Har Dil Mein Samvidhan (HDMS) has emerged as a leading initiative in India's constitutional history, raising awareness about the Constitution and its impact. As India nears its 75th Republic Day, HDMS serves as a bridge between constitutional values and public consciousness.
For over seven decades, the Constitution has guided India's progress. However, its significance often eludes many. HDMS, inspired by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, aims to integrate the Constitution into daily life.
Operating on inclusive principles, HDMS aims to reach all 766 districts of India by Republic Day 2024. It engages citizens through events, information dissemination, and diverse content.
HDMS unites organizations, leaders, and influencers, amplifying its message nationwide. Since its launch in 2023, it has gained momentum, with 982 partners across 373 districts in 27 states and 4 union territories. Through various activities like street plays and workshops, HDMS promotes inclusivity and diversity. It fosters awareness, engagement, and celebration of constitutional principles, paving the way for positive societal change.
Engaging in a dialogue with The Logical Indian, the organization endeavours to respond to and tackle diverse aspects and concerns associated with the campaign. Let's explore their perspectives and insights on these matters.
1. Where does India stand on constitutional awareness amongst the rest of the democracies from all over the world and what impact do you intend to bring through your awareness campaign?
India has a programme for constitutional awareness at the school level. The subject called Social and Political Life under NCERT deals with this from Class 7 onwards. However, the teaching of this subject has the same problems as our overall education system has - more focus on rote learning. There are also days like Constitution Day and Republic Day where the Constitution is spotlighted with awareness outreach. Countries like the USA have a foundation approach to this, with several media initiatives devoted to constitutional awareness in addition to a more practical learning programme at school. The Preamble to their Constitution is a song that all school kids are exposed to. They also have a museum devoted to the Constitution awareness in Philadelphia. The intended impact of the HDMS is for citizens to have a familiarity with the Preamble to the Constitution and the values embedded in it and to ensure that they know the words and understand their application in their everyday lives.
Youngsters engaged in Constitutional Education
2. What motivated your organization to establish itself as a fully flagged dedicated entity in propagating the awareness of constitutional values, and what factors influenced this decision?
The lack of mass awareness about the Constitution and the values it upholds is the primary motivation. We believe that this awareness is a necessary condition for India, as the world's largest democracy. As our nation celebrates its 75th Republic Day, it is a critical time to raise awareness and with a population as diverse as ours, various ways of raising awareness would be needed.
3. What are your plans for awareness of the population who belong to the uneducated strata and what is the intended impact of this initiative?
We are reaching to the ground, providing a platform and a pathway for individuals and institutions to join the celebration, creating opportunities to build transformational spaces in collaboration with campaign partners and going further by working thoroughly to understand, live and propagate the constitution and its values. We intend to cover all 766 districts of the country and we have received support from 982 partners across 373 districts in 27 states and 4 union territories. We are identifying and reaching out to the unreached districts and states.
4. What strategic plans or roadmaps does your organization have in place for the substantial growth of constitutional awareness among the population?
On our website, we are putting all the resource materials in all possible languages received from our co-organisers, partners and individuals. Like activities, games, curriculum, books, songs, films, posters. These resource materials are liked by people on the ground during celebration which we have circulated to each partner register to try. We are cultivating a sense of awareness that the constitutional values which are universal and an integral part of our life, will lead to the awakening of the collective consciousness of all people.
A man going through the display based on Constitutional Education
5. Why is constitutional awareness crucial for the functioning of a democracy like India?
The Constitution of India was created as a set of values, principles and rules that bind, build and protect a wide array of very different people - different in almost every respect (except that they are all human). This foundational written document based on essential human values is what holds India and its people. It gives us a vision and a sense of what is and will be Indian.
It assures people of an equal voice, of equal opportunity despite the diversity and entrenched social inequities. It assures them that they have powers that even people in authority will have to respect and it has checks for the abuse of power. Understanding the Constitution is critical, therefore for ensuring that democracy remains and grows in India. Without sustained effort at constitutional awareness, people will not be able to access their rights, hampering development.”
6. In what ways can low constitutional awareness weaken democratic institutions?
Democracies work best when people understand and choose to act on the principles of democracy - equal voice, equal participation and equal representation. If people repeatedly choose to undermine these principles then democratic institutions obviously will weaken. Understanding these core principles is the purpose of constitutional awareness.
An event taking place on the topic of Constitutional Education by HDMS
7. What specific changes would you advocate from the population to enhance the effectiveness of your efforts to propagate the idea of Constitutional values? Additionally, what key awareness message do you believe the general population should embrace to actively participate in this cause?
Firstly, we believe that constitutional values are more than just a set of ideas; they are universal truths and suggest an intelligent approach towards building peace & harmony among beings. The chairman of the drafting committee of the Indian Constitution, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar believed that it's very important for the people to develop a scientific temperament for critical inquiry in all aspects of life. First suggestion is to NOT accept a thing without questioning it and carefully enquiring into it. Second suggestion, as a people, is to keep alive this cause and enhance it, we'll need to keep exercising our rights, live our values and express ourselves as we are, no matter what. This campaign is for anyone who would like to support the cause. It can be an organization, an individual, or a civil society network.
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