challenges that the Indian republic faces, the nation will march forward as it had always done in the past. The world economic and financial crisis had not affected India as much as it did other countries due to certain fundamental strength that the country has inherited.

As the Republic of India completes its sixty years let us resolve to build a new nation in our mind and heart, doing away with the communal, linguistic and casteist and religious prejudices with a renewed faith in Unity in Diversity. Let us not forget the sacrifices of our great freedom fighters and thousands of common people who struggled against the British rule so that we might breathe the air of independence and live as free citizens of this great nation. Let us preserve and build a strong India so that our future generations will remember us with gratitude that we strengthened our shoulders on which they could stand with pride and look at the world with new hope and vision. Long live the Indian Republic.

Dr. Eugene D’Souza, Moodubelle
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Comment on this article

  • Frederick Pinto, Shirva

    Wed, Jan 27 2010

    Thank you for the article from Dr. Eugune D'Souza. It was very interesting to read. Firstly I would have the opportunity to greet the people from India for the 60th Republic Day. Lets Salute our Nation. 26th Jan. 1950 is one of most importent days in Indian history. In this day India became totally republican unit. In India today, it is difficult to tell the difference between politician and criminal, Policeman and journalist, lawyer and judge. Political problems compound this Social and economic crises. In 2002 more then half the politicians winning seats to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly had criminal records and some were awaiting trial for murder. People of Indian origin who visit India after a long period cannot even recognize India now. Vajpayee government was the only goverment is the 60 years of Indian republic which actually did some very efficient work. All other gov. ever pale in comparison.

  • Antony Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney, Australia

    Wed, Jan 27 2010

    An educational article and very appropriate to the occasion! Dr. Eugene D`Souza has done a lot of research and in a nutshell presented the overall picture of India - it`s past 60 years` history and present situation - true and well balanced views. As rightly stated by Dr. Eugene, India has made vast progress in various fields since Independence, though we are still a fair way to go. Just get rid of the corruption and nepotism culture, fundamentalistic and obscurant forces, eliminate terrorism, educate the people, control the population, (it`s easily said than done I suppose!), we will be fine, and then there will be no place like India, the largest democracy on earth, to live in.

  • Lewis JM, Mangalore/Dxb

    Wed, Jan 27 2010

    Happy Republic Day. Its nice to see 60th Republic Day. Nice to ponder upon the great achievements of India and its vibrant economy. Despite plenty of odds, the economy is bubbling with a thurst for business, revenue and growth. HOwever, a few more to be addressed to become a developed Nation:

    1) Higher education must be available for all those who are passionate, dynamic and increasingly competitive, irrespective of their cast, religion or creed.

    2) Opportunity should be completely on merrits and reservations even if applicable, must be based on merrits alone.

    3) Transparent ution of infrastructure projects - based on priority, the need of the hour and should be available within time schedule.

    4) Establishment of Free Zones/Larger Container terminals on the model of Dubai/UAE etc and attract high end electronics, Research Companies int he field of energy, healthcare and industrialisation. Provide 100% repatriation of profits to those companies and strictly to employ certain percentage of Indian workforce for availing certain benefits, to be fully operational on secured terms.

    5) Control prices of essential items.

    6) Ensure education to all and employment to all. Lets use our most skilled work resource to ourselves, rather than sending them out of the country and receive only problems over revenue. Think big, a developed India, Act towards this - first step, elect most responsible, educated and trustworthy dynamic leaders.

    Jai Hind.

  • Sudhir, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    Still after 60 years many will not respect Vande mataram, some will not allow hoist the national flag & some still says religion first then nation. If every religion stay united India would have been top of the developed country in the world.

  • John Pereira, Kulshekar, M'lore/Ghatkopar, Mumbai

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    This article serves as a reminder of the republic 's mottos, particularly those which we have not yet fulfilled. The country is managed by our Parliament's utive members led by the Prime Mininster as a sign of Democaracy as enshrined in our constituition by the founding fathers such as Dr. B. R. Ambedkar ie of the people, by the people and for the people. However, in reality, the scenario is far from healthy due to internal dissensions mainly perpetrated by unethical politics played by our unscrupulous politicians of all hues ie left, right and center. That is why our progress towards prosperity is slow. Our motto is prosperity through Unity in diversity of ethnic groups and religions following democratic principles. Also, our foreign policy is found wanting which also hampers our progress. It was rightly pointed out by Ms. Sonia Gandhi on the occasion of Republic Day, that we should not entertain criminals in the country's parliament and assemblies. In fact, we must take a cue from Pakistan, where it is mandatory that the elected representative must be a graduate. If we have educated representatives without criminal background in our Parliament and legislatures, do we have a chance of being ruled more efficiently helping us to progress towards becoming a developed nation and join the club of big 5 of USA, UK, France, Japan and China and rather than being merely a member of nuclear club. Wish this republic day acts as a reminder.Congrats Eugenbab for reminding us again!


