Being Women

Revisiting The 3 Tenets Of Our Preamble: How Far Have We Arrived?

The Preamble had envisaged a free country upholding the tenets of justice, liberty and equality. How far have we come?

Have we Indians kept our tryst with destiny?

On August 15, Independence Day of India, it will be seventy-six years since that momentous day when our country shrugged off the mantle of British rule. The question that we, Indians, need to ask ourselves is: Have we Indians kept our tryst with destiny?

Last year, on the 14th of August, I was on the way to the airport. My heart was bursting with pride as I saw the tri-colour wherever my eyes fell. Each rooftop, whether home or office, had bonnets of cars, bikes, and rickshaws, all of which proudly displayed the tiranga. Fluttering in the monsoon breeze, the flag seemed to symbolise the spirit of nationalism among the citizens of our country.

However, as our car stopped at a traffic intersection in New Delhi, I was in for a rude awakening. It shocked me to see a young girl selling flags. Barely eight years old, bedraggled, and malnourished, she darted through the stationary cars, begging the motorists to buy a flag from her. Even though I wanted to, I could not purchase a flag from her because I could not carry it with me. And she was not the only one. There were many children like her selling flags.

The image of the girl created an indelible impression on my mind. I regretted that I was not able to help her. When I sat down to write this post, her image and the Preamble of India popped into my mind. The words liberty, equality, and fraternity highlight the values on which our country is founded.

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;


I couldn’t help but muse about the conundrum that is India. A country that is culturally and linguistically diverse and yet uniquely united….Where the economic disparities among people are massive. A handful of super-rich control the bulk of national wealth, compared to the population struggling for two square meals a day.

In the poem, Where the Mind is Without Fear, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore writes, 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Where knowledge is free…..

The poem urges us to create a world with unconditional freedom for all. 

The Preamble, the poem, and the image of the girl made me realise the responsibility we Indians carry on our shoulders.

Our freedom, enshrined in our constitution, has been hard won. It took years of sacrifice, blood, and sheer stubbornness by our freedom fighters to win. We need to be constantly aware not to abuse it. But we also need to ensure that each and every citizen of India enjoys it, without any pre-conditions. In a world that is becoming increasingly divisive, maybe it is time for us to reacquaint ourselves with our founding values. To correct our country’s course so that each mind is held high without fear.

As Independence Day approaches, the sales of tri-coloured items will rise, and patriotic articles will flood blogs and newspapers. Our tri-colour will flutter from the rooftops and on cars. But the question we need to ask ourselves is if anything will change for that little girl selling traffic flags. 

Rather than selling flags at a traffic junction, will she have an opportunity to attend a flag-hoisting ceremony at a school? 

For, in my opinion, if there is a change, that will be the true independence of our country!

Jai Hind!

Indian Flag Icon, Transparent Indian Flag.PNG Images ...

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