**Bhubaneswar: ** As the citizens of India, we need to celebrate with great fervor the day we were bestowed with our own Constitution completing the country’s transition from not only being democratic, but also a robust republic.
On the glorious occasion of 68th Republic Day celebrations, OMMCOM NEWS crisscrossed the streets of Odisha’s capital city questioning the proud citizens from various walks of life about the relevance of this great day that mean to them.
Shockingly, most of the so-called ‘elite’ group could not differentiate between Republic Day and Independence Day and many just did not know its relevance. Out of 22 people interviewed, barely a handful (only 6) of the respondents were able to sketch out the relevance of this important day.
Amazingly, a Std-VII student, Rakesh Bisoi, termed it as the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, posing a serious concern regarding the educational status of our country.
Snehlata, a well-adorned housewife knew that it has something to do with the pride and honour of our nation, but is unable to say the relevance of this occasion. Another lady from this elite group was mum on this question.
Students like Mita and Archana Panda were a step ahead when one said ‘we got independence on that day’ and other was totally silent on this topic. Another student, Sonali Jena in her bizarre reply said that it is a day for celebrations by the public as they celebrate it every year.
People like businessman Md Shakeel connote Republic Day with celebrations and parade, having no other relevance.
According to D.K Payal, a fashion designer, our country got independence on that day. Others who echoed the same answers were Nabkishore Nayak, a student, and Manini Nayak, a housewife.
Archana Bhoi and Rosy Patra, both preparing for the 10th Boards, had to delve into their mobile phones and Google search for the answers when asked about the reason behind the R-Day celebrations. Moreover, Rosy speaks of Poorna Swarj in 1930, not about the Constitution after her long search on internet.
Many like Suramani Singh, a banking official, has at least the knowledge that the Constitution came into force this day, but nothing more than that. She was ready to speak on demonetisation at length.
A few people in the city saved the day with its due credit when they got the answers correct.
Md Wasim Khan, businessman got it right when asked about the importance of this day. His voice was echoed by Subhendu Priyabarta, a student and Amiya Ranjan, a banking aspirant. A software engineer of Tech Mahindra, Renubala Parida knows that our Constitution came into force that day, but is ignorant of the year. She voices that it came into force the following year of Independence.
Akash Kumar, a student and Swarup, manager of Paris Bakery knows what R-Day is all about and feel proud of being a citizen of the Republic of India. Self proclaimed follower of freedom fighters, Brahmanand Acharya of Ganjam seem to mix up all national movements in history for this day.
Smart people of the smart city have a long way to go to prove their smartness in nationalism. And the main question still eludes most of us,
Who is to blame for this pathetic condition of our people? Will just standing up during our national anthem be enough to portray our feelings towards our nation or it is something more than that?