India as Nation
The Responsibility is on All of Us
We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic and to secure it to all its citizens-Justice: social, economic and political; Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; Equality of status and 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 26th Day of November, 1949, do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this Constitution.
(Preamble, the Constitution of India)
The founding fathers of the Indian Constitution had visualized an India of great expectation and hope. Post-Independence whereby interest of all such as rich, poor, women, men, children, vulnerable groups and minorities meant to be protected and promoted. Nehru’s Tryst with Destiny’s speech and Ambedkar’s emphasis on social justice and doing away with the racial and ethnic prejudices expressed their deepen feelings for the nation. In a nutshell, working towards shaping India with all its diversity in one thread for the prosperity and growth of all its inhabitants have found resonance in the Preamble.
There has been a paradigm shift post-Independence in the social, economic, political and cultural ethos of India. It’s been more than 60 years of Independence and we have a very contrasting picture of India which forces us to think and dig deeper into the ideas and notions of the founding fathers of the Constitution to realize the dreams, hopes and aspirations of all its citizens and work in the realm of collective realizations of those wishes. We see today India scaling new heights in the corporate and economic growth, on the one hand, and poverty, regional imbalances, rural backwardness, gender violence, corruption, inequitable distribution of natural and public resources and religious intolerance among others, on the other hand. And the ironical is the fact that this contrasting picture is there even though we have plethora of laws, regulations and policies to tackle such challenges. We have a very disturbing picture that India is reeling under and these include gender violence, corruption and hunger. If we have to take charge of our destiny and the destiny of our beloved India to restore its glory that great martyrs of this country have thought of, it calls for social responsibilities of all of us as citizens, NGOs, youth, politicians and religious leaders to make India a better place to live in. Together we just have to take collective responsibility of shaping and reshaping our lives and the country we love so dearly.
Be a Law Abiding Citizen
No one is above the law. The Constitution envisages due process of law and we, as citizens, have to take the responsibility at the personal level to adhere to the law of the land. It is in the interest of all of us to follow what is envisaged under the law for the security and welfare of all its inhabitants. Please do away with the saying, which is commonly heard, that laws are meant to be broken. Rather take pride in following them as they are made to ensure our own safety and other concerns. By following the laws and rules, you are not only minding your own business but also setting an example for your peers to follow and you will see, it will have a multiplier effect.
As a respectable member of the society, it is our responsibility to be critical and point to activities that are against the fabric of the nation and which is raising a big question mark on we as citizens of the country. Here the role of the civil society organizations (NGOs) is pertinent. They can create public awareness and disseminate information on issues of larger concerns, of gross inequality, misuse of state power and laws that do not gel well with the identity of the nation. A large scale public awareness can act as a catalyst of social change and empower people to take charge of their destiny.
Duties and Rights
The Constitution has given us fundamental rights to speech and expression, religious freedom, freedom from exploitation, and the most important right to live freely. All these rights are the soul of the Constitution followed by our civil and political rights of the constitution’s 3rd part. Besides, the Constitution also features duties of the state and citizens in the governance of the country placed under Part 4th of the Constitution which comprise the positive duties of the state to ensure the economic, social and cultural rights of the citizens. These two parts are clear indication from the Constitution makers that rights and duties go hand-in-hand, for the smooth functioning of the democratic functioning of the Indian republic.
Religious Tolerance for Solidarity and Integrity
What we are witnessing at present is religious hatred and intolerance. The onus is on the religious leaders to understand the secular fabric of the nation which the Constitution clearly states. India is a land of great religious and cultural identities. No other nation in the world has such an amalgamation of cultures and religions. And it is the collective responsibility of all of us, especially religious and political leaders and youth to work in the protection and promotion of such rich heritage of India and contribute in the sphere of promoting communal peace and harmony. We should shed the bogey of communal tensions and work towards ushering in a superpower in true sense.
Education and Awareness
In order to make India a better place to live in and prosper for all its inhabitants, concerted efforts have to be made in educating its masses and create large scale awareness about the rights and duties of all. The buck stops not to one person rather this social responsibilities lies with all of us as a citizen, NGO, youth, politician and religious leader to realize the true spirit of ‘being an Indian’.