Legitimate right and duty of every citizen to prevent Constitution from being abused: Justice K M Joseph
Supreme Court judge K M Joseph on Saturday said it is the legitimate right and duty of every citizen of the country to prevent the Constitution from being abused.
He said each generation of citizens is duty-bound to remain alert and safeguard the core values that the Constitution seeks to uphold and promote.
Speaking at the valedictory function of the Constitution Day celebrations at the Supreme Court, Justice Joseph said the adoption of the Constitution on January 26, 1949 marked the culmination of a long but uniquely peaceful struggle of millions, who stood shoulder to shoulder burying their differences based on religion, caste and the regions they hailed from.
He said Article 51(A)(B) of the Constitution declares it to be the duty of every citizen to cherish and follow the noble ideals that inspired India's freedom struggle.
''Article 51 of the Constitution declares that it is a fundamental duty for every citizen to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India, transcending every religion, linguistic, regional or sectional diversity, and renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women,'' Justice Joseph said in his welcome address at the function where President Droupadi Murmu was the chief guest.
Addressing a large gathering of judges of the Supreme Court, high courts and district courts and lawyers, Justice Joseph said the Constitution is a fine document as much as it is a noble document and an instrument.
''The Constitution of the country constitutes the chief mechanism for ordering the life of the nation and is not a mere document. It is the people who are charged with the duty of operating the Constitution, who alone can give a life to it. Each generation of citizens is duty-bound to remain alert in order to safeguard the core values that the Constitution seeks to uphold and promote.
''It is the legitimate right and duty of every citizen in every walk of life to prevent the Constitution from being abused.... Fraternity is one of the most-cherished ideals firmly enshrined in the preamble to the Constitution,'' he said.
Justice Joseph said the Constitution contemplates that India will be a secular country and envisages liberty as a fundamental norm.
''Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship are not merely words appropriately proclaimed in the preamble but they are meant to ignite the minds and hearts of every citizen at all points of time, wherever they are,'' he said.
He added that while the country has achieved commendable progress, ''we have a long way to go to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the founding fathers of the Constitution''.
Justice M R Shah, who delivered the vote of thanks, said unity in diversity is the identity of India. ''It is not just an ordinary day, but a day when we celebrate our rights and reaffirm our duties to make a commitment that the three pillars of the government of India will adhere and uphold the principles enshrined in our Constitution. It is said that even in a dictatorial government, there might be a Constitution but not necessarily constitutionalism,'' he said.
Justice Shah said like every judicial officer who has a picture of the preamble to the Constitution in his office, he would like to urge all the citizens to read the preamble in their native language at least once and if possible, keep a picture of it in their homes.
''This will remind them of the efforts that our freedom fighters had made to make India a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic and republic country. It will also remind everyone of their fundamental rights and duties and let us create a constitutional culture that every citizen is aware of their rights which are vested upon them by the Constitution,'' he said, adding that the time has come to remind the citizens of their duties towards the nation.
Justice Shah extended his vote of thanks to the president for her inspiring thoughts and gracing the occasion by her presence.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)