Modi worships Constitution in Surendranagar

via Rathin Das | Ahmedabad published on January 24, 2010

In the run-up to Republic Day, Chief Minister Narendra Modi celebrated 60 years of the Constitution in a different manner.

Modi worshipped the Constitution ceremoniously placed on a caparisoned elephant besides a life-size statue of its author Dr BR Ambedkar in the town square of Surendranagar in Saurashtra.

The Chief Minister also flagged off a ‘Samvidhaan Sammaan Yatra’ through the town where the State-level Republic Day function would be held on Tuesday.

Ever since Modi’s convincing victory in the 2002 Assembly elections, all State level functions of Republic Day, Independence Day and Gujarat’s Foundation Day (May 1) are held in different district towns by rotation.

It is Surendranagar’s turn to host this year’s Republic Day celebrations, which started on Sunday afternoon with the innovative idea of Samvidhaan Sammaan Yatra.

The programme in Surendranagar began with Modi garlanding Dr Ambedkar’s statue in the middle of the town, followed by showering flower petals on the copy of the Constitution as priests chanted along.

Sources said it was the first time in the world that a leader actually worshipped his country’s Constitution.

Gujarat has already scored many firsts recently, including starting of a department on climate change and making voting compulsory in the local civic body elections.

To mark 60 years of the adoption of the Constitution, 60 women carried copies of the document on their head as the procession went through the town before culminating at the Town Hall.

Addressing the gathering at the starting venue, Modi said the Constitution had given Indians new hopes, empowerment and democracy and added that this function gave Surendranagar a place in the country’s history.

Modi said that while the nation is celebrating 60 years of the republic, Gujarat is honouring the Constitution as it has given the basic strength that has unified all diversities that are part of India.

Stressing on the uniqueness of the Indian Constitution, Modi said it provides a blend of preserving a thousand years of heritage with future progress.

Honouring the Constitution is not enough in itself, the Chief Minister said and added that everyone should resolve to fulfill his or her duties as citizens when they demand their rights. Citizens’ duties and rights are two sides of the same coin that would make progress of the country inevitable, Modi emphasised.

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