The Arunachal Times greets readers, patrons and advertisers on the auspicious occasion
of 66th Republic Day today.
As the offices and press of this daily will remain closed today, there will be no
issue on Jan 27.
Presidential awards for 7 AP officers
ITANAGAR, Jan 25: Seven Police officers from Arunachal have been given Service awards
on the eve of Republic Day.
President of India has awarded Police Medal for Gallantry to East Siang SP Devendra
Arya, Inspector of Police Nikom Riba and Sub- Inspectors Nani Namu and Tailang Borkar
for their effort to rescue a businessman who was kidnapped for ransom last year.
Presidents Police Medal for Distinguished Service is awarded to Sub-Inspector of
police Ananda Mondal while IPS officer and DIGP (HQ) Tusar Taba and Sub Inspector
of Police Tarekesher Singh were given the Presidents Police Medal for Meritorious
ITBP-US Navy Seals Joint Dog Operations
ITANAGAR, Jan 25: The seamless dovetailing of highly trained “crack dog units” of
the Indo Tibetan Border Police(ITBP) and US Navy Seals Dogs has been operationalised
during the high profile visit of POTUS, a military code for the President of the
US. It was the ASLT (advanced security liaison team) of President Obama, that had
specifically requested for ITBP dogs and troops for this Joint Operation named “Op
Uncle Obmo”, standing for the first two letters of Obama and Modi, since “heavy electronic
chatter” of international terrorist organisations have been intercepted by US and
Indian Intelligence, planning to harm the leaders of two of the world’s largest democracies.
ITBP is a larger partner in Op Uncle Obmo, providing 30 dog teams as compared to
US Navy Seals chipping in with 7 dog teams. The strategic reason for this is that
since the ITBP dogs are already acclimatised to the Indian weather and deployment
conditions, the Indian Dogs will be at the vanguard of the operation along with the
This is history repeating itself. It is a little known fact that after the Indian
1962 Himalayan blunder with China, it was American instructors, who trained the ITBP
in the art of war. The American influence is still visible in ITBP, as this is the
only Indian Force to play Baseb Ball in its units, thanks to the early contact with
The coming together of ITBP and American K9 units is a part of the plan of MHA to
sniff out terror in Indian cities, and sources revealed that “Op-Uncle Obmo” would
not end with the Republic Day Celebrations, but would continue as a part of joint
action against terror. MHA sources also disclosed that ITBP is the only Force in
India to have Air-Conditioned Dog Vans to transport the ITBP dogs from one place
to another, in comfort, which is the one of the reason for the cutting-edge accuracy
of the teams since the dogs do not have to suffer “journey stress” like dogs of other
Sources said that “Op Uncle Obmo” has already caused ripples in the terror network
chatter and the some common word in all the “electronic intercepts” translated from
Persian, Arabic and Pastho, by RAW, IB and NTRO are “Indian Tibet Force”, “ITBP
Dogs” and “US Navy Seals” and “ITC Maurya”.
Nechiphu-Hoj road to be ready by 2017
ITANAGAR, Jan 25: Construction firm Sushee Infra Pvt Ltd is all set to complete the
311 km Nechiphu-Hoj road - a part of Trans-Arunachal Highway - by 2017.
The firm has already started blacktopping the newly laid road from Leporiang with
state-of-the-art equipment, determined to complete blacktopping 35 kms of road before
March 31 next.
Sushee Infra’s general manager Pradeep Mehta said, this road is one of the longest
hill projects, and that the firm has deployed an over 2000 strong manpower along
with the latest technology and top quality steel, cement and other raw materials.
“The project is being implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 1400 crores and the
company is leaving no stone unturned to ensure speedy work progress,” he said.
Sushee Infra PRO Tah Lapung, said such projects should be supported by the public,
so that Arunachal Pradesh may develop in every sector.
“Development takes place only where there are roads. It can be achieved by constructing
roads to connect all the remote villages of the state to other parts of the country,”
Tuting celebrates Losar
YINGKIONG, Jan 25: Losar is being celebrated at Tuting. Taking part at the festivities
at Central Gompa Tuting on January 23 last, Parliamentary Secretary PWD Alo Libang
said that festival reflects peace and harmony where different tribes participate
and promote sense of brotherhood and communal harmony.
