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India celebrates Republic Day today. On January 26, 1950 India became a Republic when the newly framed Constitution of India came into effect.

We tend to blame politicians for most of our woes in present day India. They are blamed for the corruption, poor infrastructure, illiteracy and almost every thing else that comes in the way of national progress.

There is a lot of truth in this. However, let’s reflect for a moment and realize that in a democratic republic we citizens get the Government we vote for! We often talk about the apathy of the educated, well-off voter in India. He/she does not even make the effort to vote…and then complains about the elected government. He/she had a chance, albeit small, to influence this election but did not do so.

We may be entrepreneurs, business people, corporate executives , students or anybody else but let us remember our duties as citizens of India.

“A good constitution is the greatest blessing which a society can enjoy” said James Wilson, in his oration at Philadelphia on July 4, 1788, celebrating the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.

I find that the following are the Fundamental Duties prescribed by the Constitution of  India under Part IV-A to its every citizen :
(a)     To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.
(b)     To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.
(c)     To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
(d)     To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so.
(e)     To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
(f)     To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.
(g)     To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures.
(h)     To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
(i)     To safeguard public property and to abjure violence.
(j)     To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement.

Let’s do all that we can for the nation. We are a part of a society and have an obligation to behave responsibly in it and work towards its progress and welfare.

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