Celebrating the Republic of a Nation!!!

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Agantrope, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,247
    Likes Received:
    68
    This thread is dedicated to the Republic Day celebration and News for the Year 2010. :india:
    :dfi-1:

    Also the pics on rehearsal and the Parade can be posted here. All are invited for participation
     
  2.  
  3. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,247
    Likes Received:
    68
    The Wonder that is India

    Earlier this month, a body called Reputation Institute published a poll of how some countries perceived themselves in terms of “overall respect,


    Twitter Facebook Share
    Email Print Save Comment
    trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings”, and how these countries were in turn viewed by others. Predictably, the perception gap was the least for countries such as Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Japan and even UK. In the case of India, it was as high as 32 points, around the same as the US.

    It was reassuring that 82 per cent of Indians are basking in self-esteem—the corresponding figures were 79 per cent for China, 77 per cent for the US and a measly 57 per cent for Japan. In 1997, a poll had suggested that some 60 per cent of Indians thought they were better off under British rule.

    Opinion polls are never conclusive but the Reputation Institute exercise does point to a phenomenon that has often been corroborated by anecdotal evidence: Indians feel that the 21st century is theirs.

    The headiness that marks 60 years of the Indian Republic is a departure from the gloomy pessimism of earlier decades. Amid this high, it’s easy to forget that not very long ago the haunting face of a hungry Indian child was used to guilt-trip the West into parting with loose change. My parents used to talk about the unspeakable horrors of the 1943 Bengal famine; I recall the grim shortages that marked the mid-1960s; my son, a product of the market economy, takes material comforts for granted.

    Nationalist history has stressed the starry-eyed idealism of an India that heard Jawaharlal Nehru making a “tryst with destiny” and witnessed Rajendra Prasad sign the Constitution 60 years ago. But that was half the story. India was intoxicated by the sweet air of freedom after centuries of servitude but its exuberance wasn’t universally shared.

    On the far-Right of this ‘perception gap’ stood Winston Churchill who viewed Indian independence as the betrayal of a sacred trust. Using Gibbon’s imagery, he even prepared a speech prophesying that “to India it may well be the age of Antonines”; he never delivered it. Still, he fell back on the horrors of Partition to lament “one of the most melancholy tragedies Asia has ever known”—the end of Empire.

    On the far-Left of the brigade of sceptics stood the Communists, determined to turn human tragedy into political advantage. After a Moscow-dictated shift in the party line saw the elevation of B.T. Ranadive as general secretary, the Comrades took to the streets chanting ‘ye azadi jhooti hai’. The insurrection against a ‘spurious’ independence saw grotesque acts of political adventurism: an ultra-Left group stormed the Jessop factory in Calcutta and threw an European manager into the boiler. Mercifully, this delinquency ended in 1951.

    Nor was India alone affected by the turbulence; the neighbourhood proved equally volatile. In Pakistan, the murder of Liaquat Ali Khan in 1951 triggered a wave of sectarian discord, regional tensions and political instability and paved the way for a military coup in 1958. In Burma, soldiers barged into Parliament in July 1947 and gunned down Aung San, the leader of the nationalist movement, and six of his ministers. The tragedy paralysed democracy and eventually led to General Ne Win’s eccentric socialism. Only Ceylon, ironically the only country that never had a mass-based nationalist movement, proved an island of democratic stability — at least till 1956 when Sinhala nationalism brought in ethnic complications, frequent changes of Constitution and, finally, a deeply damaging 25-year civil war.

    In hindsight, India seems to have come out of decolonisation least damaged. A commitment to bad ideology meant it had to wait till 1991 for sensible economics to prevail and entrepreneurial opportunities to return. Yet, for 60 years the political edifice created by the founding fathers of the Republic held — barring an 18-month aberration during the Emergency. India conducted 15 democratic elections and witnessed peaceful transitions of government. The military remained outside politics, the judiciary stayed independent and civil liberties were preserved and even extended. There were bouts of political turbulence and civil unrest but these didn’t jeopardise the Constitution.

