Know Your Rights


By Priyanjali Dutta, 11 years 


Ask any one what August 15 stands for and you will get a prompt reply - "It's our Independence Day." But not all of us know the significance of January 26 or why we celebrate Republic Day with such great pomp. A quiz held in our class a few weeks back proved this point. When asked what Republic Day signified, none of us could give a clear answer. Frankly, I was a little disappointed. Imagine celebrating an occasion without knowing what it is meant for!

Republic Day, as I found out after reading a few books, defines India as a country. We elect our political leaders, all of us have equal rights and we enjoy a great degree of freedom in our daily lives. Our rights and freedoms as citizens and the way our country is, is celebrated on Republic Day.

India became independent on August 15, 1947. But just independence wasn't enough to be free. The country had to function in a certain way, adopt ways of living for itself and its people and take a stand. This was outlined by the Constitution of India in 1950. It made us a democracy where the ultimate power lies with the people. It established that we have a free government and an elected head of state. We became a country which believed in the freedom, equality and welfare of all its citizens and which gave us religious freedom, a rare quality in constitutions.

We celebrate our rights and freedoms on Republic Day. We also celebrate the fact that India is not just another free country.

India still has to accomplish a lot of what is laid down in our constitution. Many people still face discrimination because of their caste, gender and other reasons. Many people still live amidst much hardship. But every Republic Day we celebrate the steps we take towards our goals as a country.

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