Prime Minister Modi spoke on the floor of Lok Sabha as it concluded the Special discussion on the commitment to Constitution, marking 125th Anniversary of the iconoclast and the Chairman of Constitution Drafting Committee, Dr. BR Ambedkar. Post the speech of Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan moved a resolution affirming the commitment to uphold the sanctity and supremacy of the Constitution of India.
Strongly pitching the phrase ‘India first’ as the only ‘dharma’ (religion) of the government, PM Modi said that the Constitution of India is its only ‘dharma granth’ (holy book).
“I don’t believe this debate warrants me to speak, I am no less than others present here. The spirit of this debate is not Us and Them. The spirit of this debate is about all of us,” he said adding that Constitution has the power to bind and promote entire diversity that India represents.
Stressing on his government’s move to celebrate November 26 as the Constitution Day, the Prime Minister said, “I see no attempt to undermine the importance of 26th January by celebrating 26th November”.
Some opposition leaders had earlier questioned the government’s move to celebrate November 26 as ‘Constitution Day’.
Replying to a two-day long debate on ‘Commitment to India’s Constitution’, he also rejected the criticism raised by the opposition Congress party, which had said that incumbent BJP-led NDA government was trying to deny due credit or undermining the role of leaders like Jawahar Lal Nehru.
“I had said from the Red Fort and I would like to say it again. All previous governments and Prime Ministers have contributed to build the nation… Our country has grown and developed so far due to the contributions made by everyone. There are complaints that more could have been done but no one can say that previous governments did nothing,” he said.
Lauding Dr. Ambedkar, the Prime Minister said, “Imagine his greatness, his clarity of thought and political character that all political rhetoric can employ his quotes…. Dr Ambedkar had said that ‘No matter how good a constitution may be, those who are in charge of it, can make it bad if they are themselves serving their own interests’”.
With the Centre facing criticism over the debate on “rising intolerance”, the Prime Minister also stressed that ‘India first’ is the only religion of his government and Constitution is the only holy book while asserting his commitment to work for the welfare of people of all sections and religions.
“No section of the society should lag behind. If any part of the body is paralysed, the body cannot be called healthy. We have to empower people from all sections, be it any community, region or language,” PM Modi said in his speech asserting that the thrust of his government is on ‘sabka sath’ (cooperation from all).
During his one hour long speech, the Prime Minister also ruled out any review of the Constitution, saying, “No one can think of changing the Constitution. If someone thinks that, according to me, he is planning to commit suicide”.
“Making the Constitution of India is a huge task. Imagine the aspirations of such people-to sit and draft such a Constitution…. Today when we make any law, we forget something or the other. We are not able to make a perfect law, we must accept it,” Prime Minister Modi added further.
Reaching out to the Opposition, PM Modi said that the ruling side “does not believe in forcing decisions using its majority but believes in working through consensus”.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. BR Ambedkar and Nehru repeatedly, PM Modi underlined that the ‘Idea of India’ is reflected by the aspects like Ahinsa Parmo Dharma (non-violence is supreme duty), Sarv Dharma Sambhav (equal respect to all religions) and Vasudev Kutumbakam (entire world is a family).
“Our country has been there for thousands of years. Shortcomings do come. Even vices do crop up. But there is something that keeps us going. Even when vices come up, solutions also emerge from within the society….It is like ‘auto pilot corrective arrangement and this is our strength,” he said.
(With inputs from the PTI/Agencies)