Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: Indian Republic – You’re Welcome World

Alpesh Patel Wednesday 31st January 2024 07:46 EST

26 January. On this day in 1950, the Constitution of India came into effect, transforming India into a newly formed republic.
It matters because one in six of humanity sleeps under the rights and duties afforded by that Constitution.
This event completed the country's transition towards becoming an independent republic, a journey that began with its independence from British rule in 1947.
The Constitution of India, drafted by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, is notable for its comprehensive and inclusive nature, establishing the framework for a secular, democratic, and sovereign state.
The practice, as with all nations is imperfect, but implementation evidenced by minority faiths reaching the Premiership and Presidency time again, and a woman PM before any major Western country, suggests there is much to learn about a harmonious society.
Indian secularism, unlike Western notions is neither that there is one over-arching faith (eg Church of England) under the protection of the Head of State, or the separation of religion and State (USA), but all faiths are equal under the law. This week's inauguration for instance of a Temple, was the result of decades of legal dispute with the Supreme Court, the arbiter.
The nation despite being predominantly Hindu (80%) or perhaps because of it, chose against a theocratic constitution or one ruled by a novel alien Western culture (the Communist manifesto). She chose against totalitarianism, military rule or dictatorship. But opened herself to the uncertainties of a democracy.
For a country of such strength (her economy is larger than the UK) she has only fought a war outside her own borders, rather than to defend them, once - the humanitarian refugee crisis in East Pakistan which the UN called a genocide. She went in under her PM to end the genocide. And with swift resolve.
She instead of war gave the world non-violence as a means of political force and Mahatma Gandhi. His statue stands in Parliament Square, London, between the Supreme Court and Parliament. Winston Churchill's statue is within a lathi throw of Gandhi's statue.
The supremacy of law is natural to an Indian population, having originated with Ashoka centuries ago.
Unsurprisingly a nation not a century old, yet millennia old, with growing economic might, returning to once again the second largest economy in the world soon, is finding an ever confident voice on the world stage. The world's media is still coming to terms with it.
She remains friends with all important Western nations, especially the US, UK, Japan, EU and every country in the Middle East simultaneously.
This year, her descendants will fight democratic elections in the United Kingdom and the United States to be Head of Government there.
And lest we forget, her volunteer Army fought with the Allies for righteousness in two world wars.
You're welcome, world.

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