India celebrated its 64th Republic Day on January 26 with much fanfare, displaying its military might and cultural diversity in a parade that rolled through New Delhi.
While the parade showcased the nation’s achievements over the last six decades, the image portrayed is at considerable odds with reality. Since adopting a democratic and liberal constitution on January 26, 1950, the attack on India’s liberal and democratic traditions has never been as acute as it is now.
As the parade moved down Rajpath, New Delhi’s ceremonial boulevard, a religious fringe group in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu was pressuring authorities to withdraw the release of the movie Vishwaroopam from cinemas on the grounds that it insults Islam.
The spy flick—written, directed and co-produced by Kamal Haasan, who also stars—deals with Islamic terrorism. Although the movie was cleared by Indian censors, its release has now been put on hold, to the disappointment of fans.