Gujarat Dalits meet on Republic Day eve to ‘examine’: What’s Indian Constitution about?
Martin Macwan, founder, Navsarjan Trust, Gujarat’s premier Dalit rights organisation, has declared to hold a unique public programme at the Dalit Shakti Kendra, village Nani Devti, Sanand-Bavla Road, Sanand taluka, Ahmedabad district on January 25 at 11.30 AM: To release a toy-house which seeks to answer the simple question bogging large sections of people today, “What is the Indian Constitution about?”
The programme, significantly, has been organized against the backdrop of widespread apprehensions that, following the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and the proposed National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Indian Constitution’s fundamental tenets, of equality before law, are under threat.
According to Macwan, “Recognising the fact that we need to do a great amount of community education to ensure that people know the basic features of the Indian Constitution, this initiative as mentioned in the note which self-explains both the programme and the rationale for the same.”
He has appealed, “We at Navsarjan, Dalit Foundation and Dalit Shakti Kendra, will be happy if you can attend the program on 25th January at Dalit Shakti Kendra, Gujarat. Also, if you want to use these models in local language in your work areas do let us know.”
In an e-mail alert to Counterview, even as releasing the appeal, which is titled, “Inaugural Programme of Constitutional Home”, he says, “The cost per model will be approximately Rs 300. It’s a wooden model. We are seeking your cooperation to take this small effort to larger audience.”
For past few months, the country is witnessing strife in the society over the fears of rights infringement. The apprehensions of the citizens are not misplaced. Yet, it is true that few people are aware about the basic provisions of the Indian Constitution. Protests with informed minds would certainly be more effective.
Naysarjan attempts to inform citizens about the basic provisions of the constitution, in a creative way. This is done through a toy-house. Our homes find strength in its foundation: What are the founding principles that strengthen Indian constitution? The door to our house welcomes all. What are the constitutional provisions that resemble the door? The windows in house provide its residents with oxygen-rich air and light to keep them safe and health. Which constitutional provisions serve as the windows for the citizens?
Few people are aware about basic provisions of Indian Constitution. Protests with informed minds would certainly be more effective
Who are the residents in the Constitution Home? A leaking roof can endanger both the house and the residents: How can we as citizens can strengthen the constitution to ensure it does not collapse or damaged? What are the responsibilities of the citizens?
Traditionally, the ancestor who built the house has a few words of counsel for the upcoming generation to protect the house: What has our constitutional framers advised us to do to ensure the constitutions can withstand crisis and challenges? What are the rights of the linguistic-religious minorities under the Constitution to protect them?
Which Directive Principles has the Constitution set to direct the formation of the state policy to ensure that the rights of the citizens enshrined in the Constitution are furthered meaningfully? How the Constitution has protected the rights of the women, children, disabled, the old, Dalits, Tribals, OBCs?
Only electoral promises can not remove economic and social inequality. How have the Constitutional measures been directed to address inequality, such as land reforms, minimum wages, right to work etc.?
As we see the toy-house, read the information, the recent incidents-news do come to our minds and explain to us as how our rights under the constitution are attacked or unprotected. On the eve of the 71st Republic Day, Navsarjan wants to dedicate this house to the children and youth.
It is the wish that this house finds a place in each school and in the hands of teachers, children. The house is presented in all 22 languages of India, and some of the Gujarati Tribal dialects, such as Vasavi, Kukna. Gamit and Dangi as well as Kachchi.