At the end of the calendar year, it is an opportunity for us to reflect independently as well as collectively. 2021 has come to an end. Millions of people across the world are hoping for something better to come their way. January is when we observe Republic Day as a nation. Much attention is paid to the pomp & splendour that accompanies it, and much less thought is given to what being a republic really means. The day, 26th January, is observed as such because it was on this day in the year 1950 that the Constitution of India came into effect, replacing the colonial era documents and acts that had governed the newly born nation till then. It was the documentation and legalization of a promise – a promise offered by a fully sovereign republic, to its citizens, who were now free to choose their destiny and path ahead, free of the shackles of imperial rule. But as Dr BR Ambedkar had predicted, it was on a shaky foundation of societal division and a fractured society that this promise was being executed.
More than 70 years later, the future looks murky, as he had feared. 2020 and 2021 both were years affected by the pandemic and economic downturn, as well as flagrant human rights violations. So, in this issue, we have chosen to examine what it really means to be a republic in the truest sense, beyond the noise and celebration. We carry four interviews this time – from four very diverse personalities, discussing issues such as women’s role on social movements, civil liberties and UAPA, constitutional values, and Martyrs’ Day. From the past to the present to the hopes of the future – our January 2022 issue has it all.
In addition, this issue gives space to young girl students from schools and colleges to enunciate their dreams and hopes for the coming year – politically, personally, socially and as citizens. We hope and pray for better times to come, with the certainty that both the youth and older generations will walk shoulder to shoulder in order to create a better tomorrow with a clear vision.