Speech Of SHRI P.S. SREEDHARAN PILLAI HON’BLE GOVERNOR OF MIZORAM On the occasion of Celebration of Constitution Day At Vanapa Hall, Aizawl On26th November, 2019
Pu Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, Chief Secretary
Pu Ashish Kundra, Commissioner & Secretary, GAD
Officials and invitees
My dear friends

CHIBAI (Greetings in Mizo language)

I am extremely happy to be the Chief Guest at this State Level Celebration of the Constitution Day 2019, as this is my first official function in the State after I assumed the office of the Governor. I am further delighted that today, we are celebrating the Constitution of India, as I was a practicing lawyer for more than 40 years. As such, the Constitution holds a particularly important place in my life.

The people of India adopt, enact and give to ourselves this Constitution on 26th November, 1949 by its Constituent Assembly. AS per our Constitution, ‘We, the people’ of this country are supreme. Equality of the people without any discrimination is the mandate of the people. Preamble of the Constitution, including 42nd Amendment declared that

“WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

So our Constitution guarantees Justice to all, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity etc. So we are Sovereign, and India is the largest democracy in the world. Our country is committed to keep secularism and achieve socialism. Every citizen has got right to follow his thought, expression, belief, faith and worship in accordance with his wish, will and conscience of his own.

The Constituent Assembly of India, which drafted and adopted our Constitution 70 years ago, consisted of people representing all walks of life, including the freedom fighters themselves. Thus, it was a truly representative body wielding authority and commanding the will of the people. The Constituent Assembly faced a number of challenges, because India is a country made up of people of different communities, caste and religion. Moreover, there was the problem of convincing the numerous princely states to join the Indian Union. In the face of these daunting challenges, the Constituent Assembly did a marvellous job in producing a Constitution which protects every citizen, and which has well stood the test of time.

This year, the Government of India is launching a National Campaign focussing on a key feature of the Constitution – the Fundamental Duties. The Fundamental Duties were added by the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1976. Originally ten in number, the Fundamental Duties were increased to eleven by the 86th Amendment in 2002. The Constitution of India is arguably the best that the world has ever seen, because it places a lot of importance on the Fundamental Rights of the citizens. However, we must always remember that rights and duties are the two sides of the same coin. They are complementary to each other. A claim to rights in a way indicates commitment to do duties as well. Without duties, rights are meaningless. I am certain that the State Government will continue to pursue a number of initiatives to promote the Fundamental Duties, in line with the focus of the Central Government.

Under Article 51-A of the Constitution, clause (e), (f) and (g) state that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India-
(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
(f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;

I take this opportunity to talk about our valuable Unity in Diversity, which is the basic tenet of our Constitution, and is also the defining concept of our country. We must remember that diversity does not mean contradictions or differences. Rather, diversity is to be accepted, respected and promoted. The Indian Nation, from time immemorial, has been propagating the concept of Sarva Dharma Sama Bhava, which embodies the equality of different religions. This has been the foundation for the concept of our modern-day secularism, which has resulted in universalism, pluralism, and most importantly, equality. Placing importance to this idea of inclusiveness, the guiding principle of India as quoted by Mahatma Gandhi was, ‘Let noble thoughts come to us from all directions’. (‘Aano bhadra krtavo yantu vishwatah’)

India is like a garden. In this garden, there are various types of flowers giving different colours and fragrances. If only one flower alone is there, garden would be incomplete. So we want Rose, Jasmine, Lily, orchids, etc. in our garden. And this garden will always be attractive if there continue to be a variety of flowers. Therefore, irrespective of caste, colour or creed, we must always be ready to accept and accommodate all types of people.

Also, our Constitution gives every citizen the right to criticize the elected leaders. The Constitution enunciates the immortal words, “We, the people of India”. This clearly shows that the people are supreme in this country. India is the largest democracy in the world. And ours is a vibrant democracy, which upholds the right to differ. This right to differ is a crucial component of a true democracy.

Actually, Constitution promotes languages such as Mizo, Malayalam, Bengali, Tamil, etc. as native languages. Article 350-A states that “It shall be the endeavour of every State and of every local authority within the State to provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother-tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups; and the President may issue such directions to any State as he considers necessary or proper for securing the provision of such facilities.” Mother tongue should be given first preference at primary education level. Other languages should come next. We must give respect to our culture and heritage as well.

Further, equal justice, free from all types of discrimination, is the basis of our Constitution. It provides equality of opportunity to all. It is against all types of discrimination based on religion, race, caste, gender, etc. Lastly, I want to remind today’s gathering of Gandhiji’s talisman, advising us to always recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whenever we are in doubt. Thus, as we celebrate the 70th year of the adoption of our Constitution, we must realise that our freedom will only be practical and meaningful when the last citizen standing in the queue gets the minimal requirements.

Audience herein are mostly from public servants and public workers. I would like to mention all of us to work hard for the upliftment and welfare of the mass. I mean our effort of focus should be for common man. We must dedicate ourselves for the welfare of the people. Our country is a huge one. Developmental problems are challenges for which we are bound to answer. Our slogan should be Reform, Perform and Transform. Society should be reformed and make it up to date and successful. For that we should perform well. Through this process, we will be able to realise transformation. I am sure that governments in State and Central would work together. We can take the pledge today to fulfill the aspirations and expectations bestowed on us by the Constitution makers under the leadership of respected Dr. Ambedkar and his colleagues.

With these few words, I congratulate the State Government for today’s function, and I appeal to all the people of Mizoram to reaffirm our dedication to the Constitution, by upholding strict compliance to its Fundamental Duties as well.

KA LAWM E. (Thank you in Mizo language)

Jai Hind!