    This awesome 60-year record must seem inexplicable to those who tore their hair for 30 years trying to work out viable and acceptable institutions of self-government for India. Constitution-making for India didn’t begin in 1947; its origins go back to the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms of 1919. Thereafter, it went through a bumpy and treacherous ride — the Simon Commission Report, the three Round Table conferences, the Cripps Mission and the Cabinet Mission — which left many convinced that independent India would be violently ungovernable. But these abstruse and fractious exercises actually helped clear up the clutter for the inheritors of the Raj.

    Prior to 1947, there were four major concerns. First, would India be governed by an overriding Centre or be a loose federation, a United States of India? Second, how would religious minorities be given a stake in the new dispensation? Third, how would the internal differentiations within Hindus be tackled to prevent, as many feared, Brahmin domination? Finally, how would democracy square with mass poverty and
    illiteracy?

    Partition resolved the seemingly intractable strong-Centre versus federal debate. The biggest votaries of a weak Centre walked away into Pakistan. Partition also ensured that the role of minorities wouldn’t become an instrument of permanent political blackmail. India’s multi-religious character could be preserved within the parameters of a liberal Constitution that followed the spirit of the Queen’s Proclamation to not override faith and custom. The only difference was that while the British after 1858 tried to steer clear of all Indian social customs, free India confined its prohibitions to minority sensitivities. As for iniquities within Hindu
    communities, the Poona Pact of 1932 was carried over and extended to affirmative action in government employment. Mandal took it a step further. The formation of linguistic states cemented another possible area of discord. Today, however, there is a danger of some ghosts from the past reappearing.

    The final issue was the evolution of political consciousness and the creation of a democratic culture. This proved a long time coming but the process was helped by the remarkable political self-assurance of the Congress Party. Till 1967, the party leadership didn’t have adequate incentives to attempt a derailment of democracy. Only Indira Gandhi had other ideas. Fortunately, the brief Emergency interlude ended up making Indians fanatically committed to the system. After 1977 India imposed a moratorium on quick-fix, radicalism. Demands for a “committed” bureaucracy and judiciary and a presidential system have become politically unacceptable.

    Yet, India’s success with democracy wouldn’t have happened without the presence of a middle class that had imbibed a measure of European Enlightenment and combined it with patriotic selflessness. It was the relative irrelevance of this class in Pakistan that gave feudal landlords and soldiers the upper hand in that country. Lord Macaulay may be a swear word for those untainted by cosmopolitanism but contemporary India has reason to appreciate the prescience of his 1835 mission statement: “Come what may, self-knowledge will lead to self-rule.”

    India’s thriving Republic is an Indian achievement but it’s also an outcome of inheritance.

    The Wonder that is India - India - The Times of India
     
  4. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,247
    Likes Received:
    68
    Soaring at 60: Presidents & Precedents

    During the Republic’s 60 years, we have had 12 elected Presidents apart from some officiating arrangements. They have all been distinguished

    The bonhomie that soured: Rajiv Gandhi greets Zail Singh on the latter becoming the 7th President, in 1982.

    ‘First Citizens’. Comparisons will be odious. However, as we go down memory lane, some highlights strike as worthy of recapitulation.

    India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, it is believed, preferred C Rajagopalachari as the first President while Sardar Patel and others in the Congress supported Dr Rajendra Prasad. Nehru wrote to Prasad advising him not to contest election for President and let Rajagopalachari occupy the position. He also wrote to Patel asking him not to support Prasad. There was no response from either. Rajagopalachari had to stand out. Once a decision was taken at the party level, Nehru supported Prasad, the Congress candidate.