Libang assured to accord sanction for approach road and boundary wall of the Gompa.
In his speech Rimpoche Tsering Dorjee informed that the different groups comprising
of Adis, Idus, Membas and Khambas are living together peacefully like one family
with spirit of unity and cooperation. He lauded the Adi’s who have coordinated with
the Buddhist community during the construction of Central Monastery in Tuting.
The Parliamentary Secretary was accompanied by ADC R D Thungon, ZPM Bading Teng and
ZPM Nyokgon Nitik.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Secretary along with ZPMs also visited the under construction
24 MW Minakshi Hydro power project at Palisi. Libang asked the company to speed up
the construction work so that the people of the district get sufficient power supply
Free coaching on General English begins
ITANAGAR, Jan 25: ‘Coaching for Entry in Services – Cell’ of the Dera Natung Government
College resumed free-coaching on General English since January 23. The coaching will
cover complete syllabus of General English for APPSCCE (Mains) and various other
competitive examinations. It is free and open to all. Students from any college and
institution and any aspirant/unemployed educated youth willing to prepare for any
competitive examinations for any job can join the coaching. Dr. M Q Khan, Associate
Professor of English is imparting the free coaching.
Myoko Ude Tiniin
ZIRO, Jan 25: One day workshop on ‘Myoko Ude Tiniin’ on chanting, language and literature
of hymns was conducted here today.
The workshop was organized by Hong Meder Nello which was attended by All Apatani
Danyi Piilo Society, Chairmen and secretaries Meder Nellos of Ziro.
The motive to organize the ‘Myoko Ude Tiniin’ was to preserve the tradition and culture
Takhe Taki, Takhe Kani, Kago Kunya, Punyo Tari and Takhe Diibo were the resource
persons of the workshop.
District level painting competition
Daporijo, Jan 25: District Level Inter School painting drawing competition was organized
on the theme Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in convergence with tourism promotion.
Altogether eleven schools both private and govt schools participated in the painting
drawing competition. JNV Megdong stood first, followed by Blue Mount and VKV Kuporijo
in second and third spots respectively.
Menle Botom Tourist Lodge in Collaboration with Department of UD & Housing Daporijo
division organized the event in honour of maiden visit of Pema Khandu, Minister UD,
Tourism, Art & Culture, Arunachal Pradesh.
ATSU memo to DC Karda Natam
Daporijo, Jan 25: In a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner, All Tagin Students Union
Daporijo has highlighted various issues and grievances faced by the public in the
ATSU demanded that Tata Sumo fare from Daporijo to Itanagar be minimized to Rs 650
from Rs 750, as poor people are not able to afford the fare. They also called for
demarcation of Govt Higher Secondary School Daporijo boundary land and maintenance
and renovation of 60 boarders hostel Govt HS Daporijo.
APLS conducts SBA at picnic spot
ITANAGAR, Jan 25: Around hundred members of Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society (APLS)
conducted Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) which cleaned a picnic spot, littered with
garbage, left behind by the picnickers along the banks of Senki River in Senki View
area here today.
APLS publicity secretary Pradeep Kumar, who initiated the cleanliness drive, was
joined by all members including president Y D Thongchi and general secretary Tokong
About half a quintal of garbage was collected from the river bed and bank and later
Appreciating the move, two young girls Yiken Dabi, BA third year, DNGC and Yinya
Dabi, Class-XII, Nirjuli Alphabet Public School quipped: “Prime Minister Narendra
Modi would be very happy as we all are following the principle of ‘Cleanliness is
next to godliness’.”
“PM Modi would not know about this drive but this practice should be made a habit
by everyone, whether at home or outside, if we desire a clean environment everywhere,”
While Pertin imparted jungle training to the tiny tots, Thongchi’s words of wisdom
asked them to get ready to face the competitive world.
Many of the APLS members after getting selected in various government jobs have admitted
that their self-confidence improved drastically after attending the APLS monthly
sittings, where they come with their self-composed poems and prose to either recite
or read and if anyone falters they are rectified and encouraged by seniors. These
sittings have taught them the art of facing interview, as Thongchi said, while urging
them to make best use of the platform to help expose their hidden talent.
