(RAHNUMA) Let us take a moment today, at the end of our Republic Day celebrations, to remind ourselves what India means, who an Indian is, what unites Indians, and what the goal of independence from colonialism truly was.
The Republic of India is not the name of an ancient civilization, nor a recent kingdom nor an empire.
Rather, India is a secular, democratic republic, founded in 1947, upon sacrifices of its freedom fighters since the period of the Mutiny.
Indians are united by the tricolor flag, not religious narratives, nor stories nor partisan politics and ideologies.
Indians are united in their resolve to fulfill the goal of the freedom fighters who liberated this land from the British – the eradication of poverty.
The Republic of India’s most sacred document is its Constitution, and it was written by a Dalit, in English, not Farsi nor Sanskrit.
Indians are those who accepted the Constitution after Independence and stayed, became the first citizens of the newly founded Republic, regardless of whether they were Brahmin, Dalit, Christian, Jew, Khan, or Sayyid.
The Republic of India was named as such to ensure it remained distinct, yet not disconnected, from its rich ancient and recent past, so it could successfully enter the modern Industrial Age and beyond.
The brave freedom fighters who laid down their lives to liberate this land from the British Empire did so in order to liberate its people from the poverty and famine the British Raj inflicted upon it.
This desire to eradicate poverty should be the primary motivation behind every policy pushed by every political party in this great Republic.
“The British Raj stole an estimated $43 trillion USD from India”. That is one way to look at the British period, and our subsequent independence from it, but such a paradigm keeps Indians in a state of mental frustration.
Rather, we should look at all the scientific, military, and technological advancements which took place in Europe during the British Era and instead take credit for funding all of the developments the United Kingdom and Europe brought about in our modern world, thanks to Indian money.
The future is yours India, as long as you remain a secular, democratic, republic focused on eradicating poverty from your country, and from the world, as you did for England. Happy Republic Day!
Ahmed Khan is the Founder of The Rahnuma Daily (theRahnuma.com), the online global English daily edition of The Rahnuma-E-Deccan Daily (ReDD), India’s oldest Urdu daily print newspaper established in 1921. More than 81.1 million Indians identify Urdu as their language, and as per the annual INA (Indian Newspapers Association) report, ReDD ranks among the top 5 most widely circulated and read Urdu daily print newspapers throughout India. Ahmed resides in Hyderabad at his maternal ancestral home and can be contacted at, email@example.com