66th REPUBLIC DAY CELEBRATIONS: ASSESSING INDIAN CONSTITUTION

Troops on RDay

Today is 26th January and we once again celebrated our Republic day. Albeit, I stayed at home owing to my never ending resistance towards socializing and fear of losing precious time yet I ended up sparing my entire day watching Bollywood movies. Nevertheless, my intention is not to describe my day but to focus upon India’s progress while enjoying the wonderful evening of Republic day.

Today was 66th year since India has been functioning under the umbrella of comprehensive guiding book i.e. our Constitution. When I try to dwell upon the contents of this precious document, I wonder the immense patience, intense deliberation and far sighted vision of our forefathers. Inclusion of secular credentials, Fundamental Rights, DPSP, Emergency provisions, federal structure has been elaborately defined in the sacred document. In fact words of Woodrow Wilson ring my ears on looking at this Indian Bible/Quran/Gita etc. –“By comparison we can borrow the art of sharpening the knife without killing someone”. Precisely, the above statement comprehensively encapsulates the hard work which our fore fathers did for framing this document. Even though we did look upon provisions from every possible functional Constitution of world but it was not the mere imitation. Rather, focus was on converting the same in accordance with India’s domestic requirements.

However, what bothers an eager mind is the pertinent question that whether India has really progressed? Whether the Constitution has really shown us the direction and are we really moving towards it? This article will briefly try to analyze about India’s progress keeping in mind our historical incidents which played significant role in shaping our future.

Article 19 (1)(a) of Indian Constitution prescribes Right to Speech and Expression as our Fundamental Right. Yet the events such as withdrawal of Windy Doniger book, recent act of Perumal Murugan on publicly quitting writing presents a different picture. Similarly, Secularism has been mentioned in our Preamble yet we witness communal violence as seen in Muzaffarnagar. Religion has become a new tool in hands of political bosses to carefully nurture their voter base. Ideals of Constitution and to be specific DPSP are hardly given any prominence in actual life.

Does this indicate that our Constitution has failed? Clearly denying the statement I would be explicitly negating the statement. A phrase from my favorite movie “Rang De Basanti” provides strong support to my views- “No nation is perfect, we have to make one”. Incorporating high ideals into a document does not indicate imbibing the same in our daily life’s. However, presence of such a document does provide us a direction/ path/ vision in which to proceed. It gives us the power to discriminate between right and wrong. Moreover, if there is any rational logic on how a country comprising of diverse religion, faith, ethnicity, linguistic etc. has survived till date and even progressed then it can be linked with strong foundation provided by our Constitution.

Thus even though the argumentative tradition comes naturally to we Indians yet the same dialogue is tilted towards greater skepticism and criticism. We must not forget that during the same 66th Republic day celebrations US president was the Chief Guest at flag hoisting ceremony. His personal visit , his commitments towards new enhanced relationship i.e. “ Chalein Sath Sath” does indicates upto significant extent about the progress which India has made in global arena. Let’s rejoice on this auspicious occasion and commit our energies towards attainment of our goals in the direction of national welfare.

Signing Out!

Jai Hind and Jai Bharat!

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