The Indian Constitution, which came into effect 65 years ago, was not merely a legal document but—in the words of Granville Austin—“first and foremost a social document”. At a time when Indian society was bedevilled by a number of ills, the Constitution was supposed to usher in a social revolution. But this being a top-down process, progress was bound to be slow unless the socio-political leadership passed on the baton generation after generation.
The Haryana government’s decision to get the most educated girls of its villages to unfurl the flag at Republic Day school functions is therefore much more than mere symbolism. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one must remember, in his first Independence day speech, asked parents to pose the same questions to their sons as they do to their daughters. The social revolution embodied in the Constitution has to be kept alive by today’s leaders and those that will take over tomorrow. India has a long battle to fight.