It is in "our best interest" to heed the advice of the Constitution, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said on Monday and asserted that not doing so would result in "sharp descent into chaos".
The Constitution is the voice of the marginalised as well as the prudence of the majority and continues to be a guide in moments of crisis and uncertainty, the CJI said at the inaugural function of Constitution Day Celebrations here.
"It is in our best interest to heed the advice of the constitution. If we do not, our hubris will result in sharp descent into chaos," he said.
Constitution Day, also known as Samvidhan Divas, is celebrated on November 26 to commemorate the Constitution being adopted.
The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India on November 26, 1949. It came into effect on January 26, 1950.
"The constitution has become an integral part of the lives of the Indian people. This is not an exaggeration, one need only to look at the astounding variety of issues that the courts hear daily," Gogoi said.
"Our Constitution is the voice of the marginalised as well as the prudence of the majority. Its wisdom continues to guide us in the moment of crisis and uncertainty," he said.
When the Constitution was brought into force, it was "widely criticised", the CJI noted. But time has weakened the criticism and it is a matter of great pride that it has been referred to with great vigour in the last several decades, he stated.
He said the Constitution is "not a document frozen in time" and today is not an occasion to celebrate but to test constitutional promises.
"Are we Indians existing in conditions of freedom, equality and dignity? These are questions that I ask myself. Undoubtedly, great advances have been made but there is a lot left to be done. Today, we need just not a celebration but also to chalk out a road map for the future," Justice Gogoi said.