    Nehru and Prasad had an uneasy relationship. As President, Prasad often acted as a reality check on Nehru’s policies. When Nehru wanted to introduce the Hindu Code Bill, President Prasad wrote to him that a Bill, which sought to affect the life and culture of the people should not be brought before the provisional Parliament and Nehru should wait till after the first general election. The Bill was, however, brought before the provisional Parliament twice — fiercely opposed both times. Nehru finally accepted the President’s advice and did not proceed with the Bill.

    As his term neared its end, Prasad expressed his desire to continue for a second term. Nehru wanted Dr S Radhakrishnan, the Vice President, to be elevated to the position. But as the equation in the party and in Parliament became clear, Nehru did not go beyond expressing his quiet preference. To assuage Radhakrishnan’s feelings, Nehru made a significant gesture at the cost of his own position. He ordered a change in the warrant of precedence, putting the Vice-President as No. 2, next to the President and making the PM the No. 3 in the Republic’s pecking order.

    To pre-empt the possibility of Prasad getting a third term, Nehru brought a private member’s Constitution amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha on August 18, 1961, seeking to restrict President’s tenure to maximum two terms. Prasad got the message and didn’t seek another term. Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan was elected India’s second President.

    In Radhakrishnan, Nehru saw a philosopher statesman. The two met often and there was as much philosophy discussed as were matters political and of state. However, to believe some versions, the honeymoon didn’t last long. Radhakrishnan did not hesitate in criticizing government policies.

    According to Major C L Dutta, former security officer at Rashtrapati Bhavan, relations between President and PM became strained as Radhakrishnan began to express freely “his personal views on political issues and privately sought support for them”. The most significant area of disagreement was Nehru’s China policy. According to Dutta, following the massive Chinese aggression, Radhakrishnan and Congress president K Kamaraj in August 1963 worked out a ‘formula’ for Nehru’s retirement.

    Dutta records, “The Congress Working Committee met to discuss the Kamaraj plan at PM’s house. The meeting lasted far into the night. Meanwhile at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President paced up and down waiting for the committee’s decision. When it finally arrived, it was a setback to the President. The Kamaraj axe had bounced. Nehru had seen through the game. He had used the proposals to purge his cabinet of those whom he suspected of wanting to step into his shoes.”

    Dr Zakir Hussain, who succeeded Radhakrishnan, was an eminent Gandhian educationist. As vice-president, he had conducted himself with dignity. Unfortunately, he couldn’t complete his term and passed away on May 3, 1969 after a sudden heart attack.

    ‘Goonda’ Giri

    The presidential election of 1969 was held in the backdrop of upheaval within the Congress following finance minister Morarji Desai’s exit from the Cabinet over bank nationalization. The official Congress candidate, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, was defeated with PM Indira Gandhi supporting an independent, V V Giri, who won. Giri had been a labour leader. He had resigned from the Union cabinet over differences on bank employees’ demands. Giri was a down-to-earth politician. As UP governor, he told an assembly member Raj Narain, who was creating a ruckus during his speech, “If you think you are a goonda, you must know I am a bigger goonda. I will not wait for the marshal to throw you out.”

    It was during Giri’s tenure that Mrs Gandhi, in 1971, advised dissolution of Lok Sabha, calling for fresh elections. The President reportedly asked Mrs Gandhi if the ministers’ council had discussed the matter, implying that under the Constitution, it was the council of ministers’ advice that was to be respected by the President. Mrs Gandhi convened a Cabinet meeting and its recommendation was put up to the President. Even then, Giri did not immediately sign the proclamation. When the dissolution did come, the gazette notification made two points — that it was done “on the advice of council of ministers” and “after careful consideration”. It was a clear assertion of President’s powers.

    On August 17, 1974, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was elected the next President. He had been Union cabinet minister for many years holding charge of various portfolios including irrigation and power, food and agriculture, education etc.

