The sages had given the mantra – ‘Charaiveti- Charaiveti’ to inspire the masses of our country.
For a journalist, this mantra, the search for new ideas and the passion to bring something new in front of the society is a natural practice. I am happy that the way Ram Bahadur Rai ji has been engaged in this ‘sadhna’ in his life-long journey there is another one such feat in front of us. I hope that this book ‘Bhartiya Samvidhan: Ankahi Kahani’ will live up to its title and present the Constitution in a more comprehensive manner before the country. I heartily congratulate Ram Bahadur Rai ji for this novel effort and all those involved in its publication.
All of you represent the intellectual class of the country. Naturally, you have chosen a special day and time for the release of this book! This period is Amrit Mahotsav of the country’s independence. It was on June 18 when the first amendment of the original Constitution was signed by the then President Rajendra Prasad marking the first day of the democratic dynamism of our Constitution. And on this day today we are launching this book which looks at the Constitution from a special point of view. This is the biggest strength of our Constitution, which gives us inspiration for diversity of ideas and research of facts and truths.
Our Constitution came before us as a vision of a free India that could fulfill the dreams of many generations of the country. The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly for preparing the Constitution was held on 9th December 1946, many months before independence! There was a huge historical context, times and circumstances behind this meeting! All of you who have knowledge of history and the Constitution are aware of it. But, I also see an emotional aspect behind it. It was a period full of uncertainties, our freedom movement was facing many challenges, but still the confidence of our country was so resolute that it had full faith in its independence. Long before independence, the country had started preparing for independence and had started discussions for the framework of its Constitution. It shows that the Constitution of India is not just a book; it is an idea, a commitment and a belief in freedom.
Today, the nation is making a collective effort to bring to the fore the untold chapters of the freedom movement during the Amrit Mahotsav of freedom. The warriors, who were forgotten even after sacrificing everything, the events that were forgotten even after giving a new direction to the freedom struggle, and the thoughts that infused energy to the freedom struggle, became distant from our resolutions even after independence. The country is now binding them together again so that the consciousness of the past can be strengthened in the India of the future. Therefore, the youth of the country are today researching and writing books on untold history. Many programs are being organized under the Amrit Mahotsav. This book ‘Bhartiya Samvidhan: Ankahi Kahani’ will serve to give a new impetus to this campaign of the country. Along with the history of independence, the untold chapters of our Constitution will give a new thinking to the youth of the country and broaden their discourse. Ram Bahadur ji had sent me a copy of this book long back. While flipping through some pages, I found many interesting things and thoughts. You have written somewhere: “The history of the Constitution of India has been taken as a lost stream of the freedom struggle, but it’s not like that. It is the duty of every citizen to be familiar with the Constitution”. You have also written in the beginning of the book that your special interest in the Constitution was awakened during the Emergency, when you were imprisoned under MISA. That is, the Constitution introduced you to your rights, and when you delved deep into it, you identified the concept of the Constitution as a civic duty. This synergy of rights and duties is what makes our Constitution so special. If we have rights, we also have duties, and if we have duties, then the rights will be equally strong. Therefore, the country is talking about a sense of duty and laying so much emphasis on duties during the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence.
When we proceed with a new resolution, our knowledge becomes our awareness. Realization is what enlightens us. Therefore, as a nation, we will be able to harness the potential of the Constitution to the extent that we know our Constitution deeply. How Gandhiji gave a leadership to the concept of our Constitution, how Sardar Patel freed the Indian Constitution from communalism by abolishing the separate electoral system on the basis of religion, how Dr. Ambedkar incorporated fraternity in the preamble of the Constitution and shaped ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’, and how scholars like Dr. Rajendra Prasad tried to connect the Constitution with the soul of India. This book introduces us to such untold aspects. All these aspects will also guide us as to what should be the direction of our future.
Friends! India has by nature been a free-thinking country. Inertia is not part of our basic nature. From the formation of the Constituent Assembly to its debates, from the adoption of the Constitution to its present stage, we have consistently seen a dynamic and progressive Constitution. We have argued, raised questions, debated and made changes. I am sure that this same continuity will remain with our masses and in the minds of the people. We will continue to do continuous research and build a better future than ever before. All the enlightened people will continue to lead this dynamism of the country in the same way. With this belief, thank you very much!
DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.