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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 27 New Delhi June 23, 2018

In Search of a Better World

Sunday 24 June 2018, by Arup Kumar Sen

COMMUNICATION

All the great thinkers in history were in search of better worlds in their writings and thinking. The Indian Constitution represents our collective wisdom and suggests pathways for a better India. However, the values enshrined and the rights guaranteed in the Constitution are often violated in our everyday life in contemporary India. Our ‘constitutional morality’ should propel us to champion the individual and collective rights of the citizens and respect the plural culture of India.

We should keep in mind that the provisions in the Constitution do not carry fixed meanings. The judiciary is expected to play a major role in giving meanings to the Constitution. The needs and predicaments of the poor and vulnerable people should be kept in mind in interpreting the Constitution.

If we restrict our vision to the discourse of rights, that alone cannot give birth to a sane society. Compassion for others, particularly the vulnerable and distressed people, requires nurturing of the “ethics of care”. All the great thinkers of ‘modern’ India, including Gandhi, Ambedkar and Rabindranath Tagore, taught us such values. The folk and popular traditions of Hindus and Muslims bear testimony to the greatness of India as a nation.

We should draw values both from the ‘modern’ and folk traditions, and struggle for our constitutional rights in our search for a better world.

Arup Kumar Sen
Kolkata

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