Rephrase the preamble and make it an integral part of the constitution
And make every citizen responsible for the growth of the country along with his or her growth and let every citizen grow up with the belief that
‘Me &My Country- We Grow Together’
The preamble to our constitution begins with ‘We the People of India’ have solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity to all the citizens.
This effectively means we need ‘People’ who can realize these lofty goals and make this country into a welfare country.
The question is, are the people equipped to realize these goals ?
While the glory of the longest written document as a constitution of this largest democracy cannot be denied, the effectiveness of this document is in doubt because the ‘people’ who have to make it happen need to be capable of realizing the philosophy behind it.
If we broadly categorize the people into two categories-the administrators and the administered, are the former clear about how and why they are providing governance and the latter know why and how they are wanting to be governed?
Are the people who make, administer and enforce laws morally bound by the Directive principles ?
And the people who are administered, do they understand the sanctity of fundamental rights and duties ?
Are the billion plus Indians aware of what it means to enshrine the goals of our constitution ?
If people are taught in schools and colleges on the provisions of the constitution for the last 60 years, we should not be hearing about honor killings, caste based politics, communal riots, scams, corruption and poverty.
Ideally speaking we should have been enjoying a welfare society.
So where are the things going wrong that we are not enjoying a welfare society in spite of a positively written constitution ?
Constitution is not a scientific formula, where the right mix of chemicals would ensure the desired results , it is a philosophy which requires the people to make it happen.
And ‘we the people’ can make that happen only when we are ‘educated’ about our social responsibilities, civic duties, ethical role and the humanistic values .
It is in this context that Swamy Vivekananda’s statement ‘Destiny of a country begins in its classrooms’ becomes all the more relevant.
If a PISA report talks about our education system lagging behind 72 countries in terms of literacy value, a decade of corruption talks about moral degeneration in spite of an education system.
If the destiny of this largest democracy has to begin in its classrooms, we need to reconstruct the purpose of our education system.
While skills for enabling a comfortable life are important, humanistic values like empathy, resilience, integrity, open mindedness and responsibility should take priority in our education system.
Critical thinking skills, reasoning abilities, clarity in thought and action, focus, have to precede the technical skills even in vocational education.
And we have to make community service mandatory in all levels of education.
On this 62nd anniversary of our Indian constitution, may be we should rephrase the preamble -
“We the People will get educated with the philosophy of our constitution and internalize the ideals of liberty equality and justice and take actions that are congruent with the principles of fraternity”
Instead of leaving it as a guiding principle, preamble should be made an integral part of the constitution and a mandatory part of education for all the people- administrators and the administered !
Then I am sure that ‘classrooms can take pride in the destiny of this country’.