The Karnataka government on Friday organised a mega event of reading the Constitution’s preamble as part of the ‘International Day of Democracy’ celebrations, with tens of lakhs of people participating in the programme from the country and abroad at the same time.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah led the celebrations, along with Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar and several other guests, by reading the preamble in Kannada from the grand steps of ‘Vidhan Soudha’ here with a large number of school students and others joining in unison in front of them.
In June, the Karnataka government made it mandatory for all students of schools and colleges, whether government, aided or private, to read the preamble daily. It also made it compulsory to have a portrait of the preamble of the Constitution put up at all government and semi-government offices in the state.
Addressing the gathering, Siddaramaiah said the government has fulfilled four of the five ‘guarantees’ (pre-poll promises of the Congress) and “walked the talk”.
“Protection of the Constitution is the duty of every citizen…Our Constitution opens with We the people of India. If the wishes of the Constitution are not effectively understood and followed, it is not possible to build an equal society,” the chief minister said.
As per the aspiration of the Constitution which calls for equal society and highlights secular principles, Siddaramaiah said his government has implemented schemes for the prosperity of all and their purpose was to return money back to the public to improve their lives.
“Our government has implemented programmes for the prosperity of all, as per the aspirations of equal society and secular principle of the Constitution,” he said.
The chief minister said anti-Constitutional forces are trying to destroy the Constitution and implement Manusmriti again. He called on the state to be alert and aware about this.
“Destroying the Constitution and enforcing Manusmriti means 90% Indians will be forced back into slavery,” he said and warned that a lot of conspiracies are going on for this.
Siddaramaiah said that after the adoption of the Constitution, the democratic system was officially implemented in India.
“The democratic system has been formed in our land since the time of Buddha and Basavanna (12th-century social reformer)…The debates held in the Parliament during the promulgation of the Constitution seem to reflect the importance of our Constitution and the mindset of the opponents of the Constitution,” the chief minister added.
Social Welfare Minister H C Mahadevappa, and several other Ministers and Chief Secretary Vandita Sharma also attended the event.
Mahadevappa had said on Wednesday that nearly 2.28 crore people from all walks of life within the country and abroad, have registered to read the Constitution’s preamble.
“From within the country and abroad, 2, 27, 81,894 people have made online registration. We had expected 5 or 10 lakh people to register, but this has become a movement,” Mahadevappa had said.
He had said that those from corporate, private, government and banking sectors, people from industries and NRIs from several countries have come forward to participate, and have registered.
“The intention is to make people, especially the youth, understand the idea of the democracy and the Constitution, and thereby they know the main purpose of the preamble, to lead a life with dignity, freedom and equality,” Mahadevappa added.
The Social Welfare department had said that anyone who wants to read the Constitution on the same day (September 15) and at the same time of the main event, and get a participation certificate issued by the Government of Karnataka, needs to register.
On September 15, they can upload a video or picture of them reading the preamble, upon which they will be approved to download participation certificates from the same website, it said.
The minister spoke about the importance of making it mandatory to read the preamble at all formal functions of the state government, besides all schools, colleges and educational institutions.
Meanwhile, in view of the mega event, Bengaluru Traffic Police also issued an advisory suggesting diversion of vehicles to ensure smooth flow of traffic.