Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Republic Day – Just a Hashtag?

It’s that time of the year again when Rajpath looks as fresh as a new bride and Rashtrapati Bhawan resplendent with the lights of glorious 67 years of a proud republic. India celebrates its 67th Republic Day!

For many, it’s #thattimeoftheyear again, when the tricolour ensemble in their wardrobes sees light of the day; when VIP passes for the parade are more sought after than #OnePlusOne invites; when expensive Silks and Pashminas get ready to be flaunted by Mrs. Who’s Who at VIP pavilions of India Gate; when patriotic songs are remembered to be placed as caller tunes, when the boy on the traffic signal selling flags is finally granted his wish; when Selfie sticks get ready to give a perfect #SelfieWithTricolour & when our social media profiles get buzzing with #ILoveMyIndia!


For few, #ItsAllAboutLovingADayOff!

When I was still in school, my sister who was pursuing her journalism got an interesting assignment. They had to visit Republic Day Parade and informally ask spectators the reasons that drew them to Rajpath – was it patriotism or just a nice way of celebrating a day off? Republic day celebrations at school for me meant composing and reciting poems and speeches, which I couldn’t have done unless I felt it in me. So, I told my sister my predictions of the survey outcome. However, the results were a far cry from my expectations, for most people in general pavilions said they were there for the lovely tableau and flypast! Of Course, they were able to express themselves honestly in the absence of cameras and in the cover of anonymity. Well, this was years before mobile phones and social media were even born! It was a shock for me, the simple school kid, for we celebrated Independence Day, Republic Day, Freedom Fighter Birthdays etc with much enthusiasm in the innocent confines of our school!

Ah! The good old #AgeOfInnocence!

While last year saw us all swelling with pride at India’s #ObamaMoment, this year has been very different. Many words have been added to the common man’s vocabulary - #Intolerance, #Tolerance, #AwardWapsi, #GharWapsi, #Bigotry, #Casteism etc.

I am a common man woman with limited vocabulary, so I only understand one word - #Insensitivity; towards each other, for only then could have people been so selfish to ignore welfare of others for their vested interests. From “Man is a social animal”, the social has been brutally eaten. Mind It! This isn’t something that has happened this year, we have witnessed enough of this before too and I have blogged about few instances of #Shamelessness that irked me (The Guest Who wasn't sparedWake Up, One evening in an auto, Letter to Santa from a Delhi Girl, Love Thy Neighbour, Delhi Nautanki, Musings of an old Dilliwala)   . For starters, insensitivity begins with people ignoring a dead man on Gurgaon Expressway and stopping only to capture his pics for their Facebook shares…#Shameless. Then there are people I have met during my weekend trips to Vrindavan who wouldn’t even care to donate had Section 80G of Income Tax Act not existed. Of course, good Samaritans walk this earth too, but the #SelfishnessAboveEverything still trends.

Meanwhile, the #SelfieWithTriColour witnesses a new high score, as does visitors to India Gate & Central Park.

As I sing this song from my childhood to my little one

I wonder where we are going wrong, for we are the lights that light up the nation.

Big words are for big people. Confused between welfare of state and welfare of their vested interests, they are busy scoring points in the publicity match. Biting more than they can chew and then chewing their words hurriedly like a gum is their past time, which most commoners are too common to make sense of.

For We, The people, it is as simple about #BeingSensitive; The Big people towards us and us towards each other. We are shouting to making ourselves heard amidst noise of their #TugOfWar.

Still waiting to find your voice? Go, take a #SelfieWithTricolour and think about a genuine caption #Straightfromtheheart.



  1. Well made post with #hashtags :)
    Republic day greetings to you!

  2. Happy republic day Shaivi. I hope it becomes more than a hashtag in the near future!


Its great to share. Would love to have your valuable comments on my blog...:)