Celebration Of Our Rights
Today is the day which most of the people welcome as that one more day to save them from the chilly winter and give them a respite from braving the cold outside, well at least those north of the equator do. A day when you indulge in a little more sleep, maybe wake up towards the end of the parade, in time to catch the balloons being set off on TV, then go on to have a late brunch, followed by spreading on the couch to see that sudden and improbable air of deshbhakti dawn on each and every one of the telly actors on every entertainment channel.
Though nobody cares to see the parade these days, there are some who go one step ahead. People have started questioning the monotony that surrounds the republic day parade itself including the chaos of the days that lead up to it. And let me say this at the outset, I am not one of those people. I have no problem whatsoever with any traffic horrors that may arise due to the rehearsals, neither do I care about the surprising number of checkpoints practically coming out of the ground all around the city, nor am I concerned about the beggars and hawkers who go missing around this time. And as far as the parade itself is concerned, I see no reason why it shouldn't be the same each year. After all the collective condition of the whole nation has been the same for so many years, why not the parade be same.
Anyway, I guess that's how they are. Elusive. Actually to think of it, they are like the spirit of this day; lovely but meant to go away, far far away once you start to 'grow up'. The spirit here, is that of celebrating the birth of our beloved constitution, the rule book which changed us from being just people to citizens. The book which provides us with fundamentally important things like fundamental rights and duties. And since it is the celebration of these rights, I propose on this day, that we should have a look at them and appreciate their value the proper way, in their right glory.
Let's talk rights first. I am sure you know all of them, still for the sake of stating, you have six fundamental rights. They are,
- Right to equality: It(the constitution) says that the state doesn't discriminate based on caste, colour, sex, creed, background etc. Ahh, but there's just this one thing, you see, if you get caught in any problem or issue, be sure to be ready with some money. Because with money, comes status and with status comes voice and if you don't have money, you probably should reconsider that equality thing.
- Right of freedom: of speech, expression, assembly, residence etc. So by law, you're free to speak and express, not on the net though, you can be jailed for liking and commenting nasty things like this post, or taught a lesson by the mob, or both. You're also free to assemble, but not for peaceful demonstration, I must add. The state doesn't sponsor or appreciate that sort of behaviour.
- Right against exploitation: This is one right that can't be exploited at all. It states that you can't be exploited by forced work, labour or prostitution. Just make sure you are above 18 or something, not poor, and live in states other than Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Assam and some other north-eastern ones.
- Right to freedom of religion: By God, you are free to read the holy book of your choice, follow it's commands, practice your faith and manage it's aspects. Just don't belong to that religion.
- Cultural and educational rights: You can have your cultural independence, you can dress in your traditional attire and eat that special family dish and dance your regional dance and... wait, isn't this more or less covered by other rights already. What a waste. Anyway, you still have the right to education, only that you have to sit on ground with possibly no roof, and spend all those years there only to get no or worse incorrect knowledge.
- Right to constitutional remedies for enforcement of fundamental rights: This is another right, it must be something important since it is included as a fundamental right and not just an extension. It says you can make changes in the constitution to make sure you have your rights, right and proper. Umm...I would say more on this, but you can guess how and when it is going to be used.
So these were the rights. If you are feeling a bit uneasy about what happened to the seventh right, which was right to property, well the government thought it wasn't in people's interest to give them something as volatile as land, so they revoked it. And in case you're wondering why there aren't some of the most basic rights a man should have, like right to food, shelter or healthcare, I'd say you are too old-fashioned to be talking of these things. I mean, France has the right to internet as a part of their fundamental rights. Grow up.
I've talked at length about our rights, it will only be fair to at least mention our duties too. I won't say much or explain them, but you are to, in your own way, analyse how good you are at performing them before crying out for the rights first, like me.
- you should respect the national symbols, including the constitution.
- you should cherish India's heritage.
- you should preserve India's composite culture.
- you should assist in its defense.
- you shall consider yourself responsible for promoting the spirit of common brotherhood.
- you must contribute to protect the environment.
- you should protect the public property.
- you should develop scientific temper.
- you must abjure violence.
- you should strive towards excellence in all spheres of live.
- you shall ensure that your kids get proper opportunity for education.
I think I started on a light note and it all got a little serious towards the end but it's time we get a serious about these things after all.
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P.S: In the morning, I went out to see the balloons after the parade and :O they were there this time. :D