Gurleen Sethi and Reeti Banerjee talk to youngsters to know what the Constitution means to them and its relevance in their lives
To me, the Constitution is the highest framework of law, defining individual and institutional rights, limitations and conflicts. It provides the right guidelines in which these rights can be practised in the best personal and societal interest. Abiding by the Constitutional law is mandatory as these guidelines define how we should behave in society and operate as responsible citizens.
— Mrinal Chatterjee, 35, Sr Project Manager
For a final year engineering undergrad like me, who has been fascinated by the mysteries of the cosmos, the word Constitution has held very little significance in my life. I have hated politics ever since I was a young lad. But seeing the current state of the country I reside in, I can say, the Constitution needs to be better. Because of loose laws drafted during the British era, women in this country are being exploited on a daily basis and their safety has been jeopardised. Also the reservation system needs to be abolished. Although the intentions were honest — to level the playing fields, but in doing so, the status quo has been reversed. These two laws need to be amended in a better manner, so that we, as citizens of the fastest growing and a budding economy, can finally become a part of the developed world without hate, anguish and fear among fellow citizens.
— Rajdeep Mukherjee, 21, SPIE Research Student
As youth of the post-truth era, I find the Constitution limiting at times. The stringency of most of the laws based on conservative old times does create a hindrance in this generation’s yearning for ‘practical freedom’. The liberty to express opinion on government reforms, the government itself, or anything ‘national’ as it is without having to modify it, has been relentlessly and invisibly curbed along with severe and unnecessary scrutiny on what one eats, watches, surfs, downloads. What is it if not veiled dictatorship?
— Sagher Manchanda, 23, Student of Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce
In the day and age of rising inequalities, caste conflicts, religious tension, environmental degradation, divisions propped up by political parties to win elections and an increasing number of crimes against women, the Constitution has acquired more relevance in recent times. Solutions to many pressing problems in the country are available in the Constitution. Both the government and citizens need to realise it in spirit. The Constitution still is the most important and relevant manual for creating a peaceful and equitable society.
— Danish, 21, Student of COEP
The Constitution is the only key in my life that shall open up doors for a common man like me in order to take me to a new room of opportunities the country has in store. The Constitution means a guiding force that gives me the insight of my Fundamental Rights and proposes a rulebook that I should follow to have a better life in my country.
— Venkat Ganesh, 24, Founder of Virtual Reality Company
The Constitution, for me, means equality and freedom. It allows us to make our own choices and also protects us from harm. If the Constitution had never been written, our country wouldn’t be what it is today. I have always believed in the system as it has enabled me to make the right decisions, as a citizen of India.
— TI Yogesh, 29, Lifestyle Coach
Knowing the Constitution helps us to make sensible choices and encourages us to be considerate of fellow human beings and the society we live in. India is a large country made up of different voices and the Constitution brings us all together as a whole which wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Without the Constitution, I believe policies in crucial matters like education, healthcare and so on would be much more difficult.
— Avishek Chatterjee, 26, HR Manager, Intellect Design
I think that, now is the important time for people to really know and understand all that the Constitution entails. With all the conflicts and riots happening around us, it is really important for people to fully understand their rights. It is important for them to know what they can do and can’t do. Knowing my rights as a citizen and knowing the basics of my country’s supreme law is essential, especially in these turbulent times.
— Crystal Symss, 22, Student of Mass Communication
To me, the Constitution is the rule of life. When men come in large numbers to live in a society, they must have rules by which to live and the government has to see to it that those rules are observed by the people.
— Afshan Mohammad, 26, Nurse
It’s rightly said that ‘A Constitution is not a parchment of paper, it is a way of life and has to be lived up to.’ Being an 18-year-old girl, I can say that the Constitution has been laid down keeping in mind a lot about the future generations too. It is a living document. The existence of a Constitution is significant for any country and is as important as a brick to build a house.
— Samreen Kaur, 18, Student of BCom, Symbiosis College of Arts & Commerce
The Constitution is a set of guidelines that governs a country. For me, it is a baseline to understand the system, check and perform my duties towards the country and know how to fight when any right is violated.
— Shreyansh Kothari, 19, Student of Bachelors of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth
For me, the Constitution is a written contract between me and the Union of India wherein I have been given the privilege of enjoying various Fundamental Rights and in return, I am obliged to perform certain fundamental duties. It is extremely important for me in my life as it ensures that I am treated with due respect and in a fair way, and no injustice is done to me by any other individual or government authority.
— Jay Desai, 22, Student of MBA Finance
I believe that in light of the current happenings in our society, some amendments to Constitution are highly required. Right to Education must be given maximum importance. Private schools are very expensive for a poor man to educate his child, and the government schools’ standards are deteriorating by the day. I also feel that a right given to one person prevents another from violating it, thereby imposing a duty on him. Everyone, in today’s day, only wants to enjoy the benefits of the rights and nobody lays importance on fulfilling their duties towards the country.
— Ashish Barde, 29, Founder of Endorphins Fitness Solutions
As people of this great democracy, we the people of our country are very fortunate to have the Constitution in action. The Constitution comprises the rights, duties, state policies, the modus operandi of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The best thing about our Constitution is that there is no discrimination between people on the basis of religion, caste, sex, colour, literacy, etc. In brief, the Constitution is the pivotal blessing drafted for the well being of people of the country.
— Atharva D Deshpande, 19, Student of Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth Law College
The Constitution lays down our Fundamental Rights and directive principles and the powers and responsibilities of the government institutions. The Constitution protects our rights and allows us access to a whole lot of facilities. For example, the Constitution makes it mandatory for children to have the Right to Education, at least primary school education. It protects women through the laws made for them, such as a police inspector cannot arrest a woman in the absence of a policewoman after 6 pm and so on. The Constitution gives us the right to vote. It gives us the right to access electricity, telephone, postal services and other basic necessities of life. It also gives us freedom of speech and expression. The Constitution is relevant in my life because, as a responsible citizen I live by the principles laid down by it on a daily basis while enjoying the freedom it provides to me to live my life with dignity.
— Samruddhi Surve, 13, Beneficiary, Hope for the Children Foundation, NGO, Wadgaonsheri
The Constitution is a set of laws written for the smooth running of any government. It describes the duties and responsibilities of the leaders and the citizens. It also sets the tenure of the leader’s office. It informs the people about various Fundamental Rights they enjoy and also the duties they are bound to do. I, as a budding political youth leader, believe that the Constitution is my Bible. I feel it is my duty to work for the upliftment of underprivileged students. I work towards spreading awareness of girls’ education in slum areas and also conduct counselling sessions for girls regarding sexual abuse and harassment. The Constitution holds great importance in my life.
— Aboli Ghule, 22, MBA Student
I believe that the Constitution plays a major role in our daily lives. For me, it means justice, liberty, equality and fraternity and one which makes our country a ‘Sovereign, Democratic Republic.” It allows me to make my own choices, and helps me protect myself from harm. I believe that if the Constitution had never been written, our country would not be what it is today. Today, let us celebrate the freedom and feel proud to be a part of our country. Happy Republic Day!
— Nihal Shatak, 20, Photographer and Blogger