CJI Ranjan Gogoi
CJI Ranjan Gogoi

Constitution is source of our Indianness: CJI Gogoi

ANI | Updated: Nov 26, 2018 21:51 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 26 (ANI): Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Monday said that the Constitution of India is a source of "Indianness," which "successfully united an immensely diverse people." "Our Constitution is the one and only source of our Indianness," he added while addressing a gathering on the occasion of the Constitution Day.
The Chief Justice said, "The Constitution has successfully united immensely diverse people into one nation. It has done so without compromising cultural variation, notwithstanding the differences of creed, caste, and religion. The Constitution is the very basis of national identity. It is a source of our Indianness. There is and there can be no other."
The CJI also contradicted a number of criticisms regarding the Constitution that were made 70 years ago. "Sir Ivor Jennings felt it was too long and predicted there would be rigidity. With the greatest respect, the time has proved that Sir Ivor Jennings was wrong," CJI Gogoi said.
He also spoke about Rudyard Kipling's scepticism "as to whether the Constitution would ever work in this country." "He said the result would be a salad of confusion. Were he to be alive today, Mr. Kipling would have been surprised to find India as a well-functioning polity and this is no mean achievement for the world's largest democracy. The credit chiefly goes to the framework of governance which has been laid down in the constitution," CJI Gogoi said.
CJI Gogoi further lauded the people of India for facilitating the constitution's success over the decades, saying that Constitution Day commemorates both the text and the people. "A historian famously remarked that Constitutions do not work by themselves, they need to be worked real, living humans. He echoes (Willian Ewart) Gladstone, who wrote that a constitution presumes the good faith of those who work it," he said.
"Here I have in mind the invisible billions of people of India, who have, since 1947, embraced the constitution as their own. We have accepted it, criticised it and urged and given new meanings to it. In fact, it is we the people who have worked the Constitution," the CJI said.
He said that the Constitution is a privilege for the people and not a right, adding "We must not forget that men and women have sacrificed their lives. Each one of us has the responsibility of passing on our good fortune to the succeeding generations of Indians." (ANI)