India as Republic: My Reminiscences

India became republic on January 26, 1950. Dr. Rajendra Prasad took oath as the first President of India.

In 1950, I started my regular schooling in class six at the age of eleven years in Birlapur Vidyalaya at Birlapur in district 24 Parganas of West Bengal. I passed out my school final examination in 1955 and got admission in Presidency College for Intermediate science course of Calcutta University. Dr. Rajendra Prasad had his education in Presidency too and lived in Eden Hindu Hostel. The plaque on the main gate of the hostel states, ‘Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first president of India lived here’. I lived in the same hostel for the two years of my course in the college. I visited my college and hostel with Shannon and Anand last January after many years. The memories are sweet.

Interestingly, the first Indian Institute of Technology started in May 1950 in an old prison building at Hijli in Kharagpur, West Bengal. In 1957, after appearing for intermediate in science examination, I appeared in the entrance examination of the lone IIT at Kharagpur and got selected for doing my mechanical engineering that I completed in 1961.

The first Indian car that became known later as Ambassador, based on Morris Oxford, rolled out of Hindustan Motors’ Uttarpara Plant in 1950. Straight from IIT, Kharagpur, I joined Hindustan Motors in 1961as executive trainee that was one of the best paying jobs those days. I worked till 1997 in Hindustan Motors and retired.

I am proud of the educational institutes that I attended, the last two happen to be among the best in India even today.

Are these not great connections with the institutions started in 1950?

I think India must celebrate the Republic Day as well as Independence Day in some unique way that gets acceptance of all the people of all ages in all corners of the country. Can it not become a colour cum lighting festivals for all and thus integrate the Indians? Is it difficult for the Indians to have lighting and fireworks on this day? I am sure Republic Day must be more than just seeing a parade on TV or going out for picnic.

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