    Shortly after dawn on June 26, 1975, a proclamation under Article 352 was issued by President Ahmed declaring that a “grave emergency exists whereby the security of India is threatened by internal disturbance”. Mass arrests followed. “Extremist” organizations were banned and strict press censorship imposed. Ahmed also issued an order on June 27, 1975, forbidding detainees from invoking their constitutional rights. Ahmed is often criticized for having accepted Indira Gandhi’s advice to declare Emergency without requiring the council of ministers to first consider the matter. On Ahmed’s sudden death in office on February 11, 1977, N Sanjiva Reddy, a Union cabinet minister in the 1960s and twice Lok Sabha Speaker, was declared President. He was a consensus candidate — the first time that election to the highest office went uncontested.

    Link
     
  5. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4,434
    Likes Received:
    1,719
    Location:
    Land of the GODS - "Dev Bhomi".
    A very happy Republic day!

    A very Happy Republic Day to all!

    -----------------


    I wrote and posted this article to commemorate the 60th republic day on another forum and paaji wanted me to share this article here as well. This is the story of India as I have seen it for the last three decades of my life that I have lived.

    Having lived three decades of my life and in the process see India transform from a story of regular despair on regular basis to one of success and one filled with the confidence of better future has been an incredible story which saw India touch the lowest of the lows to some good highs reached, one that fills my heart with pride of what a truly amazing country I have had the honour to be a citizen of.

    I don’t recall the initial days of my life, so I start with the 83 world cup, India went into this cup “the prudential world cup” without any hope to make it to the semis let alone the finals, and here came a knock from kapil dev out of no where to then score the highest ever ODI score to go on to win that match against Zimbabwe which looked impossible at one time and with that the momentum built up and what a momentum it was. India became the only second country to have lifted the world cup and that too after having beaten the beasts and the best in the business, the west indies, who then were a terror, even the aussies who have had a very fine run look nothing in front of the beasts of clive lloyd.

    Tragedy struck the nation soon, Mrs Gandhi was no more, people were in tears all over, a hope for today and future had been lost, for then Indian democracy was more about individuals, than the democratic system as a whole, the iron lady was no more. Emotions ran high, and soon the riots followed, with close to 3,000 sikhs slaughtered, India had seen a face of terror unlike before, but to most of us the news of dange hardly ever reached and when the uprising took place soon in Punjab, one would wonder what had gone wrong with the Sikhs who were such passionate Indians. Thankfully with in a span of decade and a half Sikhs came back to main stream and I could now cross chandigarh to go to delhi without any sense of fear.

    As all this was happening, rajiv Gandhi became the pm, and with him came lots of hope for he was young, and passionate and talked about making India a power in science, but as was the politics of those days and the individual that rajiv was (both just high on rhetoric than substance), he was a man of too many words with very little to show on ground and soon despair took centre stage with now the aam admi having very little hope as had been the case so many times in the past and then came the bofors scandal which did in rajiv in the next elections with some very angry electorate.

    Soon the vp singh government took to the centre, a first non congress government was formed, and as had happened so many times in the past with high hopes the end result was only of despair, and then India saw the ugly face of quota when mandal commission report started getting implemented, and the nation was full of violent agitations and curse for vp singh who eventually went on to die quite a painful and an isolated death but he had by then done a great disservice to the nation, and we had been exposed to the ugly face of quota, so from now on merit was not all that important for a limited privileged few.

    Above was the first decade of my life as I saw, one I would like to call a decade of false promises, and hopes.

    For the first time congress was without someone from the Gandhi clan heading it, for by then rajiv was no more and sonia was not keen on taking to politics or letting her kids be exposed to something that had killed two of her family members, with that a non Gandhi from the congress became a pm, Mr pv narasimha rao, one of the most learned pm India has come to know.

    Soon India was heading to be a bankrupt nation and what a shame it was then, the sense of despair continued and a terrible one at that. They say if you have right people at the right time then any thing can be won over, and here were two crises men in pv narasimha rao and manmohan singh and the duo did what could have never ever been imagined in a socialist India. They opened the Indian economy from license raj, it took a disaster for better sense to prevail, and I being one who then opposed that move with my rather little knowledge on the matter saw the hope and reason in this move when my grandfather of the age of 66 then talked out the benefits to me, and that was the day my admiration for my grandfather grew more, which holds till date. The opposition was up in arms alleging that India had sold itself to the west and the era of the white taking over us would again come soon.