Traditional Dance and Drama Competition
Daporijo, Jan 25: Vivekananda Kendra Upper Subansiri unit organized a traditional
dance and drama competition on Jan 23 at VKV Kuporijo. A total of 6 teams from 5
different circles participated in dance and 2 teams from Puchigeko and Dumporijo
participated in drama.
Taga Ekke, EAC, Daporijo advised the participating teams to preserve the age old
tradition and customs. He stated that, we should not get carried away by the alien
forces. The first, second and third prizes were won by Giba, Daporijo and Gusar circles
respectively by bagging Rs. 10000, 5000 and 3000. In the drama competition, Dumporijo
circle and Puchigeko circle won the first and second prizes bagging Rs. 10000 and
5000 respectively. The programme was organized in connection with the yearlong celebration
of Mananeeya Eknathij Ranade the founder President of Vivekananda Kendra and VKVs.
ITANAGAR, Jan 25: The Mishmi Welfare Society (MWS), Itanagar deeply mourned the unfortunate
demise of Late Sobeng Tayang, former MP and Minister.
The State as a whole and Mishmi community in particular has lost a great philanthropic
leader. Late Sobeng Tayang would be remembered by all for his humbleness, honesty
and as a versatile leader, it said in a message.
Meanwhile, Arunachal Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee expressed their shock and
grief at the sudden demise of former Minister and Member of Parliament Sobeng Tayeng,
who died yesterday at his residence at Tafrogam, Lohit District.
The APMCC President Kamala Lingi in her message said Sobeng Tayeng was a kind hearted
and straight forward person who served the state and the country in different capacities
and brought positive changes in education and agricultural sectors in the state and
undivided Lohit district in particularly.
The news items ‘Kiri Kaye no more’ in the January 25 issue should be read as ‘Liri
Kaye no more’. The inadvertent mistake is regretted.
Allow smooth and timely completion of the Trans-Arunachal Highway, CM appeals
LUMDUNG, Jan 25: Chief Minister Nabam Tuki has fervently appealed to the people of
the state to cooperate with the agencies and allow smooth and timely completion of
the Trans-Arunachal Highway – the would-be lifeline of Arunachal Pradesh.
Addressing a public gathering at Lumdung, a remote village in the outskirts of Seppa,
district headquarters of East Kameng this morning, Tuki said the ambitious road-project
that would connect the entire state internally is the only way to development and
prosperity of the people. Seeking support and cooperation in construction of the
said road, he said it would usher in a new era of progress.
“Besides doing away with the communication bottleneck that mars the state, the connectivity
would boost tourism and agri-horti sectors bringing in economical advancement of
the people,” Tuki pointed.
The Chief Minister cited that the picturesque valleys of Passa, Papu and Pakke that
produces surplus food grains can also develop into tourist destinations once the
Trans-Arunachal Highway is complete. Further, the surplus food-grains and other horticultural
produces can be moved to better markets financially making the local people sustainable.
The Trans-Arunachal Highway – formation cutting is going on - would connect the valleys
with Seppa-Sagalee-Doimukh and the state capital.
“You are the monitors. Extend support to the constructing agency, the authorities
and the government in executing the project. Don’t be hurdles but report to the government
when hurdles come,” Tuki beckoned the local populace.
Highlighting few flagship programmes initiated during his tenure, Tuki urged the
villagers to take full benefits of the Chief Minister’s Universal Health Insurance
by getting ensured.
Tuki directed the Deputy Commissioner and the District Medical Officer to ensure
every household of the district is covered under the scheme within next few months.
He also called upon panchayat leaders, gaon buras and local NGOs to create awareness
on the scheme amongst the villagers and help people avail the benefits.
Responding to a memorandum submitted by local MLA Mama Natung, also Parliamentary
Secretary Tourism, on behalf of the people of Seppa West Assembly constituency, Tuki
assured to fulfill all the demands on phased manner in the quickest possible time.
