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A lesson for children: Republic Day & the Constitution of India

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I’m a proud Indian. The fact that I’m born and brought up in a democracy which treats all its citizens equally, gives them the right to vote and select their representatives is no less than an honour for me. Our Constitution confers upon us many rights and freedoms which come to us as a birthright as Indian citizens. No surprise then that Republic Day, the ‘birthday’ of our Constitution, holds a special place in our hearts.

There are some things that are synonymous with Republic Day. The getting up early and decking up in white or tricolour clothes for flag-hoisting, patriotic songs being played in every society since morning, excited children running around and proudly displaying their tricolour pins, bands or stickers, and most of all, the traditional and most integral part of this day, the Republic Day parade!

Is the significance of Republic Day limited to this though? Definitely not. How much do we tell our children about our Constitution? Do they know that even as minors they have rights? In a secular country like ours how do we inculcate qualities like tolerance, respect and acceptance towards other faiths and religions in them while they enjoy their own freedom of speech and expression?

I remember being driven to sleep every time I went through our Civics book. The bland way in which it was written paired with the equally mechanical way in which it was taught made sure I never put my heart into knowing why it was important to understand it. Like Trigonometry or Algebra, it was merely useless information that I was forced to retain. How wrong was I!

Like with other subjects can we not make Civics more practical-based to make it interesting? Activities like taking mock election sessions in the class, counting of votes, giving speeches or taking oaths can make children experience things closely. Taking a current issue suggested by them and having discussions about it in the class can improve their communication skills and sharpen their knowledge.

Updating our course books regularly with relevant real examples is also important. Our children deserve to have unbiased information about the working at the Centre and State level. This will be the first significant step towards making them informed and responsible citizens when they grow up.

As adults our minds and attitude can easily get sullied by the goings on in our country from time to time. Whether it is the Emergency or politically driven Hindu-Muslim wars of before or the blurred lines between radicalism and patriotism, beef ban or the silence of the ruling government on matters of prime importance right now, we feel wronged and in some way our angst and discontent boils down to our children.

It hence becomes imperative that we equip their minds to exercise their rights firmly and responsibly as and when required and take our country towards a bright future, isn’t it?

This post is a part of #Right2Write blogtrain initiated by Ruchie Verma from Wigglingpen. 13 bloggers have come together to share their views on Indian Republic Day. I would like to thank Shiwangi, for bringing this train to my station. I enjoyed sharing my personal views on why and how it needs to be taught to children. Taking this blog train forward, I would like you to meet Moumita.

Moumita Sen, a passionate writer who loves to capture every aspect of life and lifestyle through her blog (Social Connoisseurs). Brewing fresh ideas, sharing personal experiences and expressing views about niches that life centres through her blog is the objective of this mommy blogger.

Linking this with Deepa and Amrita for #MondayMommyMoments

18 thoughts on “A lesson for children: Republic Day & the Constitution of India

  1. I always wondered as to how do I make my daughter understand the importance of Consittution and why are text books so dull!
    Varsha thank you for enough pointers and really impressive list of suggestions!

    1. When I sit to teach my son I always give him examples and he gets the point quickly. I wonder why teachers don’t take some extra effort and do it in schools. Text books can be spruced up but along with it we need to change the way kids are taught too.
      Thank you, Anagha.

    1. It is great to see you on my blog, Sujata. I wanted to share my honest views about our Constitution that deserves more than a national holiday to make us remember it. Happy to see so many kind people agree with my views.
      Thank you for reading.

  2. Oh My God! What a thought! I totally agree with you on practical implementation of civics at a class level in school should surely be given a thought. This is a brilliant idea. I am therefore sharing your post on Facebook to bring it to more people so that a voice can be heard. Let me know if I can do something to help you propel this idea further to concerned authorities

    1. Thank you so much for the share, Nidhi. I’m glad you liked the idea, though its implementation in schools remains to be seen. I truly hope this post reaches the concerned authorities and some change occurs for our children’s sake.

  3. That’s a really well written post! Our textbooks don’t give us the updated information about our Constitution! Kids need to have unbiased knowledge

  4. Teach them at young age and explain the narrative well. Let them understand the reasons of – Republic or Independence in most purest form. Don’t shy away from answering tricky annoying questions. These kids are our tomorrow, let them grow with pride of Nation. Very well written post Varsha you picked the right pointers.

    1. Thanks, DIpika. Our kids need to grow with complete information and then decide between right and wrong with their own knowledge and understanding. Hope these pointers help anyone who might want to use them.

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