with a commitment to read and espouse the Constitution of India
73rd anniversary of Indian Independence, August 15th 2020
Saturday the 15th of August 2020 marks the completion of a journey of 73 years; a journey as a people who left no stone unturned to earn a freedom that we yearned for. The journey is wrought with imaginations and indignation. The journey that was dotted with advancement in different fields, struggles in some, stagnation in some others, but a determined movement toward self-rule, self-determination and self-sufficiency.
We salute the martyrs of the freedom movement and those who subsequently and to this day have laid down their lives in the service of their fellow-citizens – for their determination to secure for us, the people of this nation, a vibrant and living Secular, Socialist, Democratic, Republic.
We salute the astute mind of the architects of the Constitution of this country who have strived diligently to capture and construct the angst and aspirations of the different and varied peoples of this land
We salute the spirit of comradeship and that of secularism which prevails amidst a vast majority of peoples of different faiths and beliefs coexisting in this country
We salute the resoluteness of the citizens of the country, who have strived continually to preserve the values, practices and institutions of democracy so intrinsic to the preservation of its independence
Recollection of these rich traditions is an invaluable strength and inimitable force in facing and dealing with the contemporary challenges to the richness of secularism, to equity that comes with socialism, and to the participation of the people in governance.
Rising levels of absolute and real poverty, alarming trends of communalisation of not only politics but also institutional governance, disrespect and sordid insult to the voice and presence of the ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities, and gross violations of Human Rights at all levels everywhere, stare the nation in its eye.
It is time now, more than ever before, to recognise the writing on the wall and heed the call to rise to the occasion – as conscientious citizens and alongside all secular, socialist and democratically minded peoples in all faith tradition, non-communal ideological persuasions and political affiliations.
At the threshold of the 74th year of Indian Independence, and in commemorating the 70th year of the sacred document of the Constitution of India, the National Council of Churches in India, an expression of 30 National Churches present in all districts of the Country and 45 other networked nation-wide Christian and Ecumenical Councils, Organisations, and specialised Agencies, along with related social movements and inter-faith networks, commits to a reading and espousal of the Constitution of the country. This is done with a responsibility to preserve the edifice from any possible corruption, and with the desire and aspiration to build a nation of people that is aware of their constitutional rights and who will hold those in public office and civil service accountable to their statutory obligations.
Let us rise to the occasion, and build courage to envision and define a nation; a nation that perpetually holds itself accountable to securing and assuring Justice to the least in its fold, and thus to All.
God bless India . . .
Rev. Asir Ebenezer
National Council of Churches in India