As India celebrates its 73rd Republic day this year, it marks more than seventy decades of the enforcement of India’s constitution. How are we as a Republic functioning? Are we citizens exercising our power or are we forming ourselves into a ‘cult of sycophants’? Read to find out more.
India celebrates her 73rd Republic Day this year. Overcoming all the challenges and obstacles coming on her way, India has completed more than seventy decades of being a Republic. But, what does being a Republic mean? It refers to the country where it is the citizens who hold supreme power and choose the elected representatives.
As stated in the Preamble, it is “We, the people of India” that holds immense power and signifies the essence of India as a Democratic Republic. However, in recent times, the term Republic can be seen challenged and diluted by ‘sycophancy’. So, what does sycophancy mean?
The Cambridge dictionary defines it as the “behaviour in which someone praises powerful or rich people in a way that is not sincere, usually in order to get some advantage from them”.
Back in 1974, the Congress leader from Assam, Dev Kant Barooah told the country,
Indira tere subah ki jai, Indira tere sham ki jai, Indira tere kaam ki jai, Indira tere naam ki jai, Indira is India, India is Indira”.
This sounds poetic indeed, but isn’t it too much? While Tamil Nadu leader Jayalalithaa’s arrest in 2014 led to the largest number of suicides. Besides, several other ‘followers’ depilated their heads. This is undoubtedly a pathetic level of sycophancy! On the other hand, the era of BJP is also not lagging behind in this race of rising sycophants in the political ground of the country. In 2018, Maharashtra’s BJP spokesperson Avadhut Wagh tweeted, “Hon PM Narendra Modiji is the 11th Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Yada Yada hi Dharmasya”.
— Avadhut Wagh ????? ??? (@Avadhutwaghbjp) October 12, 2018
This reminds me of what Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar said,
Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship.”
It rightly reflects the current political state of India. There is nothing wrong in admiring a political leader, but extreme admiration leading to sycophancy and idolization is detrimental to the nation.
The rise of “Bhakts” in the era of BJP has ushered a new generation of sycophants in India. Moreover, this rise of “cult” associated with any political leader or party is disastrous. It makes one become unseeing of the faults of the leader or the party. One should question oneself: Is it the responsibility of citizens to hold the government accountable or to defend them at all times like minions?
It is indeed essential to question our idolatry of political leaders. We, the people of India, elected our representatives to run the country in order to fulfil our needs and desires. Any action taken by the government for its citizens can either be their duty if it is beneficial to all the citizens or dereliction of duty if it harms the citizens. But, whatever a government or the elected representatives do can never be a “favour” or “blessing” for us to ‘worship’ them in a way that makes us unsee their wrongs.
As we celebrate this day when the Constitution of India was enforced, let us remember the words with which the Preamble begins: “We, the people of India”.
Featured Image Credits: Kaypius