31st Dec 1929, eighty years back, on the banks of river
Ravi, the tricolor flag was unfurled with delight, fervor and vigor. The then annual session of congress also holds the importance of declaring “Poorna Swaraj”, or complete independence as only honorable goal. Amidst the rapture stood the firm resolve to face daunting struggle that was to follow the coming year. But the charm of the night must be something different. The flag that was endowed to the Indians brought with itself a colossal spirit and responsibility to provide deep reverence to this national symbol. The dignity of the flag was to be maintained at any cost and yes, every cost was paid to keep it. People from every age group were ready to be decimated, but the pride of the flag should remain unhurt. If the British tried to snatch away the flags from the feeble hands of children, in response they wore tricolor dresses to show the audacity.
The new year resolution at that time congress adopted was to set itself to organize meetings all over the country on 26th January, to read out the pledge for independence ( It was to commemorate this day, that India was declared a republic on the same day, 20 years later). The pledge was read out and the flag was hoisted. The opening text said: “We believe that it is the inalienable right of the Indian people, as of any other people, to have freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil and have the necessities of life, so that we may have full opportunities of growth. We believe also that if any government deprives a people of these rights or oppresses them, the people have a further right to alter or abolish it.” This pledge indeed is followed till now as well. Our preamble bestows sovereignty to the citizens. The most interpreted article 21 of our constitution, gives a right to life and liberty, the life with dignity, and liberty only checked by law.
Now stands a mighty 125 years old congress, governing
with a name of “United Progressive Alliance”. India recuperating slowly from the recession and leery in the policies, with huge fiscal deficit, expected to rise to 6.8%, still confused to withdraw the stimulus, seceding demands from states, corruption allegations in top judiciary, pocket burning inflation, right to education still on papers, people dying of hunger, soaring maternity death rate. No, this is not cynicism; these are the facts that send a chill down the spine of each and every youth of the nation. With prevaricated outcomes of the Copenhagen summit just adding to the jeremiad. India
The people like then still stand by the leaders and are ready to help them to take the country out of the dire strait. Yes the task is formidable, but the youth is still energetic. The NREGA can be implemented without corruption, and the social audits like Bhilwara are not unwelcomed, if allowed. The leftist and the socialist ideas of Nehru and Bose still reside in the hearts of the people. Why not congress like then take a New Year resolution again to uproot poverty, and take a pledge again to not allow anyone to die of hunger in the country, a pledge to remove corruption, a pledge to justice. Why not take a pledge that the funds disbursed will percolate down the spongy bureaucracy and political system and reach the needy ones. People still believe in the democracy and appreciate the efforts of austerity, to bring transparency and the way government maintains the integrity and safety of the country and many such efforts to make India progressive. But why not bring back the charm of the night of 31st December 1929 back again, and take a resolution of the coming New Year to take responsibility to make India progressive at the grass root levels as well. With government taking firm resolve to reduce corruption and with people to aid, the time is not far that India will be free from shackles again, this time from hunger and poverty. The audacity is still intact; the struggle is still on…