The Indian constitution opens with the words that India is a democratic and a republic nation. After independence, the Indian leaders got together and figured out what the core of the Indian legal structures should be. As a result, the Indian Constitution was put into effect on 26th of January’1950.
India now had a political and moral identity that it could truly call it’s own. And from there on, our country became known to the world as the republic of India.
I would like to state what Dr Rajendra Prasad said on 26th of January’ 1950—
“Today for the first time in our long and chequered history, we find the whole of this vast land brought together under the jurisdiction of one constitution and one union which takes over responsibility for the welfare of more than 320 million men and women who inhabit it.”
‘Republic’ is a Roman word. A republic state is one in which the power rests in the hands of the citizens. If we talk about the United States of America, its constitution does not contain the word Democracy but they do have the word republic there. Whereas the UK is a democracy but not a republic, because the executive powers flow from a monarch.
In this world though, the republics are not that easy to keep because we are naturally attracted towards a heroic savior who is thought to sort out our problems with his great genius.
But what about India? It is obvious that we are a democracy, because our leaders are chosen by voters. But are we a republic? Does the real power rest with the citizens of India? Some people say that India is not completely republic. The people here have to succumb to the atrocities of the political leaders who are in need of mere greed of money and power.
The interest of the state and its organs is put above the interest of India’s people. But there surely is a background to this.
Nehru inherited an aggressively expansionist imperial state with tentative borders. Its relationship with the citizen focused on taxation, law and order. This continued after 1947. The exploitation of the weak and the oppressed face in the private sector is no more hidden from the Indian population.
When I talk about it, I am also including the women of the low income groups, who start getting tortured from the very first step they take towards earning.
But at the same time, I also feel that all rights activists need not be right all the time. It is because many of the land owners are land grabbers who never had title deeds in their name. Many received the land without title deeds as a promise for vote.
‘Republic’ does not mean chaos hate mongering or leftist governments. Hence police’s response to any unethical democratic demand cannot be considered a state overreach. We have arrived at such a situation in this country that being patriotic and reasonable are now treated as transgression of rights.
The people need to understand that the rights and responsibilities go hand in hand. One cannot exclusively enjoy the rights alone without taking the responsibilities of any one of them. Hence at last I will say, if someone denies the fact of India being a fully republic nation, its citizens have played an equal role in making so.