Kudos to ‘Imphal Free Press’ for the brilliant editorial “The Republic”(28 January).
It is simply barbaric that when as many as 75 percent of our own brothers and sisters have to subsist on less than Rs.20 per day, innumerable vulnerable children have to toil as child labourers, poor mothers are left with no option but to sell off their own children for existence, millions die like cats and dogs on the streets bereft of food and medicine; India tries to show off its “modernity”, “progress” and “power” by vulgar display of its “might” in the form of arsenals and tanks on the Republic Day. And the creamy layer, which neither has money nor time for the have-nots, immerses in “patriotism” in front of the TV set with steaming coffee and snacks!
When will the State and the “enlightened” citizens learn to appreciate the simple fact that not sophisticated weapons, sensex or the tricolour; but common people of the country is the real India and no republic can pat its own back by draining a mammoth sum on muscle-flexing( ie the parade) when majority of its citizens do not know from where and when his/her next meal will arrive.
If the authorities and the educated elite are really sincere in respecting Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda, then it should recognise the existence of the downtrodden and accord topmost priority to their welfare. Else India holds no moral right to call Gandhi as the ‘Father of the Nation’ or celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Vivekananda with much fan-fare.
D-2/403 Peerless Nagar, Kolkata-114.