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The Constitution of India and The Law Day

In 1949, a historic event took place which ultimately transformed the picture of India for better and granted the country the status of a 'Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic and Republic' nation. Yes, India adopted its own constitution.

On November 26, 1949 the Constitution of India was adopted, enacted and ultimately dedicated to the people of India by the People of India, a reason why November 26 every year is known and celebrated as 'Samvidhan Diwas' or the 'Law Day' for India's democracy.

'Samvidhan Diwas' not only signifies the construction and the commencement of the world's largest democracy but along with the same it educates us about the relevance and the visionary perspectives of our constitution makers that has guided in the complete formation of our constitution into a document which not only reflects a sense of freedom that has been guaranteed to the people of India but also a sense of deep faith and reverence to this very sacred body of law.

Thus, with this background, it seems relevant to know some of the important points about the Constitution of India.
  1. Indian Constitution is based on Natural Law Principles:
    The Constitution of India guarantees to the people of the country their important Rights and Freedoms foundational not only upon the considerations of the societal changes from time to time but also guarantees and assures them these rights and freedoms based on the principles of Natural Law. Even though 'Natural Law', as such, is no where mentioned in the text of the constitution, the document surely has provided us with protections of the same.

    Natural Law, principally, is a law that is derived not from any Code or Rules nor any other Convention, neither it is governed by them, but from the nature itself straight from the existence of a human being and the same is considered most fundamental and paramount for the actual survival and development of a human personality. Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India are the most prominent examples representing the presence of Natural Law principles in the document.
  2. Women's Right to vote:
    Right to Vote to be granted to the people, especially women, in any democratic State represents the existence of a developed Nation in this respect as well as a much evolved sense of an individual's subsistence and contribution in the making of the governmental regime of the country. Right to vote provides a citizen of a particular nation with a responsibility of building a fair authority which is vested with an obligation of creating and preserving basic rights for its people.

    In India, the implementation of Universal Adult Franchise (Right to vote) actually became effective after the Constitution of India came into force, that is on 26 January, 1950. However, before India gained independence there were several laws which were passed by the British Government that provided voting rights to women on certain criterias only, for instance, The Government of India Act of 1919, women were granted voting rights however not every women enjoyed such a status. Their Right to Vote was dependent upon the eligibility criteria of them owning certain property and wealth and therefore during that time women's voting rights clearly were not considered fundamental to the development of the state.

    However, this state of affairs was no more to be found when India gained freedom from British Raj and it was finally in the 1951 general elections, after the enforcement of the Constitution of India, in free and democratic India that women received the required recognition to vote and bring a change in the nation which was needed without any discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or any of them.
  3. Supreme law of the land:
    The Indian Constitution is the supreme law of the land in India endorsing within its structured framework the 'Rule of Law'. The Rule of Law is the soul of the Indian Constitution and can be found in the interpretation of words like 'Liberty, Justice and Equality' contained in the Preamble and in Part III of the document titled as 'Fundamental Rights'.

    Not only this, the Constitution has provided for the three different organs of the government and their functioning;
    An independent judicial system (Articles 124-147 and 214-237) and various provisions for the harmonious existence of the centre and state relations (Article 245-263).
  4. An individual's Protector, Article 21 : Article 21of the Constitution of India titled as:
    'Right to Life and Personal Liberty' acts as an individual's protector. This provision not only speaks about the mere animal existence of a person but living a life with complete dignity and respect along with enjoying a standard of living with attainment of certain opportunities beneficial for an individual's overall personality.

In a case titled as Francis Coralie v. UT of Delhi (1981) the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India held that right to life includes living with human dignity and having the essentials required to lead a good life at the disposal of an individual for the development of his or her overall personality. Along with this, protection to the personal liberty of an individual is also guaranteed, which includes his right to privacy; right to go abroad etc. Therefore, the very existence and personality of an individual has been protected and guaranteed by the Constitution.

Thus, from the above facts and discussion its clear that the Constitution of India has granted and guaranteed to us various protections and freedoms for our development and progress. However, it is not merely about enjoying our own rights but also giving due consideration to the rights of others as well, it is only then that a harmonic relationship could be developed among the members of a society.

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