    During the fag end of this government India saw the hawala scam hit the scene which saw a lot of politicians be named and some big shots at that and the chandraswami scandal who would call himself a GOD man but looked more like a goon and in both the cases nothing concrete has happened till date. Rajesh pilot took to himself to not let chandraswami get away, but as fate were to have it mr pilot, one of the finest ministers India has seen, was to meet with a fatal accident soon. It was also at the start of this decade that the terrorism in j&k had taken to full steam and everyday there used to be reports of terror attacks taking place all over the valley something that compared to today looks a distant memory.

    This was the time we came to the start of cable television, and now there was more to watch than the doordashan (DD) or the occasional ptv, and soon this was to run 24hours a day, wow man our dreams as young lads in their teens were coming true. Then came the cnn’s, the bbc’s and one got to see and hear what the world had to say from the horses mouth itself, not to forget the absolute addiction to mtv my group had those days!

    With the end of this government came the era of aya ram, gaya ram and India saw two prime ministers who were if anything but an inspiration with one of them going on to become more famous for the power naps he used to take in all his public meets, with a raksha mantra as mulayum singh who seemed clueless about the defence of the nation, amongst all these joker the only saving grace was finance minister p Chidambaram, under whom India grew the fastest ever of around 10.3% in I think 97/98. Congress for the second time was not able to make it to the government but like was the case with the vp singh government, they supported from out side and pressed the “pull out” button as soon as it suited their interests.

    By now India had been exposed to a chaotic politics of coalition and had come to live with it, and with the two aya ram, gaya ram PMs out, bjp with a huge coalition formed the first non congress and non congress supported government.

    Soon national elections were held and bjp came back with its allies but this time with a thumping majority, and soon the pokhran nuclear tests happened which I will put as an event that “separated men from boys” with boys being referred to as previous governments and the nation stood behind as one united force as the world got to put sanctions against us, and this time as we had opened our economy already, the world could not have ignored us long enough.

    Mr Vajpayee took to himself to mend the ties with Pakistan and made the famous or should I put it as the infamous bus ride to Pakistan. here was mr Vajpayee with all good intentions seen forcibly hugging nawaz shrif who didn’t seem eager to reciprocate with a army chief who would refuse to salute the Indian pm, the reason of which came to be known only later for India had yet again been back stabbed by Pakistan in kargil.

    India was at war yet again with its erstwhile enemy, people were pouring donations like no tomorrow, the national passion was at its peak with very angry Indians on the streets who wanted to make sure Pakistan does not get away without paying heavily for the misadventure. With kargil India had decisively thrown back the aggressor without having to escalate on the other side of the border with Pakistan refusing to even ready to take back their fallen army men who were buried by the Indian Army with full honour and dignity that any army officer deserves. This was the time India saw it self get aggressive with its diplomacy and the world starting to realize India had effectively reached the world stage and the world now started to lend an ear to our concerns unlike yester years.

    continued ........................
     
  6. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4,434
    Likes Received:
    1,719
    Location:
    Land of the GODS - "Dev Bhomi".
    .......................

    With this the second decade ended and the third started.

    With the bjp back the foreign multinationals being scared away seemed a very likely thing to happen, with people like murli manohar joshi shouting why should potatoes worth rs3-6/kg be sold at around rs70-100/kg (referring to the potato chips), with more and more shouts of swedeshi and for once it seemed that all the good work of the past 8 years would be lost. Nothing of the sort were to happen and now for the first time the public sector undertakings (PSUs) were going under the hammer for a sensible person in vajpayee saw the need of doing it and he put in arun shorie a trusted lieutenant and an able person to do the job. The highlight of the bjp government was the big push they gave to the defence budget, and well the infamous slogan of India shining which had been basked on just two good fiscals, with no one to bye the theme.

