Justice, liberty, equality and fraternity: Values that guided our freedom struggle
The following is the message from the President of India Ramnath Kovind on the occasion of his country’s 72nd Republic Day:
Dear fellow citizens
Greetings to all of you on the eve of the 72nd Republic Day of the world’s largest and most vibrant democracy.
In this land of ours, enriched by diversity, with many festivals, our national festivals are celebrated by everyone with great patriotic fervour.
We celebrate the national festival of the Republic Day with enthusiasm and express our respect for the national flag, and our faith in the Constitution.
This day has come to mean a lot to all Indians living within the country and abroad.
Seventy-one years ago, on this very day, we the people of India adopted, enacted and gave to ourselves a unique Constitution.
For all of us, then, this is the day to also pause and ponder over the core values that the Constitution propounds.
These values – Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity – outlined in the Preamble of our Constitution are sacred to all of us.
Its abiding adherence is meant not only for those who are mandated to govern but for the people at large.
It is not without reason that the wise men and women who framed the Constitution chose to place these four terms at the very beginning of the Constitution to build the foundation on which the edifice of our democracy rests.
In fact, these were the values that guided our freedom struggle.
A galaxy of great leaders and thinkers like Bal Gangadhar ‘Tilak’, Lala Lajpat Rai, Mahatma Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose inspired our freedom struggle.
They had diverse dreams of a magnificent future of the motherland, but common to their aspirations were these values: Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.
I would like that we go further back into history and inquire why precisely these values guided our nation-builders.
And the answer is obvious: This land and its inhabitants have cherished these ideals from the time immemorial.
Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity are perennial principles of our philosophy of life.
They come to us from the dawn of this civilisation through an unbroken chain. It is, of course, the task of every generation to seek out the meaning of these values for its times.
As the freedom fighters did in their day, so should we in our time. These key principles should light our path to development.
As we are set to celebrate the anniversary of our Republic, I am thinking of our brothers and sisters abroad.
Our diaspora is our pride. Indians abroad have succeeded in different walks of life, some rising to high levels of political leadership, some contributing to science, arts, academics, civil society and business, each bringing laurels to their new homelands and also to India.
Republic Day greetings to you from the land of your ancestors! My greetings to the members of the armed forces, paramilitary forces and the police who usually celebrate festivals staying away from their families.
My special greetings to all those jawans. I once again congratulate you all, for the Republic Day.