Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the whole world is looking at India with a lot of hope amid its fast development, fast-developing economy and strengthening international image. Addressing Constitution Day celebrations in the Supreme Court Saturday, he said that defying all initial apprehensions about its stability, India is moving ahead with full force and taking pride in its diversity.
PM Modi credited the Constitution for this success. He referred to the first three words of the Preamble, ‘We the People’, and said it “is a call, trust and an oath. This spirit of the Constitution is the spirit of India that has been the mother of democracy in the world.”
“In the modern times, the Constitution has embraced all the cultural and moral emotions of the nation,” he added. Referring to the emphasis on duties in his Independence Day speech, the Prime Minister said it is the manifestation of the spirit of the Constitution.
“Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal is the time for duty towards the country. Be it people or institutions, our responsibilities are our first priority,” PM Modi remarked and called for doing what is required to further strengthen the identity of India as the mother of democracy.
Addressing the gathering, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said that “from the government side under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we are doing everything possible to strengthen the Indian judicial system”. He said he is lucky to have “a very close, cordial relationship with the Indian judiciary” and identify issues that have to be addressed together.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud said all judges across India’s courts, ranging from the district courts to the Supreme Court, must reflect upon the constitutional vision of securing justice, equality and liberty. “There is a need for us to introspect on our actions and decisions and to question our own prejudices and preconceptions. For until we open our minds to multiple views of persons with varied lived experiences, we would be lacking in our role as judges,” he said, adding that an institution thrives with time only when it functions democratically.
The CJI said that colonial and pre-colonial courts followed an approach of reluctance, disinclination and inaction in protecting the rights of citizens”, but “with the birth of constitutional democracy, the culture of reluctance was replaced by a call for a dedicated judiciary to protect the rights of citizens”.
CJI Chandrachud recalled that “the story of the Indian Constitution is not a story only of legal text and legal interpretation. It is a story of human struggles and sacrifices. It is a story of undoing injustices against the marginalised sections of our society. It must be remembered that the marginalised communities were the first to plant the seeds of the constitutional ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity on Indian soil. The first wave of resistance against the colonial power came from the indigenous communities of India”.
The Constitution, he said, is a social contract between those who were in power historically and those who were oppressed and sought to change the power hegemony and chose to govern themselves.
Attorney General R Venkataramani said, “it is important that the government stop overloading the court with endless statutory appeals alongside a seamless and huge flow of cases from high courts. the conversion of the Supreme Court into a small cause court must stop even though for one in trouble any court is good enough”.