MR. SPEAKER: I have to make one more observation, as agreed in the Leaders' meeting.
Hon. Members, I refer to the successful completion of 50 years of the Constitution of India. Twenty-sixth November is a significant and an important day for our country. It is on this day, fifty years ago, that the Constituent Assembly adopted our Constitution. The demand, that India's political destiny should be determined by Indians themselves, had been put forward by the Father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi as early as in 1922. His much cherished dream came true when we adopted our Constitution.
As the Members are aware, the Constituent Assembly of India met for 166 days spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days. By the time the Constitution was adopted on the 26th November, 1949, the Members of the Assembly had discussed threadbare each and every one of its provisions in the light of the experiences elsewhere while, of course, keeping in view our requirements and realities.
As our experience of the last fifty years demonstrates, our Constitution has been a dynamic document of national self-actualization. In every sense of the term, the Constitution reflects the soul of the nation and symbolizes the unity of our people and sovereign will.
The adaptability of the Constitution to the ever-changing reality has effectively made it a vehicle of social change, the process being substantially facilitated by our Parliament. Till date, as many as 78 amendments have been adopted, many of them going a long way in realizing the people's hopes and aspirations. A Constitution is basically a people's covenant, their Charter of freedom and the blue print for their future.
The spirit of the entire Constitution is reflected in the preamble itself, which declared the resolve of the people to constitute India into a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and Democratic Republic.
The preamble, as has been widely acclaimed, reflects the broad framework of ideas which are deeply ingrained in our ancient heritage and are part of the Indian ethos for which the Constitution stands and the fundamentals on which it has been founded.
The framers of our Constitution were people with vision and laid down certain parameters. In the fifty years of existence, our Constitution has withstood the pulls and pressures of a democratic society. Its basic structure has remained the same as envisaged by our founding fathers. Our Constitution remains the most important document in our nation's life, which guides, and encourages us to rise to its hoary ideals. As inheritors of a great legacy, it is for us to translate the founding fathers' vision into reality. To that end, let us rededicate ourselves.