- Today, 26th January 2021, the nation will be celebrating 72nd Republic Day on the back of an unprecedented economic scenario that not only poses tremendous challenges to the government in power but also mirrors the road ahead in terms of generating adequate job opportunities to shore up the struggling sectors crying for urgent reformist measures/initiatives. None would have forecast in 2020 what would be unfolding during the year. As we are aware having gone through one of the most challenging times, the year turned to be dreadful as the pandemic raged across leaving a trail of destruction.
- Yet, we are here having sailed through the most turbulent of times and against all odds surviving the pitfalls of the abrupt lockdowns, hardships encountered for months on, witnessing distressingly bleak economic situation starting at us, and of course, managing to keep the number of casualties despite healthcare inadequacies in the face of the pandemic wrought challenges. It was feared initially with doomsday consequences predicted as reports of other countries being overwhelmed by the virus kept beaming on our television screens/newspapers was handled quite comfortably as the case fatality rates vividly suggest.
- Cometh the year 2021, citizens used to the usual pomp and gaiety surrounding the renowned Republic Day Parade will have something new to witness keeping in line with the times i.e. safety and health guidelines mandating the altered equation which will see marching contingent comprising of soldiers wearing masks, no Chief Guest as the United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson scheduled to visit had to cancel owing to the rising infection cases back home. In a departure from the past, the parade will be led by a Bangladeshi tri-service contingent, underlining how 50 years ago Indian forces fought shoulder to shoulder with Mukti Bahini.
- As we cheer the contingent marching ahead, the nation will also remember how our neighbor’s per capita income is now crossing ours reminding us how much shine Brand India has lost in recent years owing to slowing economic trends even before the pandemic struck deathly blows. One of the direct outcomes of this development will be the most unusual feature of this year’s Republic Day as the protesting farmers will be taking out a parallel tractor parade in the capital highlighting their unhappiness over the Farm-Laws. This is a fallout of an erratic employment opportunities viewpoint failing to induce confidence all around.
- The Country as a whole stands at a crossroad vis-à-vis economic growth waiting for dramatic infusion to fight out the adversities staring at us from every front. Resilience is a word parodied about during times of crisis to emerge fighting without letting the challenges weigh us down. And we as a nation are indeed resilient enough to tackle as well as succeed in mounting countering measures to sail through the storm most resolutely. Need not look far ahead as the Indian Cricket Team demonstrated recently by winning historic Test series down under. Nation’s human capital will never go to waste and will prove its worth again. Jai Hind!