VP on Constitution Day: Democratic experience positive except for dark patch during Emergency

New Delhi: Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha M. Venkaiah Naidu has stressed that Fundamental Rights of citizens are critically dependent on the discharge of Fundamental Duties since both rights and duties flow from each other. He spoke on the need for every citizen to take his duties towards the nation seriously at a function marking the 70th Constitution Day, that is the anniversary of the adoption of the Indian Constitution in the Central Hall of Parliament today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the gathering earlier today and paid homage to the victims of the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai. President Ram Nath Kovind while also addressing the gathering, said that Rights and Duties are two sides of the same coin.

Noting that nation building can’t be the responsibility of Governments alone, Naidu said, “While it is absolutely necessary to defend the Fundamental Rights relating to life, liberty, equality and freedom of expression, it is time that we, as citizens, take our duties towards the nation seriously. Entitlements come with duties and responsibilities as well.”

Naidu further said that a proper environment for enjoying rights will be created if every citizen performs her duties. “Let us perform our duty to make India mighty,” he appealed to the citizens.

Stating that a set of 11 Fundamental Duties have been listed in the Constitution of India, Naidu urged every citizen to take responsibility for protecting the sovereignty, unity and integrity of the country; promoting harmony; defending and promoting the dignity of women; protection of environment; preserving the rich heritage and culture including promotion of Indian languages; inculcating a strong civic sense; protecting public property and abjuring violence; and striving for excellence.

To spread awareness among the citizens about their Fundamental Duties, the Vice President suggested a three point action plan including the introduction of Fundamental Duties at an appropriate level in the curriculum, displaying the duties at all educational institutions, offices and public spaces across the country, and reaching out to the youth through appropriate campaigns.

VP Naidu called for aiming at quality and excellence in all walks of public life, including the debates in the legislatures and the Parliament.

Referring to the origin and evolution of the Constitution of India, Naidu noted that the dynamism built into the Constitution enabled the country in its march towards the consolidation of democracy and socio-economic development.

The Vice President noted that the Indian democratic experience over the last 70 years has been fairly positive except for a dark patch during the Emergency.

He said, “It is a glowing testimony to our country’s resilience, the strong framework of Parliamentary democracy, a robust electoral system and above all, the peoples’ ability to orchestrate dissent through constitutional provisions that prevented us from slipping into dictatorship.”

By placing the ‘public’ at the centre of our ‘republic’ the country emerged not only as the largest democracy but also as a glowing symbol of a vibrant, pluralistic culture with a flourishing parliamentary system, and with the Constitution acting as the bulwark in protecting the rights of every society, said Naidu.

Referring to the concern voiced by Dr. BR Ambedkar, the Vice President urged political parties to place the country above creed so that the hard-won independence is not jeopardised.

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The ID Staff

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