The demands include shifting of Lumdung Govt Secondary School, establishment of a
reputed educational institution like VKV or Kendriya Vidyalaya, establishment of
a agriculture or horticulture college, creation of a Circle headquarter at Debeyar
and construction of a mini-secretariat at Bana EAC headquarter.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of the road from Lumdung
to Roterome, Mibhasaley and Narabah early in the morning.
Earlier, the Chief Minister who landed here yesterday had a thorough coordination
meeting with all Head of Departments led by the Deputy Commissioner last evening
for more than an hour. Issues and problems faced by concerned departments were highlighted
before the Chief Minister, who sought suggestions for resolving the issues and gave
on the spot directions. Expressing surprise to know that Chayangtajo, a sub-division
in the district, is in complete darkness due to lack of power supply, he assured
to provide funds to run the DG set to give temporary relief till the power supply
line is restored. He also sought proposal for installing solar power in remote villages.
To a request of the district administration, Tuki assured to connect Seppa with chopper
service at least once a week immediately.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by RWD Minister Kumar Waii, Parliamentary Secretaries
Kumsi Sidisow, Karya Bagang and Tapuk Taku and State Medicinal Plant Board Chairman
Pre-paid energy meters being installed in Top down approach system
ITANAGAR, Jan 25: The process of top down approach in installation of Pre paid energy
metering system has taken off with installation of pre paid meters in the residents
of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Chief Secretary, Principal Secretaries and
Commissioners. This is being followed by installation of pre-paid meters in the residents
of MLAs, Secretaries, Chief Engineers, Directors and other senior government officers.
The top down approach is initiated as per cabinet decision taken on January 16 last.
Meanwhile, the power department informed that there has been steep reduction of power
wastage and the electric bills of people who are using minimum electric appliances
at homes have also come down drastically wherever the pre paid metering system have
been installed, according to an official release.
Khonsa runs against opium
KHONSA Jan 25: With a theme, Run Against Opium, a Cross Country Race against opium
cultivation was held at Khonsa in Tirap District, organised by Tirap District Athletic
Jenliam Jenpi, Gangnai Pansa and Banbak Chokdam were adjudged as first, second and
third prize winners of veterans male category, Ngoina Chongcha, Toinyak Kanglom and
Akhow Wangsa were the first, second and third winners of veterans women category.
In men’s open category Pangang Gangsa, Thinja Misia and Holai Wangsa were the first,
second and third winners while in women category Rapwan Diwen, Phinuap Agi and Champan
Diwen were the first, second and third winners respectively of the “Run Against Opium”
organised by Tirap District Athletic Association.
Tirap Deputy Commissioner Kamlesh Joshi, MLA Wanglam Sawin and MLA Tirong Aboh flagged
off the event.
Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Commissioner called upon the people to stand
up against drug addiction and opium cultivation. He said that drug addiction not
only damages a person physically and mentally but also damages his or her family
and society. If a person is addicted to alcohol or drugs, the effects can negatively
impact upon the marriage and relationships, home and family life, education, employment,
health and well-being, personality, financial issues and law and order. He urged
the elders to provide proper guidance to the new generation.
MLA Wanglam Sawin suggested the people to go for alternative cultivation, such as
tea and large cardamom cultivation, horticulture, fisheries and animal husbandry.
He also asked the officials of agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and animal husbandry
to be proactive and reach out to the people.
MLA cum President District Athletic Association, Tirong Aboh expressed hope that
the rally will carry the message against drug addiction to every corner of the Tirap
district in particular and rest of the country in general. The rally will definitely
create awareness against opium cultivation and also provide ideas for alternative
means of livelihood.
He appreciated Deputy Commissioner, SP Tirap A.K. Singla, Commandant 1st AR for their
co-operation for successful of conduct of Cross Country race.
SP Tirap A.K. Singla termed the drug addiction as un-lawful and social evil and called
upon the people to fight against it.
Earlier, in his welcome address Noah Mongku, Secretary DAAT highlighted the importance
of games and sports in particular. DIPRO
Arunachal celebrates National Voters’ Day
ITANAGAR, Jan 25: Arunachal Pradesh joined the rest of the country in celebrating
the National Voters’ Day today. The theme of the 5th National Voter’s Day (NVD) is
“Easy Registration, Easy Correction”. The NVD is started from 25 January 2011.
