We all know that the year 1947 gave us freedom from the British, 1950 gave form and focus to the path India should take as a secular country, and the ideals of justice, freedom and equality became the cornerstones on which our nation started to build itself. The people of India elected their government, and we were freed from the clutches of monarchy. It was a symbolic step forward for a nation which was ancient and great in civilizational terms but young and green in democratic terms. Being a Republic alludes to civic virtue, rule of law and individual rights. We have – with some degree of success – established ourselves as a democratic republic. Ours being a republic, ensures the triumph of Indian democracy and our free and fair elections prove this fact. Transfer of power in our country has managed to remain smooth without much bloodshed and largely in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. The most significant words in the Constitution of India, 1950 are the first three – “We, the people”. These are also the opening words of the world’s oldest constitution – that of the United States. Our Constitution is not a static document; it is a living document, which governs the lives of us, who were not born when India got its Independence. We have survived the emergency and all sorts of intrinsic differences, communal and caste clashes within our country and have largely abided by the principles of our Constitution. I salute the Kesavananda Bharti Case, 1973 which held that Constitution, not Parliament is Supreme. I salute the S.R. Bommai Case, 1994, which strengthened India’s federal character as it curtailed the abuse of article 356 and strengthened Centre-State relations as the Centre can no longer misuse its powers for dismissing State Governments. I salute Smt. Pushpa Kapila Hingorani, who filed India’s first PIL. I salute Shri Ram Jethmalani, who stood for fair trial, even for those reviled. I salute the Vineet Narain Case, 1998 for prosecution of corrupt officials which attempted to bring the CBI out of the clutches of the government and give it a semblance of autonomy and make it accountable. I salute Shri Arvind Kejriwal, who spearheaded the Right to Information Campaign. I salute the farmers and the unorganized workforce of India, who work selflessly towards the building of a vibrant India. I salute the Indian Army, Navy and Airforce and the Police, who secure our lives. The Police force is one of the most underrated in our country, which is taken for granted by us. They work in inhuman conditions, live in dilapidated houses and earn paltry salary for their efforts. What we appear to have lost over the last 60 years is the spirit in which the Constitution itself was drafted – the spirit of consensus, so wanting now in all fields of activity. The rich in India are getting richer and flaunting their wealth. And the poor have not yet made it to even basic middle-class comfort levels. India should not make any special effort to carve out a role in the world. “If the 850 million people started living a normal life, that itself will make the necessary impact(!)”. This was quoted by the Asian Wall Street Journal in the early 1990s. Shri Fali S Nariman, noted Supreme Court lawyer and jurist quotes that we can be truly proud of our increasing numbers only when we secure to the vast majority of people, the opportunity to make an honest livelihood – to lead “a normal life.” According to the Economic Survey of India, there are more than 60 million well educated young people in India who are unemployed: providing them with the means of a decent livelihood is the supreme challenge of our times. In the Philippines they say that the elimination of poverty is an “unfinished revolution”: we in India must regard it as such and give it top priority; otherwise, a different type of revolution, too ghastly to contemplate, may engulf us all.