Republic Day is good for two reasons in Mumbai. Usually the weather is extremely pleasant and it is a holiday. A tradition in many Indian families, has been to wake up and switch on their television sets, and see the Republic Day parade. The parade showcases probably the best that the Indian military services has to offer. Then there are floats that represent every state. As a kid, I found it charming, fun and patriotic.
Lately, I have been less enthusiastic about it all. It was nice to see India also had some nice fighter jets, tanks and missiles in the 80s and 90s. Today, the novelty behind showcasing these military weapons has been lost.
India maybe a old country, rather an ancient civilization but it is a pretty new republic. The tradition of having a grand parade with the head of the state watching carefully, along with another head of state from a different country almost sounds almost like a triumph from ancient Rome.
I have nothing against military parades or military might for that matter. No country can survive without a bit of it. But technology has sort of removed the need of having large armies any more. Just as guns and swords irrelevant, missiles with nuke heads have made keeping large armies irrelevant. Most modern armies plan to cut down number and increase efficiency. Military might has been replaced with economic might in the real state of world politics.
Maybe apart from the Republic Day parade, we should have a new tradition. After all as a democratic republic that is home to over 17% of humanity, we should set out an example to follow for the world.
A modern example, that reflects the aspirations of a modern India. For a country that has as rich past and with so many traditions, it would be a good idea to celebrate the republic with something new.
What could be this new tradition? Any ideas? Drop them in your comments.