Bengaluru : Urging law students to study the Constitution well, President Pranab Mukherjee today asked them to be the change that they seek through participation in all matters relating to governance and the state.
“I urge all of you students of law to study our Constitution well. Understand our political system, its institutions and processes as established by the Constitution and law. Analyse the choices that were made to build the country into what it is today,” he said.
Mr Mukherjee was speaking at the 24th annual convocation of National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bengaluru.
“Be the change that you seek through participation in all matters relating to governance and the state. Choose to engage with our beautiful, complex, often difficult and sometimes noisy democracy – help strengthen and refine our legal and political institutions,” he said at the convocation, which was not open for the media.
According to the President’s speech copy,he urged the law students to help the nation create better citizens who are able to access all opportunities offered by it and society.
He said they should recognise that intelligent choices have to be made to enable the country reach its maximum potential.
Asking them to participate in making these choices and not just be bystanders, he said they must help policy makers make the right policies and be willing to read, learn and formulate views on national issues.
“A democracy cannot be healthy without informed participation. It is not enough to merely vote periodically.It requires effective implementations,” he added.
The function was attended by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur, Karnataka Chief Minister Vajubhai Vala, and Chief Minister Siddaramaih, among others.
Mr Mukherjee reminded the students that India has one of the finest Constitutions in the world and its driving principle is a compact between state and citizen, a powerful public-private partnership nourished by justice, liberty and equality.
He also said the Constitution represented a “second liberation” from the stranglehold of traditional inequality in gender, caste, community along with other fetters that had chained us for too long.
NLSIU came into existence in 1986.
The President referred to the special status enjoyed by lawyers in the country and said they have a duty to fight injustice wherever it exists.
Asking students to be brave, he said “If you are asked to pay a bribe, have the courage to refuse.If you are asked to support violence, corruption or oppression, have the courage to say no. If you fear reprisal, remember that breaking an unjust system is about making difficult choices.”