The following is an excerpt from an article by Chenchiah in the Guardian. He bemoans how Republic Day has lost its fervour and is simply celebrated by officials. An important message for today, for both Christian and non-Christian Indians.
“My total impression is that real India has shown very little spontaneous joy at the coming of the Republic. I wonder why Republic means so little change. Wherever I went I observed the celebrations were official and paid as in the British days. The Railway stations, the schools, post offices, police stations were conspicuous and each of them received Government grants for celebrations. Every where the Government officials were in evidence as leaders of the celebrations. In a stretch of on hundred and seventy-four miles there was not a single instance of spontaneous celebration. Only in one house I say Indian decoration–thorannams. I did not see decorations in private houses. I cam to Madras. A traveller in the tram observed that he did not see one smiling face on the Republic Day in Madras. That is my experience also. The wine of liberty has not reached the main in the street. The joy of liberty is mostly an official joy that has not yet reached the proletariat in terms of more tolerable existence. This is a portent which the Government has to note. This may prove in the end a greater danger to the Congress than to the Communists. Independence has not been translated into popular speech.” P. Chenchiah, “A Laymen among theologians,” The Guardian, 16 February, 1950, 103