New Delhi: India, on November 26 every year, celebrates Constitution Day to mark the commemoration of the Constitution of India, a crucial landmark in the country’s step towards independence and sovereignty. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Indian Constitution. Here’s all you need to know:
What is Constitution Day?
Constitution Day, also known as Samvidhan Diwas or National Law Day, was first celebrated in 2015, is celebrated to pay tribute to Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar who played a pivotal role in the drafting of the Indian Constitution.
While it is not a public holiday, Constitution Day is observed by various departments of the Government of India. Previously, the day was commemorated as National Law Day as per a resolution passed by the Supreme Court Bar Association, a lawyers’ body, in 1979.
The Constitution was adopted on the same day in 1949, two years after India achieved independence. Upon its adoption, the first Congress-led government invited Dr BR Ambedkar to become the first Law and Justice Minister.
Notably, the Constitution of India came into effect on January 26, 1950.
Constitution Day celebration was declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 11, 2015, while laying the foundation stone of Statue of Equality in Mumbai.
How is it being observed this year?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla is slated to address a joint session of the Parliament today.
Besides, President Kovind will also inaugurate a digital exhibition through video conferencing as well as organise a 10-day programme on the occasion.
First-time celebration for Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir will celebrate Constitution Day on November 26 for the first time this year since the abrogation of Article 370 that ended the J&K Constitution that was in place since 1957.
Here’s how top leaders and politicians have reacted
Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah:
“As a true sentinel of the Constitution, the Modi government is committed to maintain the unity and integrity of the country with the resolve of the welfare of 130 crore countrymen following the ideals of Babasaheb Ambedkar Ji. Greetings to all the countrymen on Constitution Day.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal:
“Today is Constitution Day. Today is the foundation day of Aam Aadmi Party. It is not just a coincidence. Nature has entrusted one of the workers of “you” with the responsibility of saving the Constitution and implementing it in this country in letter and spirit. If you have to give life, don’t retreat.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi:
“Greetings to all our countrymen on Constitution Day. On Constitution Day, we salute the valuable contribution of the great leaders of our Constituent Assembly. We are proud of our Constitution, we reiterate our commitment to preserve the values inherent in it.”
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar:
“Happy #ConstitutionDay to all countrymen. As we celebrate 70th Constitution Day, let us remember that the Indian Constitution gives us rights and tells us about our duties also. Let us follow it.”
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar:
“Our Constitution has helped us shape the democratic India of today & will help us define our tomorrow!”
Notably, several opposition party leaders led by the Congress decided to boycott the Parliament sitting on Tuesday in order to protest against the political developments in Maharashtra.