The then President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind in his address on Constitution Day on 26-11-20181 emphasised that social justice remains a touchstone of our nation building. The Hon’ble President spoke on the subject of justice and particularly social justice in the following words:
“In the Preamble, justice is not seen as unidimensional. It is viewed as having implications across political, economic and social spheres. Political justice implies the equal participation of all adults in the political process and the just formulation and implementation of laws. Economic justice implies the ultimate eradication of poverty, equal opportunities to earn a livelihood, and fair wages. As such the expansion of economic, entrepreneurship and job opportunities are among examples of economic justice.
Given the diverse history of our people, and given imbalances and hierarchies that have sometimes marked our past, social justice remains a touchstone of our nation building. At the simplest level, it implies the removal of societal imbalances and the harmonisation of rival claims and needs of different communities and groups. Social justice is about providing equal opportunities.
Such a conceptualisation of justice was valid in 1949 and broadly remains relevant today. Even so, the 21st century has brought new challenges. No doubt the concept of justice — political, economic and social — has a resilient core but it needs to be thought of in innovative ways. It requires to be applied afresh to emerging situations — situations that may not have existed or been foreseen when our Constitution-framers were at work.”
Insights from Legal Luminaries on India’s Guiding Light
“The Constitution is our pole star and should guide us through light and darkness to reach our cherished ideals.”
~ Justice Sri Krishna
Former Judge, Supreme Court of India
“The mainstay of our Country is the Constitution. If we lose that, we lose everything that has been built in the past seven decades and more.”
~ Justice Rajiv Shakhder
Judge, Delhi High Court
On this day, nearly 3 quarters of a century ago, We The People of India gave ourselves a document which was, at the time, a mere compilation of provisions crafted by some of the best legal minds in the country. Over the course of time, this document has become the foundation of our democracy, a bastion of rights, and a bulwark of liberties. Legislatures have used it to enact forward-thinking laws, governments have utilised it to make decisive and much-needed interventions, and courts have found within its subtext the most creative of interpretations – but most importantly, we the people have relied on it to exercise our rights.
On this Constitution Day, let us all open the bare text – turn to the first page – feel a sense of ownership and pride, and affirm for ourselves that this is, after all, a document of, for, and by We the People of India.
~ Justice Gita Mittal
Former Chief Justice, Jammu and Kashmir High Court
“Constitution is the solemn document which laid a foundation on which our great country achieved unprecedented heights and became a nation for the world to look up to.”
~ Mr. Tushar Mehta
Solicitor General of India
“I had the privelege of standing next to my father in 1979 when he drafted the Law Day charter to commemorate 26/11/49, the day the labours of our Constituent Assembly produced the Constitution, enforced wef 26/1/50. He then led a crusade which entrenched Law Day in each court, each Bar Association and in the national psyche over the next 35 years. Happily, in 2015, the Honble PM announced the reincarnation of 26/11 as Constitution Day.
This commemoration is vital to rededicate ourselves to the ideals of the Constitution, its ethos and values—fraternity, secularism, equality, federalism—and the colossal institutions which it created as the pillars of Indian democracy viz. Independent courts, election commission, CAG, parliament and so on.
Each time any of these constitutional values is assailed, or any of these institutions is diminished or compromised, the foundations of Law Day/Constitution Day shake and remind us of this Gita, Bible and Koran of India viz the Indian Constitution.”
~ Dr Abhishek Singhvi
Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
“In the present context, safeguarding personal liberty and fundamental rights remains essential for fostering a fair and equitable society. Courts should actively embrace a proactive stance, demonstrating sensitivity and commitment to ensure justice, equality, and personal freedoms thrive within the societal framework.”
~ Mr. Pradeep Rai
Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
1. Ashwani Kumar v. Union of India, (2019) 2 SCC 636 : 2018 SCC OnLine SC 2804 at page 640