On the occasion of the 74th Republic day, we join fellow citizens of this great country in greeting each other a year ahead with the virtues of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity available to every individual, household, social group, ethnic community and the whole society.
On this august occasion we acknowledge the wisdom of the drafters of the Constitution which came into force on this day seventy-three years ago as the governing document of the ever emerging vibrant Indian Republic, particularly Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.
Despite the challenges that it has faced over time we concur with all others who believe that the Indian Constitution remains a largely sufficient document that provides sovereignty and security to all people in the country while affirming space for every expression.
It is our dream that the principles that govern our country as a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic Republic be further strengthened and realised in all spheres of the legislature, judiciary and the administration of the country.
It is our desire that the rights and privileges endowed and guaranteed by the Constitution be affirmed to all the citizens of the country particularly to the distressed communities including the christians, muslims, women, dalits, tribals, adivasis, persons with ‘disabilities’, those with different gender identities and sexual orientations, and the children and youth in all these contexts.
It is toward the realisation of this dream and desire that we as the Churches of the Orthodox and Protestant traditions in the fellowship of the National Council of Churches in India, as well as Christian and Ecumenical Agencies, Organisations and Councils associated with the NCCI, through the power of Jesus our Lord who when singled out braved death on the cross and was raised to life on the third day in the community of the faithful, dedicate our every endeavour to uphold and protect the Constitution at all cost, and to ensure dissemination of the contents of the same for the empowerment of the fellow citizens of the country.
It is our ardent hope and fervent prayer that the priority accorded to the rule of law, based on the primacy of the Constitution that we have given to ourselves, will end prevailing targeted hostilities against Dalits, Adivasis, Christians, Muslims and such other marginalised and vulnerable communities in the country.
Indeed – an empowered citizenry, enlightened on its constitutional rights and responsibilities as well as on its privileges and prerogatives, will surely see the nation through to many more years to come.
Rev. Asir Ebenezer