Dr. Asangba Tzudir
On 19th November 2015, the government of India declared 26 November as Constitution Day through a gazette notification. Since then, every year, Constitution day (National Law Day), also known as Samvidhan Divas, is celebrated in India on 26 November to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India. Previously this day was celebrated as Law day. 26 November was chosen to spread the importance of the Constitution and to spread thoughts and ideas of Ambedkar who is the Architect of India’s Constitution.
On a very significant day for India, and even as Jammu & Kashmir will celebrate the Constitution Day for the first time, it is indeed sad that the opposition parties had to protest over the Maharashtra Coup. The congress, left parties, NCP, TMC, RJD, TDP and DMK protested outside the Parliament complex against the political developments in Maharashtra and installing of a government led by Devendra Fadnavis with Ajit Pawar as Dy. Chief Minister.
Government formation both in the Centre and States post election has become a trending contention and the extent of politicking on government formation post election in Maharashtra only attests the centrality of power over the constitution. Is the Constitution of India still the ‘supreme power’ of the country? The constitution is there to guide the citizens of India, the country’s government bodies and other authorities in the right manner so that peace and prosperity is ensured in a diverse country like India. Going by the content of the constitution, it is rightly said that the Constitution is the supreme power of the country, wherein, even the decisions made in the Parliament and Supreme Court of India are all based on the laws and codes defined in the Constitution of India.
However, with the emerging trends in Indian politics, the system and the level of politicking, the laws, codes, rights and duties mentioned in the Indian Constitution need to be strictly followed by the Citizens of the country. A moral ‘ought’ needs to be attached to the enforcement of the Constitution so as to ensure that no one gets to sit above the law defined by the constitution.
The Constitution of India starts with, “We the people of India,” and it is also time for India as the largest democracy in the world to re-assess and re-affirm and thereby strengthen the democratic values embedded in the Preamble. That, “we the people of India,” calls for welfare and well-being of the people first over and above power and politics.
Being a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic, it mirrors a welfare state and that itself should put people first. While the Constitution assumes a day of national importance, the celebration of Constitutional day all over India while celebrating the constitution and taking the pledge on “The Preamble” should once again call for a reaffirmation of the constitution from every citizen of the country.
(Dr. Asangba Tzudir contributes a weekly guest editorial to The Morung Express. Comments can be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org)