[India], Nov 26 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday hailed the values and principles enshrined in the Constitution as a "modern scripture for an Independent India."
Addressing a gathering in New Delhi on the occasion of Constitution Day, President Kovind said, "The Constitution is the modern scripture of an Independent India. To use a Latin expression it is our Suprema Lex. It is more than articles and clauses. For us Indians, it is an inspiration and living document and ideal of the society we are and even better society we are striving to be. This applies to many emerging nations including the BIMSTEC members states represented here."
Also known as National Law Day, the Samvidhan Divas or Constitution Day is celebrated every year on November 26 to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India.
On this day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Constitution of India, and it came into effect on 26 January 1950.
The President said the day is not only important for India but is also a celebration of universal values and allows for mutual learning and sharing.
"In 1979, on the 30th anniversary of the day, the Supreme Court observed it as the National Law Day. In 2015, to coincide with the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, the Union Government decided to celebrate it as the Constitution Day which was an appropriate tribute to Ambedkar, who was Chair of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly and is remembered as the chief architect of the Constitution," he underscored.
President Kovind continued, "November 26 is a sacred day in our constitutional history, and also tragically represents a date that saw an assault on the democratic values and freedom that our Constitution grants us. I refer to the terror attacks in Mumbai on the same day exactly 10 years ago. Those horrific images still remain in India's collective memory. The Constitution and its underlined principles commit us to this resolve for justice for those who suffered and their families."
Paying respects to Dr Ambedkar, who is regarded as the architect of the Indian Constitution, the President said, "Dr Ambedkar and his colleagues in the Constituent Assembly were remarkably large-hearted and generous in their approach that they allowed flexibility in amending the Constitution and were accommodative of the various streams of thought. Above all, they trusted the wisdom of future generations to expand the frontiers of freedom and liberty, justice and fraternity, fairness and equality. They trusted future generation to not just amend the Constitution's text but to constructively re-imagine and reinterpret it for changing times, if we continue to be true to this spirit the Constitution can serve India for all times to come."
"The Constitution formalised the separation of powers between the Judiciary, Executive and the Legislature, it gave all three pillars of the state legitimate roles and critical responsibilities to uphold the Constitution and realise its hopes and expectations, and urged them to build a fraternal and parallel relationship," he added.
Speaking about the citizens of the country, he said, "The duty of safeguarding and strengthening the Constitution is a shared enterprise among all three institutions in partnership with the people of India. The people of India are the ultimate custodians of the Constitution, it is in them that the sovereignty vests, and it is in their name that the Constitution was adopted. The Constitution empowers the citizens and the citizen to empowers the Constitution by following it, by adhering to it, by protecting it and by persevering to make it more meaningful with words and deeds."
Hailing 'Justice' as the most moving word in the Constitution, President Kovind said it is a complex and liberating expression and the means and goal of nation-building. "In the narrow sense of our legal system justice is served when right and wrong are adjudicated upon in a courtroom and more so when justice is accessible, affordable and quickly available to all citizens irrespective of their backgrounds, but justice must also be seen in the broader context in terms of society's revolution and its changing beliefs, lifestyle and technologies. The Preamble to the Constitution guarantees to all Indian citizens Justice - social, economic and political. The Preamble is an irreplaceable aid to appreciating and interpreting the Constitution," he noted. (ANI)