The Republic Day ceremony will be different in many city schools this year.
While the flag will be flying high, students will stand below it and read out their fundamental rights and duties, as enshrined in the Constitution, as part of a nation-wide pledge.
The initiative is by promoted by Fight Back, a Mumbai-based movement that began last year to highlight social issues.
“After the terrorist attack, it has become important for the next generation to understand the country's basic value systems. With so much negative exposure, it is important that they have something to fall back upon and the Constitution is the perfect foundation,” said Zubin Driver, founder of Fight Back.
Already 50 schools across the country have registered. Of them 35 are from Mumbai, the worst affected during the terror attack.
But what will make this pledge different from what students learn in their civics class?
“This will be go beyond the textbook because it will be an interactive assembly where students will be allowed to question their rights and duties, especially in the context of the attacks,” said Avnita Bir, principal of R.N. Podar School in Santacruz.
The initiative will not end with a pledge. Fight Back will be tying up with these schools and creating modules for value systems that will help promote patriotism among youth.
“As of now rights and duties is more a question in the examination. This concept should be brought in on a day-to-day basis,” said Abha Dharampal, principal of Utpal Sanghavi School in Juhu.
“After taking the pledge, the student council will take it beyond. When teachers say something it becomes ritualistic and mechanical, but when peers say something it becomes more relevant.”