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    Feb 2010


    Default Bollywood celebs share their thoughts and ideas on Republic Day

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    Prasoon Joshi: Republic Day is a reaffirmation of our principles as a secular vibrant democracy. In the last couple of years we are seeing a move towards a more participative democracy rather than a mere ballot one. The democratic principles enshrined in our constitution need to live and breathe. The onus for this is very much on us the citizens, the public, as on the government that upholds the Constitution.

    Irrfan Khan: Days celebrating nationalism, costumes signifying oneness, traditions and beliefs should all be re-examined. We must search within ourselves to see what the Republic Day means to us today.

    Subhash Ghai: Let’s implement the constitution of India. This according to me is the best constitution in the world. But it needs to be implemented better.

    Sharmila Tagore: Let’s strive for equality, liberty and a feeling of oneness.

    Shekhar Kapoor: Republic Day to me signifies cold winter mornings watching the parade with my parents.

    Nandita Das: It is the day the Constitution of India was formalized, so an extremely important day in the history of our country. But then we are constantly disrespecting the constitution by abusing the rights of so many people that it protects with its vision. Now all such days have merely become holidays. I hope that will change as we begin to be more mindful of all the injustices that happen around us.

    J.P. Dutta: My brother Deepak, who died on duty, was a squadron leader in the air force. In fact, my very first film “Sarhad” starring Vinod Khanna, which was not released, was a tribute to my brother.

    Since then subconsciously or consciously, my war films “Border” and “LOC” have been dedicated to my brother’s memory. Not a day goes by when we don’t think about him. I feel today’s generation isn’t motivated enough to join the army and the air force. Films such as mine and earlier the ones by Chetan Anand addressed themselves to the life of the soldiers and the futility of war. But these are themes that no longer attract young people. Sad.

    Lara Dutta: Both my dad and my sister are in the air force. They’ve both led their respective contingents for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. January 26 is therefore really special for the entire family. My father leads the three helicopters that fly overhead and shower rose petals. And my sister is the parade commander. I’ve wonderful memories of childhood when I’d get up before dawn to make it to the parade.

    Rajiv Khandelwal: My father was in the army. And my elder brother Col. Sanjeev is currently serving in the army. I was always tempted to be a part of the army. But since my brother had already joined the armed services, I was inclined to go ahead with my other passion, acting. I’d love to do a film about the army. I enjoyed playing Capt Rajveer in “Left Right Left”. I wonder why the army isn’t a sought-after vocation among youngsters today. Is the army losing its sheen or does patriotism no longer have buyers? I feel every student in college should be made to go through a stint in the army.

    Bikram Saluja: My mother’s brother was in the army. I’d have loved to follow my mama (uncle) into the army. But from as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a tennis player. Instead I ended up as a model then an actor. In J.P. Dutta’s “LOC”, I got a chance to play a soldier. It made me wonder what life would’ve been like if I had followed by uncle’s dream.

    Shabana Azmi: As a child, I remember being bundled into trucks on Republic Day to see the lights at Chowpatty. It was only later that I understood how wonderful our constitution was. Republic Day should become our definitive national festival so that every Indian irrespective of religion can celebrate it. This Republic Day, I hope and pray that a fair and just rehabilitation policy is put in place for those displaced because of development projects or environmental disasters.

    Himesh Reshammiya: Republic Day makes me realise the value of my freedom. We’re truly blessed to live in an independent democratic country where everyone has the right to say and do what he likes. On this day, we genuinely need to pay tributes to every person who has contributed to independent India. I dream of India becoming the richest country in the world and that there is not a single citizen living without food, shelter and clothing. Insha Allah, it will happen. That day isn’t far off.

    Mahesh Bhatt: There’s a magical childhood memory of a time when the city would glitter with lights. My one dream is for the nation to show zero tolerance for female infanticide.

    Alisha Chinoi: Freedom comes with responsibility. My vision of a new India begins with the eradication of corruption, poverty and with population control. With a nation of over a billion people, we need a benevolent dictator at the helm! On a personal note this Republic Day, I want to make India a better place for singers by closing down all music companies that rip off artistes’ royalties.

    Lilette Dubey: Republic Day…time to reflect and evaluate where we are and how much we still need to do. My one dream for this year and every year is to eradicate poverty, reduce the terrible gap between the haves and have-nots. Insha Allah, we’ll implement this more vigorously now. After all we are 60!

    Shankar Mahadevan: When I look at the tri-colour I feel so happy that I stayed back in my country instead of leaving for the USA, as many of my engineering colleagues did.With all that is going on around us today I feel that my house, my motherland, my people need a little bit of selfawareness individually which could go a long way in making a collective difference.I think every citizen should realize that in spite of the clouds of negativity there is room for rays of sunshine. Jai Hind.

    Raveena Tandon: Look around . None of us feels safe. My children are not safe. I am not safe. This Republic Day let’s ensure safety for women and children before we think of cleansing the political system. If I as a citizen cannot feel safe on the roads how and why would I go out and vote?

    Kabir Bedi: For me as a child in Delhi the Republic Day parade was the most exciting day of the year. Military bands, marching regiments with camels, sleek planes and tanks, costumed dancers and colourful floats, acrobatic displays and a thrilling fly-past by! This Republic Day I’d like to see the parade presented more imaginatively on television to capture the thrill I felt as a child.Symbolically, Republic Day should also embrace India’s new generation.



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