New Delhi: Taking a dig at senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani on Friday wondered what would have been the position of women had such politicians been part of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution.
Referring to a comment by Yadav, the Minister said: "I think it is paradoxical that today Sharadji, a very senior parliamentarian, yet again told me 'sit down, sit down. Imagine if such a politician was a part of the Drafting Committee."
Participating in the debate on commitment to the Constitution in Rajya Sabha, she said as a woman in India, she celebrate the fact that women in many nations across the world had to struggle to get their right to vote.
Irani said she got it because my Constitution gave it so at the birth of this very nation as a Republic in 1950.
"But imagine, as the Leader of the House said today, what kind of restrictions such a senior parliamentarian would have imposed on a woman like me while this was being drafted. Would I have been told 'You have dark complexion, so you don't have right to vote?' Would I have been told 'you have short hair, you have no right to vote?'
"I see that some are disturbed by what I say. But apart from the social realities that were counted in this very House today, this also is a realty we must embrace, for the victims of such realty do not reside only outside this House, but we have witnessed this in this very House" she said.
Irani further said that in September, 1949, BR Ambedkar sponsored Sanskrit as the official language of the Indian Union and supporting him, amongst many, was a gentleman called Naziruddin Ahmed.
She further said a correspondent went to Babasaheb and said, "Why is Sanskrit?" and he replied "What's wrong with Sanskrit?".
"It is ironical that six-and-a-half decades later, I too get posed that question and I have a similar response. But, this is the very evidence and the essence of a thriving Constitution which allows debates to permeate over decades till such time a consensus emerges," the Minister said.
On the notification for celebrating Constitution Day in schools, Irani said said on August 26, 2015 there was a notification, which indicates to another notification dated May 30, which included in it the need to increase awareness about the Constitution among citizens, particularly, children on the November 26.
She said there has been a debate that November 26 was the day when the draft was adopted, but it was actualised in January, 1950.
"But, as Indians, we cannot ignore the fact that this is the rock on which we sought to build the political salvation of our country...," the Minister said.
She further said In 1999, Justice JS Verma worked with a group of Indians to operationalise how fundamental duties are to be seen in the education sector.
"...He said, presentation of the values inherent in each clause of Article 51A through anecdotal talks at morning assemblies in schools should be organised.
"This, Sir, is the notification, which was subsequently given to the Central Board of Secondary Education, which said, amongst the events for the day, the School Head may address the students briefly about the significance of celebrating this day, and, also recite the Preamble to the Constitution," Irani added.
The Minister informed the House that in all CBSE schools yesterday, children flocked the morning assemblies to take oath to preserve the very values enshrined in the Constitution to celebrate the journey of this Constitution and the future it envisions for these children.