Yupia: The 5th National Voters’ Day was celebrated in a befitting manner here at
NIT conference hall. It was organized by the Papum Pare district election office.
Attending the celebration, Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi called upon the young voters
to exercise their voting rights in a free and fair manner. He said that vote is the
most effective tool in the hands of the people to participate in the democratic process
of the country. It is the first duty of every citizen to cast their votes without
being influenced by considerations of religion, race, caste, community, language
or any inducement. He exhorted the young voters to become a responsible citizen of
NIT Director C T Bhunia expressed that digitization of voting system to some extent
will helpful in peaceful voting without zero rigging during elections.
Earlier, Chief Electoral Officer Kaling Tayeng highlighted on the importance of National
Voters’ Day and said that the objective of the day is to encourage young voters to
enroll themselves to participate in the political process of the country and to spread
awareness among voters.
ADC B J Duia also spoke on the occasion. Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi
felicitated 10 young voters with their new EPIC and also awarded certificates and
mementoes to winners of essay writing competition. CT Bhunia gave away the certificates
and mementoes to the out-standings Booth Level Officers.
Among others joint CEO G Tekseng, SP PN Khrimey and all other head of departments,
administrative officers, staffs of election department and students attended the
YINGKIONG: The Upper Siang district celebrated the National Voters’ Day at the premises
of District Election office at Yingkiong in a simple but impressive function. Besides
few numbers of newly enrolled voters, Govt officers and officials including all staffs
of District Election Office were present on the occasion.
Tapik Pertin, ADC (HQ) distributed Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) to the newly
enrolled voters on the occasion. Later all the members were administered a pledge
for upholding the democratic tradition of the country, dignity of free, fair and
TEZU: The National Voters’ Day was celebrated at Govt Higher Secondary School, Tezu
in a befitting manner. Speaking on the occasion, ERO M. Pertin explained the purpose
of the meeting and highlighted the theme of the 5th National Voter’s Day.
Dr. PC Swain, Associate Professor, IG Govt. College, Tezu appealed the young voters
and women to come forward and participate in the electoral process in big way.
M Pertin, ERO, on behalf of the DEO, administered Voter’s Day pledge to the new
voters. He also gave away prize to the winners in the essay competition.
PASIGHAT: ADC Ruchika Katyal administered pledge to maintain decorum of democratic
traditions, dignity of free, fair and peaceful voting without fear or allurement
to mark the National Voters’ day here today.
In her brief speech, Katyal said in democracy the supreme power is vested in the
people directly through elections. East Siang District has set a good example by
an impressive voters’ turnout in recent elections. Every vote reassures our democracy
and makes democracy stronger and therefore every citizen, who completed the age of
18 should enroll his/her names in the voter list and always cast vote in elections,
Earlier, EAC Bani Lego informed that awareness campaign was organized in all polling
booths for effective participation in the electoral process. Badal Dey, HA (Election)
updated the ADC on preparation process and apprised that group discussions and debates
were held in JN College and in all secondary and higher secondary schools as a part
AALO: The National Voters’ Day was celebrated at Aalo town club in a befitting manner
in presence of newly enrolled electors, Govt staff, students and general public.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner cum DEO Pige Ligu appealed to all newly
enrolled electors to take part in the election process without any fear or favour
and requested all the left out persons or youths to enroll themselves in the voters
list on attaining the age of 18 years in the next summary revision. He read out the
message of Chief Election Commissioner of India on the voter’s day celebration. Earlier,
the DC administered the voters pledge to uphold the democratic tradition of our country.
Oli Perme, ERO and M. Ete, Lecturer of SFS College, also spoke on the occasion. Prizes
to the winners of essay competitions on the subject “ Importance of Universal Adult
Franchise in Democracy” and EPIC cards were also distributed to the newly enrolled
electors to mark the occasion.
