LET US COMMIT TO BE GOOD CITIZENS
The government of India has declared November 26 as the Constitution Day.
Perhaps very few people know its significance. Most people would say that the Constituent Assembly had adopted the Constitution of India on this day in 1949. This came to be enforced on January 26, 1950 which we commemorate as the Republic Day.
But we would like to emphasise that November 26, 1949 is the most significant day in the history of this country. Our people were subjects in their respective kingdoms under the kings prior to Independence. After the British left, our kings formally joined the Indian Union.
Few moments before the constitution was adopted in the Constituent Assembly , the people of India were declared as supreme and sovereign owners of this country on November 26, 1949.
This is the reason why the preamble started with “WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA” and the last line read “IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, this 26th day of November, 1949 do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION”
But hardly any effort has been made in this country to tell the people that they being owners of this country have a responsibility to protect, preserve and promote it in their own benefit.
Therefore, we few volunteers of Build India Group, a registered civil society in Delhi, undertook a responsibility of reaching out to educational institutions to spread citizenry consciousness with Article 51 A of the Constitution of India as its foundation among students and youth since 2008.
It took the colour of a celebration called Pledge Festival which many educational institutions organised along with us on the third Saturday of January every year. We thought of a day and not a date as we wanted that it must not coincide with any individual’s birthday or martyrdom day. We believe that the country is bigger than any individual.
Keeping in view the bad weather conditions, we thought of November 26 as a befitting day for this purpose and since 2012, started demanding with the government to declare this day as the Citizen’s Day or National Pledge Day.
The pledge has been drafted and circulated by us since 2010 in 15 languages keeping in view the spirit of Article 51 A of the Constitution. We drafted it in all languages in the simplest possible format as illiterate people can understand the contents of it.
With this pledge, we have done several experiments. Earlier we had a write-recite-commit protocol. Students were writing the pledge, reciting them in unison in a charged ambiance in the schools and putting their signatures on their solemn documents.
This country has over 30 crore students right from primary school level to the 12th standard. Imagine if students write the pledge and obtain the signatures of their parents, what could be the outreach?
It would involve at least 80 crore people. When a student writes the pledge, he internalises the content. When parents sign it, they wish to know the contents. Hence it leads to a discussion at home. It is a simple step forward but imagine how meaningful it is.
This is one more experiment of Build India Group to promote oneness- one India- indivisible forever.
If you like this idea, kindly join us in this exercise and share with us the experience. We will certainly value it as true citizens of this country. That is our commitment.