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 :
PART IVA
FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES
51A. Fundamental duties.óIt shall be the duty of every citizen of Indiaó
(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.
Shekhar

24 Responses to “The Indian Constitution and us”

  1. Navin says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    After reading the email posted in your last blog, it occured to me how ignorant we are about our own Constitution. When even citizens like us who have had the good fortune and privilege of having been educated in top schools don’t know much (or don’t care much) about our Constitution, what to talk of the downtrodden majority. When we do not even know what rights have been given to us by the Constitution, then how will we excercise them. That’s why the “sarkari babus” are able to harass the common citizen so much. The most forgotten fundamental right, to me, seems to be the right to Information. If the common citizens decide to excercise this right to have access to all the commercial deals entered by the sarkari babus, then a pandoras box will be opened.
    I think studying the Constitution of India should be made a full fledged subject in schools, rather than having just a few cursory chapters.
    Cheers!
    Superstar

  2. Reuben says:

    Shekhar,
    In our school when I was in the 8th or 9th grade we had a subject called civics. It covered the fundamental aspects of the constitution and the above Fundamental duties was one of the chapters. I remember most of us just used to “mug” it up and reproduce it in the exams without understanding the true implications of it. Even in the hierarchy of the subjects it used to be under one of those necessary evil thing, way below the “biggies” like mathematics or science, even the parents or teachers did not bother about it much.
    Now, when I read these fundamental duties I see how relevant each one of them is to really propel India into the league of “classy” nations and how following those would help in developing a well rounded individual.
    Thanks for taking up this issue.
    Reuben.
    P.S: “We deserve the leaders we get”

  3. Sheetal says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    Fundamental rights are only for those who do their FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES well…
    When I first saw your blog about NO-Vote…I thought look Shekhar is copying me…(hehehe I had written about it in my blog)…but after looking at the comments (on your blog and mine) – I am surprised that there are quite a few people who don’t even know that the NULL VOTE concept exists…and I’m so glad that you wrote about it and HOPE that the number of people who will know this will increase…
    However, what about those people who stay far away from where they can vote? To my limited knowledge there is NO law that helps them. But Govt.Servants, who are sent on ELECTION duty, can SEAL their votes and pass it onto their concerned ELECTION OFFICERs!

  4. GJ says:

    Hallelujah for a man who can finally point out that we have duties too!!! As citizens, it is when we fail in our dutues that our country fails in giving us our rights.
    For every child in Nithari, there is a parent who takes it lying down that cops will be cops, and ask for bribes, and grease their palms, and let them get away with not doing their jobs.
    For every paedophile in Goa, there is a mother who won’t use the government methods of contraception and will kill and girl child because she won’t feed the family.
    For every incident of drunken driving, is a family that gives their laadla beta a car before he is 18, because ‘all friends have no, what to do’.
    It’s so very easy to slam the constitution and this country. I am currently engaged in commissioning a poll for my paper on 5 simple questions on the constitution. Let me tell you one megastar thought it was the day we got the chakra on the flag!
    our constituion is one of the world’s freest and fairest simply because it contains amendments more than any other legislature – because it is not a static object but a living, breathing, dynamic law.
    The Supreme Court reviewed the constituion last week, and directed that section 9, so far beyond the purview of the judiciary and containing exemptions for everyone from ministers to truck drivers who chose to escape the law under its shadow, was brought udner judicial scrutiny.
    That’s the country and the constitution for you.
    I’m sorry, but I love this land, this people, our laws and who we are.

  5. Nikita says:

    Does it really matter if we know our fundamental duties for not? Sorry for sounding so sharp but honestly, I just feel that enlightenment should be followed by implementation. How many of us really do that? How many of us really fight against the corrupt officials? How many of us not bribe the policemen while unabashedly breaking laws (mind you I include myself here)? Everytime, an event, that shakes the country, is followed by huge amount of discussions and blogs. Earlier it was the Mumbai Bomb blasts and now it is the Nithari case. will any of us ‘actually’ stand up for the murdered children and their grieving parents? Will any of us actually be able to punish the pervert politicians who are highly capable of shutting the case?
    It is high time that we stand by our speeches and practise what we preach! I was aware of all my rights and duties but if we were to be punished for not following them then the biggest culprits would be the politicians themselves. But why blame them when we, as citizens, ourselves don’t believe in the rights given to us since we need to muster a lot of courage to implement something as simple as them.

