January 16, 2007 | 12:04 AM
The Indian Constitution and us
26th of Novermber 1949. Our Constitution promised EVERY Citizen of India JUSTICE, LIBERTY, EQUALITY and FRATERNITY. Not just for those that could afford it. But every Individual. Isn't it time for us to remind ourselves how miserably we have failed our Constitution ? Here is a copy of the front page :
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
We all know that the Poitics and the Politicians of our country have failed us. Failed our Constitution. Miserably. And I would say Criminally. The parents of Nithari Village, for example, would look disbelievingly at anyone that would read them their Fundamental Rights. As would 70 PERCENT OF OUR PEOPLE.
But there is another chapter on FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES of every Citizen of India. And in performing of these Fundamental Duties, we are excercising our right under our Constitution :
51A. Fundamental duties.—It shall be the duty of every citizen of India—
(a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
(b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
(c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
(d) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
(f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;
(h) to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
(i) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
(j) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.
Are we aware of our Fundamental Duties ? Let's question ourselves, and see where we also as Individuals have failed. And if we have, how do we as Individuals, or as a collective perform OUR fundamental duties.