Parading strength

Today is India’s 55th Republic Day. It marks the day of the largest number of organized parades in the world, from the biggest at Rajpath in New Delhi to the smaller but no less colorful throughout the country. I watched almost the entire parade on NDTV today – and while I don’t consider myself particularly patriotic (this is the first time I’ve taken an interest in it mostly because droning hindi commentaries on Doordarshan mostly make me gag) it was nice to watch all those ‘military might’ rolling down the red carpet. Which brings me to…

…military might in general. Parading strength is a good thing, remembering that you are strong is wonderful. But translating strength as weapons, armor, tanks and planes is silly. Sure, people need to know that the armed forces are wonderfully sleek and equipped, but a country holding a nuclear ace (if indeed that’s what it is) can afford more liberties with its parades – focusing more on what the country is about: I was more interested in the ‘floats’ that came after the guns, though as a rule they look more like colorful cartoons than living parts of a whole. Somebody should revamp those floats and make it glow. A mature country should celebrate its people, not its weapons.

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