Constitution day , Samvidhan Divas or National Law Day is celebrated with great zeal on November 26 every year to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India. It was on historic day of November 26, 1949 when the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the constitution of India and it came into effect on January 26, 1950. This day is chosen to spread the importance of the constitution which has the distinction of being the lengthiest written constitution in the world . As on date, it has 447 Articles arranged under 26 parts and 12 schedules. Awareness about the beauty, flexibility , all encompassment , detailed provisions , the historical importance, hard work done by the Drafting Committee and allied issues about our constitution must be made by means other than conventional and absolutely formal ways. We must keep on acknowledging the contribution of the framers of the constitution and at the same time, while knowing more for our rights as enshrined in the constitution, we must know seriously what is written about our duties as well. Most of us, very often, refer to , discuss and interpret the constitution to our benefits but hardly we see anyone thoroughly discussing about our duties as enshrined in it.
We must, therefore, also thoroughly peruse Article 51 A which delineates 11 most important and fundamental duties of citizens in India which among others include – to respect the constitution, the National Flag and the National Anthem. It says to uphold and protect the sovereignty , unity and integrity of India, to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so, to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood transcending religious, linguistic, regional or sectional diversities. It lays stress upon ‘dignity of women’ and just in that context, should we not only silently rue but stand up too in strong voice against the gang rape , murder and burning of a young Doctor in Hyderabad recently and not confine our activities to candle light formalities and that too, selectively? It also lays emphasis on (how much important is) protecting and improving natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures , to safeguard public property and abjure violence etc etc.
How, on the contrary, are some of us opposing singing National Anthem in cinema theatres and in some other institutions including even in some educational institutions of the country dishing out silly arguments in support thereof ? Is violating the sanctity of our water bodies and polluting them not continuing even to the extent of what has happened to the Ganga, the Yamuna and other rivers in the country. Our world famous lakes in Kashmir like Dal, Wular , Manasbal etc are horrifyingly polluted and how forests are mercilessly looted and huge chunks of forest land grabbed . About safeguarding our public properties, less said the better. Most of the protests across the country end up in damaging public properties and causing tremendous loss to the public exchequer by “actions” like Chakka Jam, Hartals, stoppage of work and the like. Can this country afford to suspend work anywhere and in any institution including legislatures even for an hour? Regarding communal harmony, regional preferences and opposing and nursing constant bias towards the largely and widely spoken popular indigenous language Hindi – the ‘Raj Basha’ , again let much less be said, the better it would be. Like most of these duties being neglected or disregarded by us wilfully or innocently, we are, as a result brazenly violating our constitution.
Since the year 2008, 26/11 has assumed added importance as this writer feels to remember and remain beholden to the brave hearts like Tukaram Omble , the Mumbai hero who created sort of history in how to protect the sovereignty and integrity of this great country which the constitution enjoins upon each one of us. The parents of this country have been doing proud to it by giving birth to warriors and lion hearted sons like Omble . It is because of the supreme sacrifice given by such valiant patriots that we are safe and enjoying our daily life without any worries for safety and security . It won’t be any exaggeration to admit that only because of the determination, grit , pluckiness and to do something extraordinary for the country by the likes of Omble , we are one , strong and integrated. They protect and glorify the constitution in more real terms, by their actions and by even offering supreme sacrifices. Yes, they do not make speeches on selective events and that to be all in the name of ‘sewa’. Why should we Indians not remember them along with other events and accord them the place which they rightfully deserve ? Doing so, we shall be imbibing in our younger future generations an elevated spirit of patriotism and love for the country . A word or two more about martyr Tukaram on 26/11 becomes, therefore, necessary.
As we know, how Pakistan sponsored , aided and abetted terror attack on Mumbai took place on the same day eleven years back. Assistant Sub-Inspector Police Tukaram Omble posted at Girgaum Choupatti had returned home for lunch . He had night duty later that day, so he was preparing to leave for night duty. At his check post Qasab and few of his accomplice terrorists reached in a car and he stopped it as he wanted to grab and capture the terrorist alive. By the time, half of Mumbai was up in flames and Omble was alert but unarmed. In the process, he took not one, five, ten but full magazine of 40 bullets to himself while tackling Ajmal Qasab – the most notorious face among 10 terrorists of Lashkar-E- Toiba of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. The 54 years young brave hero did not lose the grip of the terrorist while bullets kept pouring on him with lightening speed. He held himself still for a prolonged time preventing the bullets from hitting any of his police men standing behind which demonstrated his presence of mind while taking bullets and knowing that it was all over for him.
It was Omble’s intervention and initiative and hands on tussle with Qasab that helped the authorities to capture him alive though at the cost of his most precious life. He was, however, awarded Ashok Chakra posthumously and in Kedambe his native village in Mumbai , his sacrifice is remembered by a beholden people. He had joined the Indian Army and retired as Naik but he did not take rest and just enjoy his retired life but chose to don the Khaki uniform for the Mumbai Police, the first one to achieve the honour in his village. Martyr Omble will also be known for practically rubbishing manufactured lies in respect of this attack from those few who suffered from “oral diarrohea” by trying to maligning the patriotic nationalist organisation , the RSS as a matter of diehard habit.
While the superb role played by our defence forces in defending this country cannot be described in just a few words, the role played by the country’s Police force cannot be underestimated either in maintaining law and order and sanctity of law. We very often keep on criticising them to the extent of holding them entirely responsible for any crime taking place, championing for Police Reforms etc but we generally never note the difficulties they face in the discharge of their day to day duties. While all of us celebrate our festivals or holidays with our family members, our police stations , duty beats, traffic posts, patrolling on roads, bandobast , chasing criminals and other activities never get any break or ‘holiday’ and the fear of the police in the minds of those who would like to break law or disturb order in the society is the guarantee of an equilibrium in the set up of semblance of the Police as the upholder and saviour of law . The ‘Danda’ wielded by a cop means nothing but the message of “obey the law or you will be made to obey”. Perhaps fearing them , an overzealous ‘leader’ had some time back in a public meeting allegedly wished the withdrawal of the police force just for 15 minutes to show what he could do to ………. It is that “fear” to a larger extent , let it be reiterated, that we as a nation are one and united and living peacefully.