Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Constitution



After FREEDOM, the Constitution came and defined our:

1. FORM - The word "Constitution" itself speaks of form and identity. The Constitution declared the nature, form, and identity of the nation. It answered questions like "What is this nation?" "What is its form?" "Who is its citizen?" "Who are the officials?"
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From the Wikipedia
In India, Republic Day honours the date on which the Constitution of India came into force replacing the Government of India Act 1935 as the governing document of India on 26 January 1950.

The date of 26 January was chosen to honour the declaration of independence of 1930 at Lahore. The new Constitution of India, as drafted and approved by the Constituent Assembly of India, was mandated to take effect on January 26, 1950, to commemorate the 1930 declaration. On that day in 1950, India became a republic....

India achieved independence from British rule on 15 August 1947 following the Indian independence movement noted for largely peaceful nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience led by the Indian National Congress. The independence came through the Indian Independence Act 1947 (10 & 11 Geo 6 c. 30), an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that partitioned British India into the two new independent Dominions of the British Commonwealth (later Commonwealth of Nations): India and Pakistan.[2] India obtained its independence on 15 August 1947 as a constitutional monarchy with George VI as head of state and the Earl Mountbatten as governor-general. The country, though, did not yet have a permanent constitution; instead its laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India Act 1935. On 28 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with Dr.B. R. Ambedkar as chairman. While India's Independence Day celebrates its freedom from British Rule, the Republic Day celebrates the coming into force of its constitution.

A draft constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the Assembly on 4 November 1947. The Assembly met, in sessions open to public, for 166 days, spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution. After many deliberations and some modifications, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two hand-written copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on 24 January 1950. Two days later, it came into effect throughout the nation.
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2. FUNCTION. The Constitution established the various functions of the State: of the governing officials as well as the citizens. As responsible citizens, we are called to abide by the rules of the Constitution of our nation.

Without the Constitution we were without a distinct form and function.

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BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS
Old Testament

The Israelites got FREEDOM from Egyptian slavery in Exodus 12; but it was only in Exodus 19 that they saw who they were as a Covenant People (Form) and what they were supposed to do (Function) - the Covenant Laws.

New TestamentThe Church also began with FREEDOM; but, Freedom is not an excuse for Lawlessness. We see a FORM emerge through the Book of Acts and the Epistles. The various FUNCTIONS of the members of the Body were pointed out. Commandments and observances were given.

The Republic Day reminds us of the importance of Constitution, first, within our own selves. Law-abiding begins within us. Law-abiding is the sign of a healthy soul; in which every element within our self is in its proper place and fulfills its proper role. If the Law is written in the book of our hearts, then Justice and Liberty will be innate to us.

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