Today, our 63rd Republic Day would be an opportune time to remind ourselves of some of the guarantees made to us, the citizens of India, by our Constitution. It is also the right time to remind ourselves on the responsibility it assigns to each one of us.
It is a good idea to turn to our Constitution every once in a while, just to consider whether or not the promises made there continue to be met, and also whether we conduct ourselves in the way we pledged on January 26, 1950. Here, then, are a few points to ponder:
"We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens: 'Justice, social, economic and political; Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; Equality of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation; in our Constituent Assembly this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this Constitution.
'The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. 'The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.
'There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State. Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc.-- (1) All citizens shall have the right-- (a) to freedom of speech and expression; (b) to assemble peaceably and without arms; (c) to form associations or unions; (d) to move freely throughout the territory of India; (e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and (f) to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.'