By Nirbhay K
In India, November 26 is celebrated as ‘Constitution Day’ to reiterate pledge to uphold the Constitution of India. In the context of the ‘Constitution Day’ it is important to revise few interesting findings from an empirical study conducted by Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness in 2015 titled, the Yuva Nagarik Meter. It is a first of its kind study that mapped and created a national baseline of the level of democratic citizenship among Indian youth.
35% high school students consider themselves as citizens of India.
67% college students ‘agree’ that India should have only one strong political party at Centre to rule the entire country.
42% high school and 44% college students ‘agree’ that it is alright to violate rules because one can always get away by bribing the officials.
The empirical study findings suggests that the youth are growing up without adequate knowledge, values, skills and attitudes necessary to evolve as more humane and democratic citizens help in building equitable society. The above all statements hold true today and the Father of the Indian Constitution had visualized the solution enshrined in upholding the Constitution. “The first thing in my judgment we must do is to hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives”, quote from the speech made by Dr. B R Ambedkar, Father of the Indian Constitution, to the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949.
It is important to highlight and understand core of the Indian Constitution, The Preamble. It is referred as the preface highlighting the essence of the Indian Constitution. It constitutes the soul and declares the broader objectives of the Indian Constitution by stating, “We, the people of India, have solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, republic and to secure all its citizens: Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.”
On the occasion of ‘Constitution Day’, it is appropriate and right time to begin a journey of reflection and action inspired by the Constitution of India. The Constitution of India establishes the basic tenets of democratic principles. It is paramount that these principles are nurtured among all Indian citizens. It is important to note that the Constitution of India is a guiding document that helps build a stronger nation. It is core of the past, present and the future of the generations to come. Therefore, it is important for every citizen to read and understand basics of the India Constitution, especially portions relating to, powers and duties of government institutions, fundamental rights and the duties of citizens and directive principles.
It would be ideal to get hold of a copy of the Indian Constitution for home library. It is important to understand that the democracy is much beyond mere political structures and processes. It also revitalizes to engage citizens understanding of democracy beyond civics textbooks. It would certainly inspire an individual citizen to be more alert to the state actions and helps necessary preparedness to hold on to the fundamental duties and rights of the individual. It is yet another way to reiterate the pledge to always uphold the Constitution of India.
It is important to believe and promote that upholding the Constitution helps in building a strong and vibrant civil society comprising of democratic citizens. It is also a prerequisite for building a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society.
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