Reflectionist Farzeen Khan

26th January, a day that is brushed aside as a mere holiday, holds more importance than we all think. It commemorates the enforcement of our constitution and marks the beginning of freedom to rule ourselves, to be a democracy. On this day, the Government of India Act 1935 was scrapped and the Constitution of India, which took a total of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to finalize, was established. This Republic Day, let us look back at what India has achieved in the past few years.

A land of rich culture and genius minds, India has excelled in the fields of Science and Technology, Medicine, Agriculture, Cinema, Mathematics, and countless more. Something as simple as the buttons on a shirt to something as intricate as Ayurveda, right from ISRO to the numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, India has so many innovations and achievements under its belt. The count keeps on increasing with each passing day. Vyommitra, a humanoid robot designed by ISRO for spacefaring on Gaganyaan, was unveiled a few days ago. Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS), an AI-based system will be used to help prevent crimes by identifying criminals’ faces. From integrating facial recognition in the IT e-filing portal to the usage of blockchain in healthcare and land allocation, the Central and the State Government are adopting new technologies rapidly and promoting ‘Make in India’ initiative and taking it to the next level. We have recently seen how India has acquired 4.5 Generation Dassault Rafale from France. But countries like America, Russia, and France have already developed 5th generation fighter jets. Hence Indian Air Force has decided to go for Indigenously-Developed 5th Generation fighter aircrafts. This project is expected to be completed by 2024 and HAL( Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) has taken the responsibility to deliver the same. This is truly a strong move by India as only a few countries mentioned above have achieved this feat.

The year 2020 has been really unprecedented and uncertain with the Covid-19 pandemic striking and affecting the lives of people across the globe. We saw the whole world competing in the race of coming up with a vaccine to curb the spread of the virus. Amongst big names like the USA, UK, Russia, and China, India has also successfully developed not one but two vaccines without the strain of coronavirus ensuring minimum side effects. How’s that for progress and competency on a global scale? Adding to this, the Government of India is in the process of successfully executing the world’s largest vaccination drive with over 10 lakh doses administered within 6 days. There are two more vaccines that are in the pipeline and are in the final phase of their trials. There was a time when the polio vaccine was developed in 1955 but took more than 20 years to reach the Indian masses. Today we are exporting our vaccines all over the world. Such kind of progress is truly commendable.

Looking at women empowerment, daughters of India have set many global records in the past few years. We have very recently seen Captain Zoya Aggarwal, who led the all-women crew for the longest direct flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru, flying over the north pole, setting this record. In a historical move, India has permitted permanent commission to women in the armed forces. India is really coming out of the conservative mindset of keeping the women limited to the premises of the houses and breaking the barriers, helping and promoting women to explore their full potential.

We have come a long way since the day our constitution was put into action and we must take immense pride in being the citizens of such a great country. Let us celebrate this Republic Day by educating ourselves and others on India’s greatest minds and geniuses, learn more about their work and how it is helping India move forward, and most importantly, be a responsible citizen.

Happy 72nd Republic Day. Jai Hind!