AD SENSE

Jan 26th: Republic Day Celebration

 REPUBLIC DAY CELEBRATION 

(You may want to add hymns, reflections, prayer for the nation and the leaders and martyred soldiers in between)

Hymn:

 Introduction: 

Leader: Today on 26th January (2021), India celebrates her 71st   Republic Day. In capital Delhi, the main attraction of the Republic Day festival is the military and cultural parade to celebrate the implementation of the Indian Constitution in 1950. Prior to the celebration, Prime Minister lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti – India gate, in memory of the sacrifice of the martyrs who died for the country in the defence of its sovereignty. The National Flag is hoisted followed by a grand parade of armed forces in full battle regalia from the Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace), past India Gate ending at Red Fort.

 Opening prayer: 

O God, our creator, you have made this world out of love and gathered us together as one family. Today71 years ago, you gave a constitution to assure each of us the dignity, freedom and equality to be a citizen of India. We thank you for all that is beautiful in India that we are proud of. Bless every citizen of our country that s/he may work for peace, prosperity and true freedom. Strengthen our hands that we may truly build and not destroy hearts and hopes, houses and future for your children. Amen. 

Reader 1: Although the Independence from the British rule was achieved on 15th August 1947, it was on the first ‘REPUBLIC DAY’ 26th January 1950 that the “Constitution of India” was enforced. India became a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, REPUBLIC and assured Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity to all its citizens. The Preamble to the Constitution of India is an introductory statement on the guiding Principles of the document. It embodies the fundamental values on which the Constitution is based, its aims and objectives which the founding fathers of the Constitution enjoined. The Preamble declares, in unequivocal terms that the source of all authority under the Constitution is the people of India and that there is no subordination to any external authority. It means a government by the people and for the people. 

Tagore: Where the Mind is Without Fear 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection 

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way 

Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit 

Where the mind is led forward by thee 

Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

Reader 2: Preamble of the Constitution of India WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure for all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the Nation; IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION. 

Reader 3: The psalmist in Psalm 33:12 says “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Again, we are exhorted “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:1-4) Let us pray for our country India, the ancient land and cradle of great religions that has sought God with a relentless desire all through the ages, that our country be safeguarded by God’s divine power and that we may learn to walk in integrity and make of our country a nation of true fraternity, equality, justice and peace. Prayer for Our Country: (Principal/Teacher) Almighty God, bless India our country and make it true to the ideals of freedom, fraternity, justice and equality for all. Bless our leaders with vision and courage to govern upholding our constitution and uprooting corruption at all levels. Make us aware of our heritage and our constitutional rights as well as our responsibilities as citizens of our country. May we be committed to tackle the social ills in sincerely dealing with corruption, caste based politics, greed, pollution, malnutrition, illiteracy, crime, exploitation of the weak/poor as child labour, female infanticide. May we halt environmental degradation to ensure health and sanitation for all as a priority! Guard us from threats to stability and security of our country within and across the borders due to terrorism and insurgency.

Reader 4: The National Emblem of India is a replica of the Lion of Sarnath, near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh adapted by the Government of India on 26th January1950. The Lion Capital was erected in the third century BC by Emperor Ashoka to mark the spot where Buddha first proclaimed his gospel of peace and emancipation to the four quarters of the universe. The National emblem symbolizes contemporary India's reaffirmation of its ancient commitment to world peace and goodwill. The four lions (one hidden from view) resting on a circular abacus symbolize power, courage, pride and confidence. The abacus is girded by four smaller animals as guardians of the four directions: the lion of the north, the elephant of the east, the horse of the south and the bull of the west. At the centre of the Abacus, there is an "Ashoka Chakra" which symbolizes the Dharma Chakra. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change. The motto 'Satyameva Jayate' inscribed below the emblem in Devanagari script means 'TRUTH ALONE TRIUMPHS'. The National emblem commands utmost respect and loyalty as it symbolizes independent India's identity and sovereignty. The National Insignia forms a part of the official letterhead of the Government of India, and appears prominently on the diplomatic and national Passport of the Republic of India. It is visible on Indian currency and government buildings. 

Leader: We live in a nation where the price of essential food commodities like rice and dal is constantly rising while you can get a SIM Card for free; footwear is sold in AC showrooms but the food we eat is sold on the footpath; lemon juice is artificially flavoured while dishwasher liquids are made with real lemon; you can get a car loan for a lesser interest rate than an education loan. Pizza reaches home faster than the Ambulance or the Police. We are still a poor country where people starve for two square meals per day, while two IPL teams are auctioned at 3300 crores. India has more mobile phones than toilets as only 31% of the population has sanitation facility. Despite the obvious contradictions in our nation, we affirm that we have the determination to overcome all obstacles as we sing the song ‘we shall overcome’. 

FLAG HOISTING CEREMONY 

Let us rejoice in India our motherland great in natural beauty, where the mountains and rivers steal the hearts with the Himalayas in the north, Indian Ocean in the south, the Arabian Sea in the west and the Bay of Bengal in the east! We salute those who defend our country and render national service in promoting harmony and brotherhood. We celebrate our nationalism in the sense we are INDIANS first and Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians after. With freedom in mind, faith in words, pride in our hearts, memories in our souls we pledge to take India to new heights. Let us unfurl the National Flag praying that the tricolour endows us with peace, prosperity and purity. 

Let us recite the NATIONAL PLEDGE:

India is my country. All Indians are my brothers and sisters. I love my country. I am proud of its rich and varied heritage. I shall always strive to be worthy of it. I shall give my parents, teachers and all elders, respect, and treat everyone with courtesy. To my country and my people, I pledge my devotion. In their wellbeing and prosperity alone, lies my happiness. 

Concluding Prayer:

O Lord, light of the East! You are the dispenser of India's destiny. Your name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujarat, Maratha, Dravida, Orissa and Bengal. It echoes in the hills of Vindhyas and Himalayas, mingles in the music of the Indian Sea. They pray for your benediction and sing your praises. We wish to fulfil in our longings and in our prayer of faith the age long aspirations of our country: lead us from the unreal to the real; from darkness to light; from death to immortality. Today and forever. Amen. 

Hymn