Need For Samvidhan Park –
President of India Draupadi Murmu inaugurated India’s first Constitution Park (Constitution Park) in Jaipur, Rajasthan on 3 January. Constructed at a cost of Rs 9.66 crore, this park will make the Constitution accessible and provide awareness and information to the general public about the Constitution.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Murmu said, “The main objective of creating this Constitution Park is to create awareness about the ideals of the Constitution and a great effort towards keeping our country’s democracy strong.” He expressed confidence that the park would Will inspire generations to come. Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also underlined the importance of awareness of the Constitution. In the park, the journey of constitution making was presented through elegant paintings, sculptures and other art forms Is.
Even after seven decades of its enactment, the Constitution has remained largely confined to the courts and administrative offices. However, the public’s hunger to know more about the Constitution is slowly making it a people’s book.
Therefore, the initiative taken by the Governor of Rajasthan is a welcome step towards making the Constitution a widely accessible document in the state. Scholars such as Professor Nicholas Stephanopoulos of Harvard University and Professor Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia have argued that one of the best ways to boost the Constitution’s popular approval rating is to give people more information about the text.
Therefore, the role of the State in investing in ways and means through its various branches, to ensure familiarity of the people with the Constitution and its values, becomes crucial. As all public institutions are governed by the Constitution, the responsibility to take the Constitution to the people is a part of the oath of office. However, public offices in India have always been away from common citizens.
Given the historical inaccessibility of public offices, the location of Constitution Park – within the Raj Bhavan complex – raises questions about its effectiveness. Public offices like the collectorate and block offices, which are the first point of contact for common people, have a dismal track record in terms of accessibility, forget high constitutional offices like the Raj Bhavan. Raising this concern, a youth activist working on constitutional literacy in Jaipur, Pawan rightly remarked – How many common people visit the Raj Bhavan daily? Others have expressed similar concerns. Therefore, the location of such public places should be designed in such a way that people can easily access them. The concerns of activists, civil society members and public-spirited citizens are established based on the nature and character of the place in which the park is located.
The National Archives of India, the National Museum in Delhi, the Partition Museum in Amritsar and the Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur are testimony to the fact that knowledge institutions or public institutions are meant to be located in actual “public” to impart knowledge and reminisce about the past. needed.
The Raj Bhavan is a closed, non-representative space that may limit public interaction with Constitution Park. People generally interact with their representatives in public offices to which a very limited number of people have access. Being in a non-representative office, the purpose of Constitution Park may have been defeated due to its inaccessibility. The constitution is a public document made for the public. True to its character, the park should be shifted to places like Jawahar Kala Kendra or Albert Hall, which are more accessible to the public, who are the primary target audience of this important initiative.
The government may say that they have already spent crores of rupees on this and relocating will cost more to its exchequer. While this sounds like a valid point, it should not be forgotten that given the issues of inaccessibility, if the park fails to attract the target group at its current location, it will result in a waste of taxpayers’ money and state resources. Nothing else will happen. , , Therefore, if relocation is not possible, ways must be devised to ensure that it is accessible to all. In this regard, the state can seek help from non-state actors by involving civil society groups, youth groups and organizations working on constitutional literacy.
Don’t make an innovative and much needed project like Constitution Park obsolete by making it inaccessible to common citizens. Because if tomorrow there is a lack of visitors to the park due to inaccessibility, the government and state agencies may start saying that there is no need to build more Constitution Parks, as people are not interested in it.