FORMER UNION Minister Ashwani Kumar on Sunday termed the reading of the Preamble of the Constitution at protest rallies as people “asserting the values of the Republic” as they feel “values of the Constitution are under siege”.
“Preamble is the soul of the Constitution. It defines the goals of the Republic and it defines the end to which the Constitution has to be applied. I am not at all surprised that informed citizens have started reading the preamble at public rallies because quite clearly a very large segment of people of India feel that at this point in time in their history, the values of the Constitution are under siege…. And the only way to reassert those rights is to repeat aloud what the Constitution says because after all we are not a populist democracy, but a constitutional democracy…,” Kumar said during a conversation with historian Mahesh Rangarajan at the launch of his book Human Dignity: A Purpose in Perpetuity.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who unveiled the book, said it was “structured around topical issues”.
He added that “in recent days, young people across the country have reminded us that freedom is best secured in the custody of enlightened citizens…”.
Former Vice-President Hamid Ansari said the book “is a timely reminder that an essential human value must continue to be high on the agenda of all those who care for human rights”.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra rued that “there has been a continuing decline, erosion in the functioning of all organs of the Constitution; failures of the executive, failures of the legislature and in more recent times, painful failure of the judiciary”.
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