Today marks India’s 70th Republic Day – with India’s Constitution coming into force on January 26, 1950, completing our country’s formal transition into becoming an Independent Republic. Most of us, as Indian citizens and community members, take our freedom and privileges, respectively, for granted. Perhaps we could take some time to reflect on this, as we celebrate Republic Day. Our Constitution sets the framework for our Fundamental Rights, applicable to all Indians – irrespective of race, religion, caste, economic status or gender. As citizens of a free India, we ensure our Fundamental Rights are not undermined/abused, yet that fervour ebbs considerably when it comes to delivering our Fundamental Duties.
As a community, we’ve reduced the privilege of freedom into the mediocrity of entitlement. Our valiant ancestors fought repeatedly for freedom – first, as Persians who had to escape religious persecution to retain basic freedom to live and practice our glorious Zoroastrian religion; and then, as Indians who warded off the British to live with freedom and dignity as citizens of an independent, democratic nation. And after all that – is this what it all boils down to? …A country in political/communal turmoil, and a disunited community led by a fractured Board of elected leaders who don’t think twice before publicizing their hostilities on social media and worse, national dailies, bringing greater disunity and disrepute to the Community. Surely, we can do better than that. Let’s not take freedom for granted by mistaking privilege for entitlement. And let’s hope that peace and unity returns to our Community soon.
On a lighter note, and in keeping with the massive public demand, our readers will be thrilled to know, that we have the brand ambassador of humour, Cyrus Broacha, back in this issue, with his monthly column and avatar of ‘Cyrus The (Not-So) Great’ [Pg. 18].
Have a happy weekend and a Happy Republic Day! Jai Hind!