Republic Day on January 26 is ritualistically celebrated every year as the day of the adoption of the Constitution of India. The founding fathers of our Constitution envisaged an egalitarian society based on justice, equality, liberty and secularism. Does contemporary reality reflect these values?
A cross section of women across Goa majorly feel that there is a clear deviation from the ideology of the Constitution. They feel that the Constitution is too easily ignored and abused by those in power, writes Rajeshree Nagarsekar.
"The preamble tabled 70 years ago began with India a Sovereign Democratic Republic, with Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity being the ideals to maintain Unity and Integrity of the Nation. In 1976 the Preamble was amended to add Socialistic and Secular -- thus it read “Sovereign, Socialistic, Secular Democratic Republic”.
I believe that today, Republic Day like all other days of significance to the country is being seen as an opportunity to play politics by the politicians across the spectrum, with the lives of the citizens. We are seeing a blatant bias towards religions and definitely the country is being polarised in the name of religion. The very fundamentals of Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity itself are a far cry from what was envisaged by our founding fathers. Amendments to the Constitution are being done based on Religion and not based on Justice, Equality and Fraternity."
- DR SUMITRA IYENGAR/ Women Empowerment International - Consulting & Networking
"As kids it was instilled in us to love and respect people of all faiths and cultures as our brothers and sisters. However in this age, the importance of Republic Day and so many other days of national importance are losing its essence. Patriotism is getting diluted. The degeneration of human values of compassion, respect, gratitude, patience, tolerance and kindness is evident."
- LAXMI GONSALVES/ Ex Sarpanch/ Nuvem
"The values of Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity have to be ensured through democratic processes that are further based upon the social, economic and political awareness of the citizens. These values are ensured by participation in the democratic processes through voting, informed debate and non-confrontational discussion, which is cogent dissent."
- MEENA IYER/ Tax Consultant/ Margao
"The developments in the country and the acts of successive governments seem like a travesty of the core values of democracy -- justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, which were built into the Constitution of India on January 26, 1950. Successive governments have violated these values with impunity and chipped away at them. The least we expect our politicians is to uphold the Constitutional values and respect the oath taken by them while swearing in."
- JENISHA MONTEIRO/ Civil Engineer/ Panaji
"For all that we know, though the Indian Constitution is a lengthy document, its ideology is well entrenched in its preamble, revealing the nature of the independent nation. The ideology in the preamble not only declares our freedom, but lays a strong foundation for a society based on equality, justice and liberty. However, it is unfortunate that time and again attempts are made to corrode this very fabric."
- SHARMILA PRABHU/ Author/ Fatorda
"The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles. The Constitution not only grants equality to women, but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women. Within the framework of a democratic polity, our laws, development policies, plans and programmes have aimed at women’s advancement in different spheres. The Constitution of India not only grants equality to women but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women for neutralising the cumulative socio economic, education and political disadvantages faced by them. Unless rights of women are protected, and equality is achieved, the values of the Constitution cannot be deemed to be adhered."
- RUKMA NAYAK/ IT Professional/ Ponda