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Friday, February 21, 2020

We the People

Resident, usual resident; citizen, non-citizen; immigrant, illegal immigrant; Muslim, non-Muslim; Kashmiri, non-Kashmiri. In 2019, ascendant nationalism made way for narrowing definitions of who is a national — neat enough to fit a box to tick on a paper. From Kashmir to Assam, the complex matrix of identities woven over hundred of years of history and geography disintegrated into a jumble of numbers (370, 1971, 19 lakh), while from Sabarimala to Ayodhya, old identities proved strong despite the passage of centuries. Towards the end of the year, the contesting figures took the shape of protests against the government. This shape seemed to have a common identity: young, articulate, seeking its rights under the Constitution, and rallying around the Preamble, beginning with the words ‘We, the people of India’. The Sunday Express reaches out to men and women across the Republic, from the uneasy calm of the Valley to the angry disquiet of a campus, the desolation of Bastar to the solitude of a rape victim, and the hope for a job next to Millennium City Gurgaon to the longing for a temple in Ayodhya — to find out, in their own words and their own photographs or sketches, what they talk about when they talk about ‘being India’ and ‘being Indian’. What does the Constitution mean in their lives, in letter and spirit? Which rights matter to them the most, at home and beyond, as they enter 2020, the 70th year of the Republic.

WE THE PEOPLE NEWS

We the People: Voices from across the country on 'being Indian'

December 29, 2019 1:38 pm

What does the Constitution mean to men and women across the Republic, in letter and spirit? Which rights matter to them the most, at home and beyond, as they enter 2020, the 70th year of the Republic.

We The People: 'I enjoy the right to speak against PM, if necessary... Even after speaking against him, people are not prosecuted'

December 29, 2019 9:12 am

What does the Constitution mean in their lives, in letter and spirit? Which rights matter to them the most, at home and beyond, as they enter 2020, the 70th year of the Republic.

We the People: ‘The most beautiful thing about Constitution was that Kashmir had a special identity... That is now gone’

December 28, 2019 11:16 pm

What does the Constitution mean in their lives, in letter and spirit? Which rights matter to them the most, at home and beyond, as they enter 2020, the 70th year of the Republic.

We the people: ‘The real issue is jobs... This isn’t time for CAA, NRC’

December 28, 2019 11:07 pm

What does the Constitution mean in their lives, in letter and spirit? Which rights matter to them the most, at home and beyond, as they enter 2020, the 70th year of the Republic.

We the People: ‘People are the government... A good citizen speaks up without any fear’

December 28, 2019 11:12 pm

What does the Constitution mean in their lives, in letter and spirit? Which rights matter to them the most, at home and beyond, as they enter 2020, the 70th year of the Republic.

We the People: ‘I don’t want to be a farmer... farmers have always been at the receiving end’

December 28, 2019 11:59 pm

What does the Constitution mean in their lives, in letter and spirit? Which rights matter to them the most, at home and beyond, as they enter 2020, the 70th year of the Republic.

We The People: ‘When police shot the rape accused in Hyderabad, I felt proud to be an Indian’

December 28, 2019 11:07 pm

What does the Constitution mean in their lives, in letter and spirit? Which rights matter to them the most, at home and beyond, as they enter 2020, the 70th year of the Republic.

We The People: ‘I have been detained by police several times. I feel I’m acting as per Constitution’

December 28, 2019 11:07 pm

What does the Constitution mean in their lives, in letter and spirit? Which rights matter to them the most, at home and beyond, as they enter 2020, the 70th year of the Republic.

We The People: ‘I fear that in future, I too may have to prove my citizenship’

December 28, 2019 11:08 pm

What does the Constitution mean in their lives, in letter and spirit? Which rights matter to them the most, at home and beyond, as they enter 2020, the 70th year of the Republic.

We the People: ‘When people visit India, must give positive picture’

December 28, 2019 11:06 pm

What does the Constitution mean in their lives, in letter and spirit? Which rights matter to them the most, at home and beyond, as they enter 2020, the 70th year of the Republic.