    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    Nice article Hats off to you Eugene. Wish you one and all Happy republic day. Securing the country from problems like Pakistan is more IMPORTANT...Jai Hind.

  • ashfaq, india

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    wish u happy republic day........i love india

  • A.D'Cunha Shenoy, Mangaluru

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    Indian democracy is a vibrant democracy second to none. Corruption and slow moving elephant has hindered progress. When I say progress, I am not talking about money and richness and cars. What I am talking about clean water and sanitation and basic housing for all including the destitutes. Government must invest in this upkeeping. This is the beginning. Over the years, particularly in recent years ,it has become a giant economy for the world by its sheer consumerism. Every nation and every economic entity has eyes popping here just to make money.

    What is lacking in India is patriotism and unity.Indian people have high apetite for permanent migration seeking citizenship of other countries. This is in a way bad for the nation as a whole as brain drain. Our chidren should be better educated to saty in the land and work for Indias progress to help the poor. People of India enjoy the mightiest of freedom which no coutry gives its citizens even the so called developed countries. Indian people are homely second to none in the world. People must work for the betterment of India rather than complaining. As people we make a nation and as a nation we make the people. Need of the hour.we need better politicins, uncorrupt politicians and we need law enforcement to put a lid on corruption at all levels, Jai Hindustan.


    Tue, Jan 26 2010


  • vittal poojary, shankerpura/dubai

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    Wish u happy Republic Day.*** "JAI HIND"***

  • A. Shariff, Bangalore/Dubai

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    wish all happy republic day

  • mohammed, M'LORE

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    Wish u Happy Republic Day

  • Harold Moras, Bombay

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    Wish u Happy Republic Day

  • alok, gwalior

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    Every year on 1st January people make New Year resolutions. In the same way we should make some resolutions dedicated to nation on national festivals. LPG conservation can be a good resolution today. With every cylinder of LPG nation looses 11 dollars about Rs. 500. Government looses Rs. 500 to be paid as a subsidy. Consumer looses Rs. 300 as he can use solar cooker on three hundred sunny days a year which gives energy equal to one cylinder of LPG in Rs. 50 instead of subsidized price of at Rs. 350. Oil companies loose Rs. 300 per cylinder. Environment gets green house gases. So LPG conservation and or maximal replacement of it by solar thermal energy or induction electric cooking is win win situation for all. Almost same is the case with use of kerosene. Will some national leader or personality amongst top 100 will listen to me and will take pledge that he will use 10% less LPG or kerosene this year and ask the fellow citizen for the same in India. Alok, Gwalior. 26 January 2110.

  • Niyaz, Chokkabettu, U.A.E

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    Wish u happy Republic Day.. "JAI HIND"..

  • nazeer, kc nagar

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    wish u happy republic day

  • Nils Herlenius, France / Dubai

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    Wish u all Indians a very happy Republic day

  • GEORGE PAIS, Urwa Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    Future is great to our India, Unless we improve our Governance, Law and order situtaion, emphasis on corporate Farming and reforms in Polictal parties. Efficiency in our Public sector uints are not veryy good, disinvestment in these units is the need of the hour. Shifting of focus from Culture to development is most needed as on today and complition of all pipeline projects which have already facing cost overrun has to be dome on warfooting.

  • Jackson D'Almeida, Tallur

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    Wish you happy Republic Day

  • Dr. Haneef Shabab, Bhatkal

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    United We Survive....Divided We Perish! One Country...One Nation Say with Pride...We are Indians!

  • Roshan, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 26 2010

    To march ahead as superpower, India has to work urgently on civil and criminal justice. Without which no progress can be sustained, nor the benefits will reach the targetted. To utter disgust of common man all political parties are doing only lip service.

  • ashok, hanmakonda

    Mon, Jan 25 2010


  • Ganesh.G.S., M'LORE/Singapore

    Mon, Jan 25 2010

    WISH U HAPPY REPUBLIC DAY..............

  • Max & Jessie Rasquinha, Mangalore/Houston, Tx

    Mon, Jan 25 2010

    What lies ahead for India is the dedication and determination of all the citizens to march together for a brighter future of India. The answer is as simple as that. Constitution is the most important and valuable piece of document that guides each and every citizen to maintain the spirit of democracy added with all the values that surround that precious piece of monumental gift to the evergrowing population of India. Our loyalty towards our leaders, our respect for our community and society, and our love and tolerance to all our citizens regardless of our faith, our color and our culture and also our language should continue to prevail at all times and under all circumstances.

    The world is watching us very keenly because we are an unique nation, a continent of conglomerate diversities that no other nation possesses on this planet. We are watching India thousands of miles away for more than 50 years. We have to work together, help one another and uphold all the teachings of our leaders who have left behind a legacy of dignity and integrity to uphold the freedom of this country called India. Jay Hind.

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