Happy Republic Day to All!
by Elizabeth Menon

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Happy Republic Day to All!

India became a Republic Nation on the 26 January 1950 and there are big celebrations all over India and around the globe where the Indians reside. As India celebrates the 65th Republic Day on 26 January 2014, Indians all around the world join in the celebration, feeling proud of their heritage. One hopes for a better world, where women and children are safe on our streets and in our homes. A happy and prosperous world and above all, a peaceful world, where everyone is treated equally, irrespective of their colour, creed, culture, or social standing in life should be our aim!

The honours list for those who have done good for the country is announced, but when one sees certain names in the 'Honours list' while the more worthy are ignored, one wonders about the criteria and the credibility of these awards! But the general public would know who is worthy, and one must remember here that the names are chosen from the list that is given to the authorities, and many of the worthy people have not found their place in that list, which may have been influenced by political or communal interests! I feel that Yesudas, the one who does not need any introduction anywhere in India or around the globe, should have been given the 'Bharat Ratna' this year! Rishiraj Sing IPS, the Transport Commissioner of Police who has saved many lives on our streets and transformed the whole concept of safety on our roads should have been at the top of the list, and of course, Sreekumaran Thampi, the veteran Lyricist, Poet and film director; Yousafali Kecheri, the veteran Poet, Lyricist and film Director; Panmana Ramachandran Nair, writer, scholar and orator, and Dr D Babu Paul IAS, the great orator and author of many award winning books, including the first Bible Dictionary in Malayalam that has 600,000 words, 'Veda Shabda Ratnakaram', probably the only one of its kind in the world, which won him many awards and an Honorary Doctorate from St. Efraim University in Damascus!

We have launched Satellites, Mangalyan being the latest, and we have gained recognition in IT, different industrial and agricultural fields, and in education. A celebration of this magnitude should be looked on as an occasion to open our eyes to what is happening around the world, the fighting among nations, terrorism that is devastating the life of many innocent people and the natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides and flooding. And one must increase the awareness of things which could be avoided!

But our women and children are not safe even after becoming a Republic for 65 years, as they are gang-raped in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kerala and all around the country, and there are people below the poverty line! As we celebrate the 65th Republic day, we should also think of the young girl who was brutally gang-raped and killed in Delhi, the 12 year old girl, who was gang-raped and burned to death in Kolkata, the young girl who was gang-raped in Hyderabad, the girl from Surianalle who was gang-raped 18 years ago and still waiting for justice, and all those other women and children who lost their lives in similar circumstances, either in their homes or in public transport! One hopes that these criminals are given the just punishment fitting the brutal crime. The punishment must be so severe that men like them should never do a brutal act like this again or treat women and children like sex objects -- surgical castration followed by death by hanging! Men who visit brothels and those who use escort services must look into their soul and realise that they too have sisters, friends, mothers, daughters or wives who could be in the same predicament at any time!

I think our priorities must change and celebrating our achievements should take a second place! It is important to celebrate the Republic Day, but we should also question whether we are doing enough to increase the awareness among our children from a young age, to show respect towards fellow beings, to love and protect the vulnerable -- the women and children, both boys and girls and the elderly in our society! We must also make changes to end corruption and to bring up a generation, who believe in obeying the rules of our country for the betterment of our Nation!
Happy Republic Day to All!

© E Menon



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