What made the Union of India Republic of India? Which literature declares India to be a secular, socialist, sovereign and democratic republic? Which is the source that assures all Indian citizens equality, justice and liberty? And where are the structured principles, rights and duties of people and government laid? This cannot be just a piece of writing; this cannot be just another book in our libraries or just another subject in school syllabi. The Indian constitution is much more, at par with our religious books and the sayings of our religious leaders. It wasn’t on the 15th of August 1947 that Indians gained freedom; it was on the 26th of January 1950, the date when the constitution was adopted, that in true sense the people of this nation were assured of fair and dignified life, free from the clutches of interference, unjustified authority and disparity. Today, we are free to elect our representatives, are free to move and work in any of the states of India, are free to express, and are free from any perpetual supreme authority, all backed by a literature, which if studied and abided to diligently by all citizens and their representatives in the administrative setup, will better not only the Indian society, but also our economy, environment and political structure.
Freedom from foreign rule or autocracy is not absolute and reasonable unless explicit guiding principles promising right to honorable life are in place. This is why the rulers of free India felt the need of a supreme law that should set out the fundamental rights and duties of citizens and lay down the framework for separation of powers and directive principles for governments. Any law that contravenes with the prescribed norms of the constitution cannot stand, thus ensuring that the citizens of India would forever remain protected from the glitches of corrupt politics. Then will it be so wrong to say that our constitution holds no less prominence than our Gita, Quran or Bible, and that along with motivating the new generations to adopt the sayings of these religious literatures, they should also be awakened to imbibe the Indian constitution? This means that constitution cannot be just confined to a subject in the education module, it has to be accorded much more importance, such that the learnings from this never get faded in our memories and our day to day actions are in complete consensus with the utmost law of the land. Would you not agree with the truth that merely anyone of us recalls the lessons on constitution that we get in our school days and what about those who even lack elementary education? Are we then not unaware of our rights, our obligations and our liabilities towards the nation?
We celebrate the 26th day of every January, but for most of us it is just another holiday. We know that a constitution embracing our privileges exists, but what exact those rights are, we rarely know. We, from news sources, come to know that someone has challenged an unconstitutional act of the legislature/ parliamentin the court of law, but why the same is alleged to be void ab initio, we hardly detect. Constitution is the very basis of our lives and being acquainted with even the minute particulars as contained therein is all that necessary to realize our sense of duty. While we cast our votes and then expect from our representatives to make good the living conditions, should we not also be well familiar with the political setup of India, with the notions of separation of powers, directive principles of state policy, elections, emergency provisions, and trade and commerce? Remember, the functioning of the governments and the conduct of our representatives should be in line with the norms of the constitution; hence any misuse of power is ultra vires. When we expect them to be honest at work, should we also not play our part in the process of nation-building, and the same is attainable if we adhere to the fundamental duties of all citizens as enumerated in the constitution.
We are the world’s largest democracy and are ruled by the longest written constitution of any sovereign country around the globe, but lack of awareness and hunger of what we deserve has held us back. From politicians to bureaucrats and from religious leaders to general public, every person on the soil of India should be aware of what the Indian constitution expects from us all. Directive principles, though not enforceable by any court of law, should be the guiding codes for every government. A few overlooked aspects such as cow slaughter and uniform civil code are to be paid heed to sooner than later. Then are our fundamental duties that ask us to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India, and to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement. Fundamental rights embrace right to equality, right to freedom, right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights, right to property and right to constitutional remedies. The honorable Supreme Court has adopted the view of the fundamental rights and directive principles being harmonizing with each other, onesupplementing the other’s role in aiming at the sole goal of establishing a welfare state by means of social revolution. Isn’t it very clear then that all that we expect from the society, political leaders and economy are there in our constitution, which makes the same the most supreme piece of literature in India?
For those who haven’t read or have disremembered the lessons on this guiding principle, this 26th January go through at least the Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles and Fundamental Duties as encompassed in the constitution. The dream of ‘Better India, Just for All’ can come true in case our works compliment the dictums of our constitution. To all- Try to place a copy of the Indian constitution at your homes and offices; better we are when aware of the supreme directive that establishes the rule of law and not the rule of man, provides against encroachment on the individual’s right and preserves the political institution against political whim or caprice. One thing is sure- 26th Jan, 15thAugust, and 2nd October cannot be just another holiday from work or study, these days are the genesis of free India, they remind us the command of honesty, truth, and of the common man, who has all the courage to change the circumstances, it is just the will and spirit that lack. If we promise to change any one wrong each year on these days, it would not take long for the Indian society and economy to prosper and be a world leader. The Parade of 26th Jan is a symbol of unity and synchronization; let us then be an Indian, not a Hindu, Muslim, Jaat, Pandit, Shia or a Sunni. From the core of my heart, Happy Republic Day!!!