KHONSA: Along with the rest of the country, the “National Voters’ Day” was celebrated
at Khonsa. Tirap Additional Deputy Commissioner explained the main purpose of celebrating
the voter’s day on the occasion. The young citizens should understand the value of
their votes and compulsorily enroll their names in the electoral roll, he said. He
also administered the voters pledge to the participants and read out the message
of the CEC of India and gave away the prizes for essay, drawing and quiz competition
conducted to mark the voter’s day. Earlier, EAC and ERO K Tikhak highlighted the
significance of the day and urged the people to elect only those candidates who are
honest and have clear image.
NAMSAI: The 5th National Voters’ day was celebrated at Town Club here in presence
of Govt staff, public representatives, teachers and students at Namsai Town Club.
In his key note address, District Election Officer cum Deputy Commissioner R K Sharma
emphasized to create awareness among each and every voter especially the youth so
that their right to franchise is utilized in the formation of a quality democracy.
EPIC Cards were distributed to newly enrolled voters of the age group of 18-19 years
by DEO, EE PHED T Tok and SDPO Namsai K. Padu. The programme concluded by administering
the NVD pledge by the DEO to all people gathered in the program. The National Voters
day was also celebrated in all the polling stations of Namsai district.
ROING: The National Voters’ Day was celebrated at Roing with the theme’ “Easy Registration,
Easy Correction” at Anchal Samiti Hall. Speaking on the occasion, Lower Dibang Valley
District Deputy Commissioner cum District Election Officer, Shiv Kumar exhorted the
new voters to exercise their adult franchise responsibly and justly whenever they
get chance to vote. He said, “Though Indian democracy is only 68 years old, it is
one of the most vibrant among many democratic countries in the world and we must
let it continue so by participating in its process all the time”. The DC also administered
voter’s pledge to the members present and also felicitated the new enrolled voter’s
with their EPIC Cards. Dr Mary Nanom Taloh CO (Election) also spoke on the occasion.
Class 11 & 12 students of various schools who participated in the Essay Writing Competitions
on the topic, “Importance of Adult Franchise in Democracy” were also given participatory
prize on the occasion.
CHANGLANG: The election department Changlang celebrated the 5th National Voters’
Day here at DIET auditorium, Changlang in a befitting manner.
In a ceremony at DIET Auditorium, SDO N Wangjen, ERO Changlang explained at length
the significance of the day as well as the need for voters’ education and awareness.
He urged upon the AEROs and BLOs to spread awareness among the voters for their active
participation in the electoral process. The AEROs spoke on the occasion. Newly registered
voters were felicitated and NVD pledge was administered. The day was also observed
in all polling stations in Changlang district with the distribution of EPICs to new
voters by EROs, AEROs and BLOs.
Blood donation camp at RKM
Itanagar, Jan 25: To pay tribute to the Freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s
on his 118th Birth Day anniversary a voluntary blood donation camp was organized
by STEP (Standing Together to Empower People), Naharlagun in association with Ramkrishna
Mission Hospital, Itanagar and supported by Volunteers of Arunachal Vivekananda Yuva
A total of 76 participants donated blood. Swami VedVidya Nandaji said that Blood
donation is a noble cause and everyone should come forward with a feeling to save
life and towards community development.
Secretary RKM Swami Vishweshanandaji appreciated STEP for encouraging people to donate
blood. He urged all to contribute for the society and build a strong and healthy
Raesh Jeke, Chairman Arunachal Vivekananda Yuva Shakti, Itanagar impressed with the
donors turnout shared his experience since 2008 in the field of voluntary blood collection
and how the NGO got recognition at the national level..
Dr. P Ringu, Deputy Director, Department of Health Service, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh,
delivered a technical presentation on blood donation and its advantages aspects.
The Spiritual Republic of India
We forgot to apply our own formula for building a truly free, happy and cultured
nation! This Republic Day, let’s amend our mindset and push for a Spiritual Republic.
M Rajaque Rahman
The Republic Day is round the corner. However skeptical we may be, the images of
the tri-colour dotting everywhere from the Rajpath to our childhood schools to the
bonnet of a swanky Mercedes to a hand-pulled rickshaw do lift the pride of being
For the records, on this day 65 years ago India became a Republic. With the adoption
of the Indian Constitution, free India got the roadmap for her forward march. The
essence of being a Sovereign Democratic Republic was succinctly captured in his special
message by the first President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad. He called for rededicating
ourselves to peaceful but sure realization of the dream of establishing a classless,
cooperative, free and happy society.