  6. Nikita says:

    Does it really matter if we know our fundamental duties for not? Sorry for sounding so sharp but honestly, I just feel that enlightenment should be followed by implementation. How many of us really do that? How many of us really fight against the corrupt officials? How many of us not bribe the policemen while unabashedly breaking laws (mind you I include myself here)? Everytime, an event, that shakes the country, is followed by huge amount of discussions and blogs. Earlier it was the Mumbai Bomb blasts and now it is the Nithari case. will any of us ‘actually’ stand up for the murdered children and their grieving parents? Will any of us actually be able to punish the pervert politicians who are highly capable of shutting the case?
    It is high time that we stand by our speeches and practise what we preach! I was aware of all my rights and duties but if we were to be punished for not following them then the biggest culprits would be the politicians themselves. But why blame them when we, as citizens, need to muster so much of courage to implement rights as simple as that?

  7. Neeta says:

    Such precious words and could never reach the illiterate.
    It has to start with education, beautiful ideals would follow.
    Also reminds me of Gandhi’s words
    “There is enough in the world for everyone’s need; there is not enough for everyone’s greed.”

  8. While I fully agree with what you say, may I point out that the fundamental duties (unlike the fundamental rights) listed by you are legally speaking non-justiciable?
    But, your basic point is well-taken. The Indian system has completely failed at most places, including at Nithari. The politicians are a burden on the society today. One does not know how to get rid of them.

  9. XYZ says:

    Who have failed the constitution Shekhar? Certainly not the ones who would have themselves succeed even if the constitution failed. They are the majority in this country! We are just a whiny tiny minority.
    Constitutions cannot overrule the inherent natures of people…this is a discordant chaotic culture (at this time in history)…the constitution failing is just such a sideshow!

  10. Rudra says:

    Shekhar ,some suggested Ammendments to the useless senility which you pasted :
    WE, THE PEOPLE OF BHARATVARSH, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into SOVEREIGN CAPITALIST DEMOCRATIC VEDIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
    JUSTICE, SPEEDY,social,economic and political;
    LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship AS LONG AS NOT EXCLUSIVE OR NOT ANTI-NATIONAL;
    EQUALITY of status and of opportunity WITHOUT RESERVATIONS OR CLAIMING RESOURCES FOR ONE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY; and to promote among them all
    FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual AND ENSURING THE SAME FROM ALL EXCLUSIVE AND BIGOTED RELIGIOUS CLASSES and the unity and integrity of the Nation.

  11. Friends,
    I struck me aftering following the comments and analyses of legal people of late that the Supreme Court today has all the three functions concentrated in it:
    law making by an interpretation of the Constitution; law enforcement, en executive functions though committees; and finally law adjudication- judicial review. A lot of thought needs to be spared to these developments or we hope it is for the good of the country.

  12. mahavir says:

    Shekhar ,some suggested Ammendments to the useless senility which you pasted :
    WE, THE PEOPLE OF BHARATVARSH, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into SOVEREIGN CAPITALIST DEMOCRATIC VEDIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
    JUSTICE, SPEEDY,social,economic and political;
    LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship AS LONG AS NOT EXCLUSIVE OR NOT ANTI-NATIONAL;
    EQUALITY of status and of opportunity WITHOUT RESERVATIONS OR CLAIMING RESOURCES FOR ONE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY; and to promote among them all
    FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual AND ENSURING THE SAME FROM ALL EXCLUSIVE AND BIGOTED RELIGIOUS CLASSES and the unity and integrity of the Nation.

  13. yasasvi says:

    Friends,
    I struck me aftering following the comments and analyses of legal people of late that the Supreme Court today has all the three functions concentrated in it:
    law making by an interpretation of the Constitution; law enforcement, en executive functions though committees; and finally law adjudication- judicial review. A lot of thought needs to be spared to these developments or we hope it is for the good of the country.

