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Bharat Mata
Bharat Mata

Indian Republic Day

Bharat Mata
Bharat Mata

Today is our 69th Republic Day. On this day in 1950, we became a Sovereign Democratic Republic. Bharat Mata was in chains and she was partly freed on August 15, 1947. On this day 69 years back, all the chains were removed. Or that’s what we thought. But, no. Women in India are still in chains. Even in the 21st century. Most women are living with stress due to torture from several directions.

Entire India celebrated Republic Day today. We also did so at home. Flag-hoisting should be done in open places, i.e. outside the house. However, due to various problems in our building, we have not been able to celebrate Independence Day and Republic Day, with the same fervor as it should be celebrated, for the last 7 years.

We have a 27-year-old Bharat Mata picture. We had informed the concerned people in our building that we are going to hang this picture outside our door. When we placed it outside, people have scratched the photograph with blades and they also took objection to our placing this photograph in front of our own home.

Indian Tricolor
Indian Tricolor

In several places, people place the pictures or even idols of Hindu Gods. Most people worship them while passing that way. If the concerned family do not place an oil lamp or incense stick in front of them, for some reason, others may do it on their own initiative. However, the situation here is different. The photograph, which we have, has Goddess Shakti included in it. It is a very rare one. We did not find a similar photograph anywhere else.

15 years back my Mom was an active member of a political party and was included as a social worker there. A prominent leader of the party had just been insulted. His birthday arrived and the party activists decided to celebrate it. Mom tied a turban to his photograph and honored him that way.  Soon, he received some accolades and rose up in politics. At that time, some male leaders had told her that they would take Mom to meet the prominent leader with the photograph of the decoration. Some woman activists did not like this and took the photograph to the prominent leader themselves and told him that they had honored him on his birthday.

Amar Jawan Jyoti
Amar Jawan Jyoti

The activist Ashatai Pawar, who had taken Mom into the political party, was angry and told Mom about it. I was quite young at that time and did not like this. I compelled Mom to leave the political party and told her to do social work independently. Some women activists from the political party asked Mom to give the Bharat Mata photograph to them since it is a rare picture. They even insisted that they would pay the price. But, Mom did not give it to them. She tried to find a similar picture from the market to give them. She did not get another one like it.

When our current building people damaged that picture, we felt hurt. Mom brought it back inside our home. What they have done is the desecration of the picture of Bharat Mata. It is an offense as per law. Since then, we have been celebrating the National Festivals inside our home. We did that even this time. We are sharing that photograph. We think that our situation will be better soon, by the grace of Bharat Mata. We risked placing Amar Jawan Jyoti in front of our home. We are sharing that picture as well.

About Gayatri T Rao

A double post-graduate (MSc. - Botany and MA - English Literature) Gayatri T Rao is a Senior Multimedia Journalist with vast experience in writing on varied topics.

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