When we think about Republic Day, we instantly think about the vivacious parade that takes place in New Delhi. At once images of the tricolour in various forms and the flag being unfurled flash in front of our eyes but is that all there is to celebrate on this glorious day? As our young nation celebrates its 68th Republic Day, we rewind a little to take a walk through history and look into the legendary story of the birth of India as a democratic and sovereign republic.
On 26th of January 1950, India adopted its constitution bringing it into force as the supreme document giving shape to the three pillars of governance i.e., judiciary, legislature and executive. It vested the Judiciary with the power to interpret the laws made by the legislature and implemented by the executive, thus making the entire system interlinked and accountable. Even though we got independence in 1947, it wasn’t until the constitution came into being that we felt like a truly free and self-sufficient nation. The constitution truly made India, a democracy of the people, for the people, by the people. This is why the celebration of Republic Day can also be seen as the celebration of the Indian constitution. So let’s take this opportunity to share a few facts about the stunning success that is our constitution.
Our constitution is the world’s largest and most thorough constitution with over 448 articles divided in 25 parts, and 12 schedules. It is also the most flexible constitution with 98 amendments till date. The makers of our constitution realized the desperate need for a document that was in consonance with India’s policy of unity and diversity. This was a herculean task as India is one of the most heterogeneous countries in terms of religion and language and was going through a specifically turbulent time due to the havoc caused by the partition. So when our leaders were faced with this conundrum they looked up to nations like US, England, France, Canada, Ireland etc. that had tried and tested policies in their own constitutions, picking principles from each one that best suited the status quo. This meticulous move resulted in a perfect blend to form a comprehensive framework that satisfied the needs of one and all. This is why even the constituent assembly that comprised of some of the greatest thinkers, philosophers and political minds of that time took over eleven sessions spread across a span of three years to compile the constitution. Such was the intricacy with which every minute detail was debated over to make a document that had no loopholes. The members of the constitution understood the graveness of the task at hand and didn’t want to leave any room for mistakes. They strongly believed that the constitution was going to give shape and direction to India’s future. And the present scenario is a testament to the acumen of these brilliant men and women to whom India owes its accomplishments.
Some special features of our constitution that truly made it workable are the fundamental rights, the fundamental duties, directive principals of state policy, Article 370, and last but not the least the preamble which is regarded as a preface to the constitution. The preamble declares India as a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic with its basic principles being liberty, equality and justice. All these terms that are the essence of a genuinely democratic setup are at the very heart of our constitution. And this is what makes it so special and essential for the functioning of our political system. Our constitution has held steady since its conception, it has gotten us through some particularly rough times like wars, riots and civil unrest. Even in the face of adversity the constitution has never failed to safeguard the rights of its citizens and that is why it is seen as no less than a holy book like the Bible, Quran and the Bhagwat Gita. In conclusion it would be safe to say, that the constitution is not a mere document it is the very foundation of our great nation. It is the thread that connects India’s past present and future.
About the Author:
Sakshi Kaushal (DAV College 10)