  14. Ambareesh Shrivastav says:

    Hi,
    Ok the Government and Police of Uttar Pradesh did not do their respective jobs by letting something like Nithari happen. But the parents of the Nithari victims also made this whole incidence more embarrassing by calling Mulayam Government’s efforts applaudable and saying that there is no need for CBI investigation as the UP Police is doing a very good job in investigating this case. 5 lakhs and a plot in Noida must have seemed a fair bargain to them for the torture their 5 year olds had to go through before they were brutally murdered.
    However I don’t blame the politicians for the mess that we are in because I believe that our Politicians, Bureaucracy ,Police and all the other people that we criticize for not doing their job and for being corrupt have not come to India from some foreign land. They belong to this country and they represent us and our values. They belong to our own society and if they have reached the designations that they have, then we have only ourselves to blame cause we are not doing anything about it(other then pointing fingers).
    Live in Rome as Romans do. In a corrupt country you have to be corrupt to survive.

  15. Shashi Samundra says:

    In a corrupt country u have to be corrupt to survive. What a pathetic attitude and an easy way out. In a corrupt system, set up an examle not to be corrupt. It is hard but can be done and some do just that.Please remember, Things work in a chain reaction; one influencing many if not the most.

  16. Dinesh Shende says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    Good point you have produced.
    The Indian Constitution is really supreme and best in the world.
    Dr. Ambedkar said, “the representative of people should have the moral characters and knowledge/talent”.
    He said, “Even if the Indian Constitution is good, but the implementor of the constitution are not good, then there is no meaning to the constitution. And if implementor are good people then the Constitution would be best”
    Yes, Constitution should be taught in schools/colleges in stepwise manner. Instead of teaching National Integration, some schools are teaching the thoughts of discrimination, hatred towards people of other community/caste/religion.
    We should keep in mind that the people with Anti-Social Attitude, religious dogma are more dangerous to the country.
    If the Indian constitution is implemented honestly as it is ( changes are permitted which are in Favor of Country and its citizens), and if this is initiated by every citizen then I am sure that India will be a Super Power in the world in every aspect.
    Regards
    Dinesh

  17. don says:

    hi shekhar first time i have opened your site so i want to ask what is the importance of our constitution in our country
    don

  18. shekhar says:

    don, that was why i posted this – our cuntry seems t be headed for a society divided amongst those that have power and wealth to do almost anything they want and those that seem to have no constitutional rights because they have no political of financial power to be able to impose those rights. But also to remind myself that along with rights – we the citizens have fundamental duties to see that the constitution is adhered to – that is also our fundamental duty – and we do not seem to do wnough of that either,
    but yes, to your point as I look around, I see very little point in having a constitution that even the people that govern the state have completely ignored, Shekahr

  19. naveen says:

    i like ur Ammendments on this topic

  20. Respected Kapoor Saheb,
    There is no new comment during last 3 months . How r u ? Where r U ? R u making any new film ?
    With regards -Shiv Mohan Lal shrivastav, Hyderabad

  21. pravin says:

    Hi all,
    The blog entry is old but its more relevant than the time its written by Mr. Kapoor. Think about Mr. Thakre or Mr. Laloo or other politicians in recent development. Does they follow it? They are politician. They are first glimpse of our country. was that right what they did?
    More over, we , so called public, do we ever think over it? Are you really free?
    Did media play its role properly?
    Whoever is reading this entry, rethink whether you have played your role properly or not.
    I am not blaming politician, media and others. I am just blaming each and every citizen of India.

  22. Aditi says:

    Good!

  23. R.P.SHARMA says:

    THE TOPIC IS THE NEED AND SOLUTION OF TODAY’S PROBLEM.IN PLACE OF JUST KEEP ON CRITISIZING WE WILL HAVE TO ACT MAY NOT BE AS A GROUP BUT EVEN AS AN INDIVIDUAL AT EVERY STAGE OF THE LIFE.
    I FEEL WE MUST TRY TO CORRELATE OUR DUTIES AND RIGHTS AND ORGANISE SMALL CAMPS TO MAKE AWARENESS IN A COMMON MAN.
    BE PRACTICAL , TAKE OATH TO BE STRICT WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES. START WITH THE SELF , DON’T TRY TO IMPOSE ON OTHERS.