    India touched the lowest of lows yet again with the riots in Gujarat, and one still cant forget the scared face of this chap seen out of his home window pleading for mercy with tears rolling down his cheeks. What a shameful and a sad week that was in our history.

    With the end of bjp government, the congress came back at the helm but for the first time they had accepted the fact that the ear of coalition was very much in and they no more on their own could form the government. With this the government came with the baggage of outside support of the communists which pulled away the government from performing their duties effectively on a lot of fronts.

    This period saw India really emerge at the world stage on the economic front with people starting to see an alternative to china. India for the first time was being talked about along with the prc, the two were being equated, and India saw an average 8-8.5% growth rate for a consecutive 5 years which ushered in tremendous economic activity in the country and with that effectively the era of despair vanished for the upper middle class, middle class and for the lower middle class. Here was an India which was confident about its ability like never before.

    India for the first time was accepted as a global player by the us, and they did an unthinkable. Came with a nuclear deal for India, with the world stunned, and with this the role play of India had effectively changed from one limited to just south asia to now India pushing it self in the asia pacific region with a lot of acceptors to an evolving india, a’stan, iran, and to a limited extent in the car region making india’s role increased to certain prominent regions of asia.

    At the fag end India was stuck by another tragedy in the form of 26/11, passions were again running high, and with this india’s diplomacy truly came off age when it effectively isolated Pakistan at the world stage with the world now accepting that terror origins from Pakistan with Pakistan being termed as the epicenter of terrorism.

    This decade gave India some exceptional leaders starting with manmohan singh who has truly transformed us to narender modi who might have had a hand in Gujarat riots but what an able administrator he is who in another decade would make Gujarat set it apart from the rest of India in terms of development, only if India had ten more like him to a lesser extent shiela dixit, who helped delhi be what it is now. Now was the time for the first time the Indian politicians were talking development, and it was not just some rhetoric!

    There is a lot we need to achieve and as we just have entered yet another decade, India comes across confident unlike ever before about itself and its ability, and it wont be wrong to say by the end of this decade India would have had another truly fascinating story to tell and one of success at that, and as I write all this, in true sense the era of India has seriously just started.

    JAI HIND!
     
  7. marcos98

    marcos98 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    4
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    1618 Languages, 6400 Castes, 6 Religions, 6 Ethnic Groups, 29 Major Festivals & 1 Country! Be Proud To Be An Indian!… Great Republic… Happy Republic Day !!
     
  8. marcos98

    marcos98 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    4
    Images: Southern Naval Command Celebrates R Day.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. marcos98

    marcos98 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    4
  10. marcos98

    marcos98 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    4
    [​IMG]
    jai hind!!!!!
     
  11. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,029
    Likes Received:
    156
    @thakur ritesh

    well put riteshji.very succinct and as insightful as ever. have always admired the depth you bring in your posts.
    btw happy republic day to all members and countrymen.
     
  12. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    While congratulating on her 60th anniversary I'm puzzled about the assertion --
    This period saw India really emerge at the world stage on the economic front with people starting to see an alternative to china.

    India's emergence is a NATURAL and positive thing. However why is it referred to as an ALTERNATIVE? that sounds mind-boggling. I hope someday there will be statements IND is an alternative to Russia or to EU or to the US that truthfully reflects Indian ambition.

    China has adopted a totally different path for her population's well being from India in face of a different heritage and problems. A cat who catches mouse is a good cat, be it white or black.
     
  13. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,029
    Likes Received:
    156
    appreciated. as for the highlighted portion, why?

    there is nothing which is offensive or derogatory about the word "ALTERNATIVE". in modern times competition is the buzzword for practically everything. be it economic/military/perceived national interest (geo strategic interset) related. this is common word used by most watchers/observers across the world.

    right.you should be proud about that if it is addressing all your concerns.

    good one. :D
     

Share This Page