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How PM Modi Views ‘Kartavya’, Mass Movement for Nation Building Through Lens of Indian Constitution

By: News Desk

Edited By: Oindrila Mukherjee


Last Updated: November 26, 2022, 21:20 IST

New Delhi, India

PM Narendra Modi bows to the Constitution on assuming his second term in 2019, at Parliament's Central Hall. (Image: @Modi Archive/Twitter)

PM Narendra Modi bows to the Constitution on assuming his second term in 2019, at Parliament's Central Hall. (Image: @Modi Archive/Twitter)

For PM Narendra Modi, the seeds of this day being celebrated as a reminder that constitutional values are closely knit with a visionary India were sown long ago

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has long made a strong connection between a citizen’s ‘kartavya’ (duty), nation building and a robust Constitution. It was during his first term as prime minister in 2015 that November 26 started being observed as Constitution Day. The day is marked so as to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India by the Constituent Assembly in 1949. The day was earlier observed as Law Day.

For Prime Minister Modi, however, the seeds of this day being celebrated as a reminder that a visionary India is closely knit with its constitutional values, were sown a long time ago.

There is a record of his musings on the matter from 1999, when the Indian Constitution completed 50 years and how he carried that philosophy throughout his journey first as Gujarat chief minister, then as PM and well into his second term.

According to a thread tweeted by Modi Archive, an archive of the PM’s life journey through audio and visual material, Modi scribbled his thoughts about 50 years of the Constitution. He mused how a nationwide discussion was needed on whether a citizen’s duty or rights could lead a country forward.

He writes: “50 years of Constitution are complete. A nationwide discussion is needed on whether our Kartavya or our rights can lead the nation forward. How can nation building become a mass movement in the next century?” [Handwritten, 1999]

In 2010 as the CM of Gujarat, he organised a massive road show to mark 60 years of the Constitution at Surendranagar. It was a procession with a giant replica of the Constitution atop an elephant. Modi called it the ‘Samvidhan Gaurav Yatra’ and held this historic procession to mark 60 years of the Constitution.

Then CM Narendra Modi organised ‘Samvidhan Gaurav Yatra’ at Gujarat’s Surendranagar in 2010. (Image: @Modi Archive/Twitter)

Solidifying his relationship with the philosophy of the Constitution and to make it more accessible to the masses, Modi also released its Gujarati version in 2011 – ‘Bharat Nu Samvidhan’. He believed that publishing the Constitution in a local language will help people understand it better and convey its inbuilt spirit.

In 2011, then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi releases Gujarat version of Indian Constitution named ‘Bharat Nu Samvidhan’. (Image: @Modi Archive/Twitter)

But it was in 2015 that the PM really went ahead in his initiative to make the constitutional spirit more universal in nature by introducing a day to honour the Constitution. Hence, since that year, under his leadership, Constitution Day has been held every year on November 26. The Indian Constitution will also be showcased at the Central Constitution Hall and Gallery in the New Parliament building.

Under PM Narendra Modi’s leadership, Constitution Day celebration is held for the first time on November 26 in 2015. (Image: @Modi Archive/Twitter)

Then in 2019, in a grand gesture on assuming his second term as prime minister, Modi bowed to the Constitution in Parliament’s Central Hall.

In the same vein, on Saturday, the PM paid homage to the greats who gave the Constitution and reiterated the commitment to fulfil their vision for the nation. “Today, on Constitution Day, we pay homage to those greats who gave us our Constitution and reiterate our commitment to fulfil their vision for our nation," Modi tweeted.

Addressing celebrations at the Supreme Court, he spoke about how fulfilling fundamental duties should be a citizen’s first priority. This, he said, will take the country to greater heights as it marched ahead towards the centenary of its independence.

Modi said the entire world was looking at India, which is witnessing rapid development and economic growth. The country was set to assume the G20 presidency next week and this was a big opportunity to present its contribution to the world, he added.

“We, as Team India, should work towards enhancing India’s prestige on the world stage and highlight the country’s contribution to the world. This is our collective responsibility," Modi said, in another iteration of ‘kartavya’ as a driving force in the country’s “identity as the mother of democracy".

He said he was pleased to state that the country in the form of the mother of democracy is strengthening its ancient ideals and the spirit of the Constitution, and pro-people policies were empowering the poor and women of the country.

“The first three words of the Preamble of the Constitution – ‘We the people’ – are a call, trust and oath. This spirit of the Constitution is the spirit of India that has been the mother of democracy in the world. In the modern time, the Constitution has embraced all the cultural and moral emotions of the nation," Modi said.

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, the PM said the fundamental rights were those responsibilities that should be fulfilled by citizens with utmost dedication and true integrity. He termed the ‘Amrit Kaal’, the journey of next 25 years to emerge as a developed nation, as ‘Kartavya Kaal’ — an era of fulfilling the fundamental duties.

“The Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal is the time for duty towards the country. Be it people or institutions, our responsibilities are our first priority," the prime minister said, underlining that by walking the path of one’s duties, the country can attain new heights of development.

(With PTI inputs)

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