Constitution a sacred document of country: Om Birla
New Delhi: As we celebrate the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”, it is time for us to introspect how we can contribute to the process of nation-building so that our nation can become a major player in the global economy with an inclusive and egalitarian society . I have no doubt that the Constitution of India will be our guide, friend and philosopher in this task.
India is the world’s largest functioning democracy by size; Its pluralistic character and democratic values have withstood the test of time. Democratic traditions and principles have been an integral part of the glorious heritage of Indian civilization. The virtues of equality, tolerance and peaceful coexistence have been an integral part of our society for centuries. Democracy is deeply rooted in our socio-political conscience.
Our freedom struggle was a mass movement based on the principles of truth and non-violence. Our freedom fighters dreamed of a free and prosperous India and an inclusive society based on social and economic justice. We got freedom after a long struggle and their collective vision guided us. After independence, when our founders framed the constitution, they incorporated the core values of liberty, equality, fraternity and justice. Considering the size and diversity of the country, preparing the sacred document was a colossal task that would lead the country on the path of unity and prosperity while preserving its democratic set-up. The drafters had three primary goals: to protect the unity and integrity of the nation; Establishment of the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity among the people; and to lay the groundwork for institutions focused on leading the way to economic and social equality. With his wisdom, prudence, conviction and deep engagement with the people, our founders were not only successful in drafting a modern and enlightened covenant between the state and its citizens, but we were also given a constitution which was a non-violent one. While maintaining the original, is at the same time flexible enough to accommodate the needs of changing times.
We, as a nation, have faced many challenges of diverse nature, but our Constitution has helped us to overcome them successfully. It not only establishes the rule of law in the country, but also serves to distribute powers between the union and the states, strengthens democratic institutions, and empowers the most vulnerable and marginalized. The success of India’s parliamentary democracy rests on the strong building and institutional framework that the Constitution stipulates. 26 November holds a special significance for us as a nation, as it was the day in 1949, the day our Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution in 90,000 words. In 2015, on the occasion of 125th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar, Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution, the central government declared 26 November as Constitution Day or Constitution Day.
The most distinctive feature of the Constitution is its timeless ideals contained in a flexible framework. It is not just an abstract ideal, but a living document. Indian constitution has enabled us to establish social, economic democracy and political democracy. It has been the most powerful instrument of social and economic change. Our Constitution has always been responding to the changing hopes, aspirations and circumstances evolving with the times.
Our parliamentary democracy has grown from strength to strength in the last 72 years. When we look back on our journey of seven decades, we feel proud not only of upholding the Constitution, but also of reviving and strengthening its democratic tenure. People have always been at the heart of our constitutional, democratic polity and India is seen as a living example of a vibrant and pluralistic culture that thrives in an ever-evolving parliamentary system. Our governance is focused on building an inclusive and prosperous State as envisaged in the Preamble to the Constitution, an approach that has helped to empower the common people as confident citizens of a proud nation, and not just passive observers or Beneficiaries only.