Without being over-cynical and without undermining the patriotic fervour, let’s introspect
how have we measured up to the dreams of the captains and soldiers of our freedom
struggle. Are we on the same wavelength on their vision of “making the peasants and
workers, the toilers and the thinkers fully free, happy and cultured”?
Despite the tremendous technological and economical progress, we are yet to be fully
free, happy and cultured. A classless, cooperative, free and happy society appears
like an unreal proposition. Is it that the architects of Indian Republic were guided
by Utopian ideals? Or is it that we have drifted away somewhere? This country was
known for those ideals before foreign invasions destroyed her of inner strength.
She was truly a welfare state where everyone was self-reliant, contributing to the
state rather than expecting and demanding doles from it. Her Golden Era was compelling
enough for Lord Macaulay to acknowledge that he could not find a single beggar, destitute
or illiterate person in the country.
So what went wrong? We forgot the basics when we decided to be a Sovereign Democratic
Republic! We left out the backbone in drawing up the skeleton of modern India. Though
we added the two arms of being Socialist and Secular in 1976, the soul of India continued
to crumble without the backbone. We forgot to infuse it with the spirit of spirituality.
I wish someone had the vision to build India into a Spiritual Republic.
Without doubt, spirituality is the very backbone of India. It is what Vivekananda
saw it as her special genius. It is that which powered India’s preeminence in the
world. It is this power that Mahatma Gandhi used to secure us freedom. It’s proven
that Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, Consumerism, etc have failed to create a classless,
cooperative, free and happy society anywhere in the world. Depression, suicides,
disparity, conflicts have only risen with these isms. On the contrary, Indian Spiritualism
holds out a hope for the beleaguered world today. Generations of people from all
over the world have been coming to India in the hope that its spirituality will help
them learn about life and get a true taste of happiness. In it, they have found solace
to overcome many ills such as depression, stress, anxiety, professional burnout,
addictions, etc. So undoubtedly, we know and own the formula! It’s unfortunate that
we forgot to apply it on ourselves!
“Spirituality naturally raises human values and breaks the narrow boundaries of caste,
creed, religion and nationality,” says renowned spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,
advocating that a revival of spiritual values alone can ensure a happy and cultured
society. As history stands, spirituality alone can inspire peaceful revolutions in
society, be it in social or political or economic spheres.
It was her spiritual resilience that helped India withstand onslaught from invaders
and remain as a country. Her spiritual ethos made it possible for alien religious
traditions to flourish, giving everybody the freedom to practice what they believe.
This is what exactly a Secular Republic should aspire for. Unfortunately, pseduo-secular
politicians of Independent India hijacked the spiritual anchor and pursued a distorted
concept of secularism. Instead of harnessing India’s inherent unifying values, they
played into the temptations of vote-bank politics. Caught in the political compulsion
of being “secularly correct”, India's ruling class developed some kind of an allergy
to anything spiritual. This dealt a body-blow to the character of the Republic.
“When spirituality and politics don't go hand in hand, then we have corrupt politicians
and pseudo-religious leaders, says Sri Sri. And, this is exactly what has happened
in India in the last few years which witnessed appeasement and polarization, instead
of a focus on policies that uplift every citizen irrespective of caste, creed, region
or religion, bluntly undermining the avowed ideals of Indian Republic.
At a time when society is divided on the lines of rigid political and religious ideologies,
spirituality can unite the hearts and minds. India can surely bounce back to her
Golden Era by anchoring itself again to her spiritual ideals. Many of her woes which
are threatening the very concept of India will find their own solutions if we reorient
ourselves building a Republic based on spiritual values of belongingness, responsibility,
and compassion, caring, and sharing. This Republic Day, let’s amend our mindset and
pray for a Spiritual Republic. Tathastu! (A former journalist, the author is a fulltime
volunteer of the Art of Living. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views
expressed are personal)