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New Delhi, 26 November 2019: To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of India, a solemn function to mark the 'Samvidhan Diwas' was held in the Central Hall of Parliament House today. Addressing the distinguished gathering, President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind observed that our Constitution enshrines the ideal of building an inclusive society and gives us a system to bring about revolutionary changes peacefully by way of constitutional amendments. Shri Kovind further said that in our country, constitutional avenues are available to address all kinds of situations and we must first ponder whether our actions are in conformity with constitutional boundaries, dignity and morality?

Recalling that the Constituent Assembly had accomplished the exceptional feat of balancing different ideas and ideologies into the Constitution, Shri Kovind praised the phenomenal contributions of Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar and said the sheer wisdom and foresight of the makers of our Constitution had enabled the preparation of a vibrant document that not only reflects our ideals and aspirations but also protects the future of all Indians.

Shri Kovind also reminded the Members of Parliament to be always mindful of the oath taken to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India and to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India.

Remarking that rights and duties are two sides of the same coin, Shri Kovind said that it is important that we perform our duties and thereby create circumstances which would ensure effective protection of rights. He also underlined that developing the spirit of humanism is also a fundamental duty of citizens, which inherently includes service with compassion towards all.

In his observations, Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu said that we have progressively put the 'public' at the centre of 'Republic' and emerged not only as the largest democracy but also as a country that continues to remain a glowing symbol of a vibrant, pluralistic culture with a flourishing parliamentary system and with the Constitution acting as the bulwark in protecting the rights of a free society. We have not only focused on Fundamental Rights and are progressively shaping our policies and programs to create an inclusive, developed India in consonance with the Preamble of the Constitution but we are bringing about a transformation in governance. He also emphasized that the Fundamental Duties, need greater emphasis and if we discharge our duties with dedication and commitment to the national objectives and constitutional values, the country will move faster on the development trajectory and will become a more mature democracy.

Recalling that seventy years ago, India has adopted its Constitution on this historic day, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said that had Dr. B.R. Ambedkar been alive today, he would have been happy to see India flourish as a successful democracy. Terming the Constitution as the most holy book that has served as a guiding light for the development of the country, Shri Modi said that the Constitution lays special stress on 'dignity for Indians' and 'unity for India'. Remarking that the Constitution has helped a large segment of the society to achieve equality, Shri Modi said that it is a matter of great joy that it has stood the test of time and proved to be a pillar of strength that has helped our diverse country to evolve into 'Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat'.

Observing that as the nation celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Shri Modi said that Gandhiji had well understood that there is an unbreakable bond and balance between rights and duties. Shri Modi extorted the people to be more aware not only about their rights but also about their duties and should always think how they can make the country stronger by performing the duties enshrined in the Constitution. Shri Modi also urged the Members of Parliament to focus on their duties and responsibilities to the public.

On the occasion, Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla observed that the Constitution has played an important role in the nation's journey on the path of development. He said that in the fast paced and dynamic world, characterized by new technologies, our Constitution will continue to guide our path. For this, he called for looking at the Constitution from a fresh perspective and added that, with this spirit we must celebrate Constitution Day as Duty Day and make a new beginning.

Underlining the need for balance between rights and duties, he noted that the Constitution has on the one hand given us enough freedom and powers in the form of Fundamental Rights and on the other hand, it has disciplined us through the Fundamental Duties and has maintained balance. He emphasized that this discipline is a necessary condition for the enjoyment of the freedoms and powers given by the Fundamental Rights. He felt that most of the problems being faced by the nation can be solved by pursuing Fundamental Duties. He further observed that by only talking about rights without referring to duties creates a kind of imbalance. This imbalance can create hurdles in the development of the nation and the pace of national development reduces.

Earlier, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi welcomed the Constitutional dignitaries to the Central Hall. He said that the Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties are the foundation of the Constitution and that the Constitution aims for the overall development of the nation.

On the occasion, President Shri Ram Nath Kovind launched the National Youth Parliament Scheme Portal. Shri Kovind also released the publication titled 'Role of Rajya Sabha in Indian Parliamentary Democracy' along with Coins, Stamp and First Day Cover to commemorate the 250th Session of Rajya Sabha.

Later, the President also released the Lok Sabha Calendar 2020 on the theme 'India's Constitution @ 70 - Celebrating the Supreme Law of the Land' and inaugurated an Exhibition on ‘History of the Constitution of India' being held in the Parliament Library Building.



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