Yesterday we celebrated our Republic Day. This festival reminds me of my childhood; as if it happened today only.
Celebrating this day was a gala moment for me. Every year on 26th of January I used to get ready early in the morning to join the celebrations at my father’s branch. He was the Branch Manager then and used to hoist the flag. After the flag hoisting, we would have sung the National Anthem and get sweets and chocolates.
My family has been a family of patriots. Discipline and respect for National Flag and Anthem have been taught to me at home first, much before I joined the school. My parents even told me that the national anthem should be sung in an attention posture; whenever I hear the anthem or its tune I should stand up in its respect. The anthem should be played within 52-55 seconds.
I grew up and joined the school. Celebrating national festivals at school was different from that at my father’s office. We used to practice drill for months. On the day, we would have a special guest in the school. We used to present some special programme like recitation, sports, play, debate etc. And the chief guests would have distributed prizes.
My grandfather was a Military Doctor. He was Captain in the Second World War and later served Indian Army. Well disciplined and very high in national spirit. Later after his retirement, he became a spiritual devotee; yet, his patriotism was worth appreciation. Wearing only ‘Khadi’, offering sweets to God on Independence Day and Republic Day; and all respect for the Nation. Many of the good things and few disciplines I follow, I have learnt from my elders.
Gradually that charm of celebrating national festivals has started weakening. For many of us, it is just another holiday when they can sleep a little extra; or an extended holiday to visit nearby places. Of late I have started believing that watching Republic Day Parade doesn’t make anyone more patriot than he is. The feeling should come from within. To live for your country and to die for it. And to participate in the programme of nation building.