The hues of patriotism

The hues of patriotism

The hues of patriotism

As another Republic Day arrives, the City is getting ready to partake the celebrations. The patriotic mood has set in even  as the citizens unfurl their memories and express their vision for a better future.

 India has grown technologically and industrially but even now, there are many other things that need great attention. Arun Prasad, a researcher historian, says that the country stands high on many aspects globally.

“We get to know about anything that happens in any corner of the world, almost immediately. Be it the launch of satellites or the emergence of industries and rapid developments in terms of transportation, we stand tall in all aspects. This is a good sign.”

But there is concern in his voice when he talks of the rapid urbanisation of the country. “There is change without any sense of inclusive developmental growth. History and heritage shouldn’t be ignored.” He adds that there needs to be a strict policy for preserving heritage sites. “Monuments or parks, there are so many places in Bengaluru that we are losing out on. These have been there for hundreds of years, but are now disappearing. Along with developmental policies, heritage policies also need to be in place.”

Like many, Arun points out that there is a growth of educational opportunities in the country, but not much stress on value-based education. Pollution is another matter of concern for all. “We are already paying for water and soon, people will need to worry about paying for clean air,”  he says.

Perumal Venkatesan, who is a creative entrepreneur and a photographer, says that democratisation should happen across all walks of life. “The bridging of the classes, be it between the rich and the poor or among castes, is of utmost importance.” 

He also points out that across Europe and the West, people are proud to be a part of government schools, but here, they have a long way to go. “The literacy rate has increased a lot, but education is still not open to everyone. The facilities in government schools are still not up to the standards of private ones.” In addition, Perumal has seen the interest in art and heritage grow rapidly. “We see people stepping out for the cause of saving lakes or even creative things. People don’t hesitate to speak out. In a city like Bengaluru, people feel free to talk about any topic, which is the stepping stone of growth,” he says.

From march pasts to sweets being distributed at schools, youngsters like Allan Roy, a BCom student from St Joseph’s College, recollect that everything about the day brings in a sense of nationalism.

“We used to be excited about the tri-colour decorations and the flag-hoisting at school as kids. Though we didn’t know the importance of the day then, I now realise the importance of it.” Allan adds that the day reminds him of clean white uniforms, quizzes and other cultural competitions. Apparna, a law student from The Oxford College of Law,  adds, “My dad is an Army officer and on every Republic Day we watch the parade as a family. This invoked a sense of patriotism in me.”

“However, I strongly believe that some of our laws need to be amended. There needs to be more support and representation of women in the Constitution. Some of the rules have to be changed according to the times.”

Others say that there has been a lot of progress since the country became a Republic. “We have come a long way from then,” says Lakshmi Rao, principal, National Public School, Koramangala.

“There are women in all walks of life now. But people need to understand the need for elementary things like proper garbage disposal systems and protecting the environment. If there is a depletion of natural resources, one will not have anything to pass on to the next generation,”  she adds.