  24. Dipak Kumar Adhikari says:

    Kind Attention
    Your honour,
    We got Married 05/03/2002, and have a daughter born 09/07/2005. My wife and sheís family given me 498a/34 IPC, FIR NO.276, date 31/08/2009, P.S.: BAGUIATI, itís not true case, believe me. My wife are engaged/Affair with a boy (Sandip Samanta, S/O. Shankar Kumar Samanta S.B.I. Manager) his house front of my house, all the matters are know every person in my village, and also they given me written about my character. When my wife goes outside form my house near about many vory gold and cash 1.20 lack Indian rupees taken. Not taken my daughter, daughter is now in my house. My wife doing the 498a caseís date 31/08/2009 and I arrest 06/09/2009, court give me bail at 19/09/2009 my 1st court date is 16/10/2009 done. 2nd court date is 04/01/2010 done. Next court date is 07/07/2010 at Barasat court. Some proof (20 pcs. Adult s.m.s., picture with the boy and a c.d.) has me about my wife and the boy that they are in illegal relation. Believe me I and my family love much more to my wife. They (My wife family) are very very poor and live in a bosti Address: 70/H/8 Manicktolla Main Road, Kolkata Ė 700054, Beside 5 Star Club, my mother see 1st time and she arrange my marriage, and Mother told me they are very poor so what? After marriage she is my family member, believe me not a single word is wrong. Before marriage my family not see my wifeís family, now we understand/also see that sheís family are very bad. My wife, sheís family and the boy they are misusing this law. Now my wifeís family understands all the affair matter. My wife left our only solitary daughter to me who is 4 years old having severe “Ashtama Disease, depends on INHEALER, here political Hide & seek game is going on & the father of the parents (THE FATHER OF THE BOY WHO HAS ILLICIT RELATIONS WITH MY WIFE) are rich, so they are spending money to everywhere with a view to be escaped. Now I decided that Iím not taken back my wife. I take a lawyer his name Mr. Kamelash Nandi. I donít know what happened next? Now I went to punishment the boy. Now my mother is a sugar present shies sugar is now 400. If possible please help me. Please investigate the matter and relief/save me and my family. And . My wife given me U/s. 125 Cr. P. C. Case NO.167/2009, date 16/12/2009. 1st Class Judicial Magistrate at Sealdah. 1st court date is 15/01/2010 done, 2nd court date is 12/02/2010 done. Next court date is 26/02/2010. I attend but judge toll that order is ready, you take the order at 01/03/2010. Ohe order is giving to your wife Rs. 1500/- P.M.
    Thanks
    Dear Sir/Madam,
    Actually Iím 100 percent victim, so I went to knowing my matter all the Indian and others. I write my matter to our local P.S., Local Councilor, all M.P., M.L.A., Minister in W.B. and Other States, C.M. in W.B., CBI Department, CID Department, All the I.P.S. AND I.A.S. OFFICERS. Governor in W.B, and President in India. P.M. in India, National/International Human rights department, AAP KI KACHEHRI Ė KIRAN KE SAATH, Kolkata Police, and all police officers in W.B., my nation, all of the news channels, and all press, and many more, (anybody canít help me/donít take proper investigation/do not take any action/donít take any type of quarry/ I think they all are sleeping WHY?) NOW BAGUIATI PILICE O.C. LISTINE MY ALL TOLKING AND TOLD ME THAT YOU FILE A FIR 156(3) I ARREST ALL THE PERSON. BUT IíM NOT FILE THE CASE BECAUSE, FIRST I READ THE BOOK WHAT IS 156(3)? THEN 29/03/2010 OR 30/03/2010 FILE. I think you can help me, so I write to you. Iím Punishment + harassment Without Crime.
    I hope you would care to me, your prompt action shall be highly appreciated.
    With kindest regards,
    Dipak Kumar Adhikari
    Tegharia(Dhali Para),NandanKanan. P.S.: Baguiati.
    P.O. Hatiara. Dist.: North 24 Parganas. Kolkata-700059 Email: dipakadhikari_59@yahoo.com PH. 9836149983
    W.B. India.

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