While the rest of the country looks forward to Republic Day and Independence Day with a sense of relief (as it is a holiday) and pride (as the two days celebrate the Indian state like no other), every year the residents of the Walled City and its periphery look upon them with trepidation. For a reason. life as they know it for the rest of the year comes to a standstill on four days of the year, as not on just these two days but also the ones when rehearsals take place. Those staying outside the area might argue that while “Our Jawans are dying on the border, a day or four of inconvenience should not matter.” But they should take a moment to consider that children cannot go to school irrespective of whether they have an exam or are taking part in an activity to celebrate these very days or people to their offices.
Essentials like vegetables and milk disappear from the market as the entire road leading to the Red Fort is clamped down and sealed. Any person needing emergency medical care during this time chills the spine. Any argument or for that matter attempts at reasoning out of the situation are more often than not dealt with swiftly where a cop's slap is often effectively used. Incidentally, most forget that a Republic consists of people and celebrates them. It is not the preserve of a select few that inhabit the power corridors of lutyens Delhi. Unless, of course, we are living George Orwell’s 1984 where, “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” As for lockdowns of India Gate lawns before the national days, children of Central Delhi are denied their most basic right to run about in glee.