Guwahati: The preamble of the Constitution of India begins with the line “We the people of India…,” implying that the top guard of the laws of every Indian citizen is made by and for the people of India.
However, it is safe to say that the Indian Constitution finds its way to only a few lawyers and researchers. With the aim of wanting to bring the Constitution to the hand of the common populace, social activist and teacher Mahiuddin Siddique kick-started a novel idea of “Samvidhan Kendra” aka Constitution Centres.
“It is quite sad that the people do not know what the Constitution actually is; we are not even aware of the fundamentals of it,” said , who also teaches at the Ajmal College of Arts and Science in Barpeta, Assam. Hence, the teacher is employing like-minded individuals from the Constitution Centre, which came into being in July this year.
“We consider ourselves as Constitution’s sevak and our main goal is to propagate the spirit of the Constitution to the common man,” Siddique said, adding that a total of 60 sevak’s (helpers) are following the same footsteps in Barpeta with him.
“The NRC has left many underprivileged sections of the society in the D-voters list and even if there are legal and constitutional ways to overcome it, a majority of them do not even know what the constitutional laws entail,” said Siddique.
Adding that people are unaware of their rights given to them by the Constitution only to be taken advantage of by others, the teacher said, “This includes the unequal wage distribution among male and female workers to justice denied to poor people,” he said.
Tracing the footsteps, the idea was the brainchild of Aman Wadud, a human rights lawyer from Guwahati. “The basic idea was to bring Constitution to the people and normalise the entire idea. The Constitution should be given the same stature of religious texts as this is the one which safeguards our democratic rights,” Wadud said.
The lawyer wants to create awareness about the Constitution, which he thinks is limited to only a few lawyers and judges at present.