Arts & Culture

A Republic is Yet to be Born?

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India is slowly inching its way into making its mark on the global and anarchical realm of international politics. But in the hustle, bustle, and glamour, has the Republic of India lost touch with what makes it a Republic?

A Republic is typically defined as a nation wherein the people are the key stakeholders in the governance of the
country; a nation where the citizens are empowered to rule themselves by choosing their elected representatives,
legitimised by the Constitution. It was on the establishment of the longest written Constitution of the world, the
first Republic Day was celebrated on 26th January 1950.

Talking about how much context matters, the Constitution of India is ever growing and ever evolving, despite being one of the most rigid and absolute texts to have come into acceptance. The authors of this book entailed in its pages, modern concepts that are still relevant to this day. This statement, thus, begs the question: Even after 69 years of India being a Republic, has the current political scenario backtracked the sovereign, and reduced it to mere power politics?

Sovereign state boundaries exist for a reason. It is the demarcation and the geographic separation of land that makes a country a nation-state. But the true meaning of a nation-state, seems to have been lost on the citizens of this country, who have forgotten what their duties and responsibilities are. Its essence is adrift on our political leaders,
who are bound to be the representatives of the grassroots, but in status quo, are sadly only illustrative of the few who
dominate the wealth and the banks.

The protection of the sovereignty and dignity has been one of the top most priorities, coming out of shackles of colonialism. Yet there is still a Kashmir in India, supposedly housing the fantasy of a heaven on Earth, where the honourability of each citizen is questioned everyday due to political games and disputes. Yet, there is still a North-East in India, where voices seem to never be heard.

To say that the State has failed its citizens, is a convenient scapegoat that can be applied to any prevalent
government in power. To say that the citizens have not been wise in choosing their representatives, is also essentially
conveying the same sentiment of shrugging off the blame. Alas, what choice are the people left with, when None
Of The Above (NOTA) has no legitimate effect in the political structure. In our electoral system, NOTA has no electoral value. Even if the situation emerges where NOTA gets more votes than any candidate in the elections, the candidate who has secured the highest number of votes after NOTA will still hold office. This expression of rejection through casting your vote guarantees no accountability,since it does not constitute a re-election or change in candidacy. The very fact that NOTA is emblematic is the dreadful reason why it cannot be successful in an illiterate and puerile democracy like ours, where charisma and ascendancy are given more significance than one’s ability to introduce and implement affirmative policies.Is India, truly a Republic? A Republic where the voters are robbed of the right to express their dissent? Are the citizens then, really empowered to choose?
Our democracy is scattered, lacking structure and the focus that is vital to rebuild this great nation’s glory.
Maybe the need of the hour, is the introduction of a Machiavellian Prince in status quo, a strong individual who cannot be reckoned with, to get us back into track. To a time when we were not broken, were not colonised. To a time when there was supposed peace. I wonder when that time will come. I wonder, when sisterhood among differences will prevail. I wonder.

Bhavya Banerjee

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