Indian state of Karnataka plans to celebrate the International Day of Democracy on September 15 with hundreds of thousands of children and citizens at large reading the Preamble of the Indian Constitution at a historic event.
The Social Welfare Department of the state, which is organizing the event, appealed to the Indian diaspora to join in a show of solidarity for ideals that have brought freedom to the people of both America and India, the world’s oldest and largest democracies.
September 15 has been commemorated as the International Day of Democracy since the year 2007 when the United Nations General Assembly dedicated the day to celebrating civil liberties and political rights.
This year, the state of Karnataka is stepping forward to demonstrate its commitment to those very ideals through a historic event, according to a media release.
On this International Day of Democracy, hundreds of thousands of children and citizens at large will read the Preamble of the Indian Constitution, the foundation of which rests on the principles of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity, it said.
With a world-record-setting number of people attending, the initiative of the Social Welfare Department of the Government of Karnataka “symbolizes a shared commitment to ideals that have united the country since its inception and an effort to spread awareness about the core principles of our nation’s guiding doctrine.”
“As a country, which is also home to one of the largest populations of the Indian diaspora, the celebration is doubly significant for Americans of Indian origin who have contributed to the bedrock of American democratic values for generations,” the release stated.
Ravi Boregowda, a first-generation Indian American who has contributed to his community by building a vast network of diaspora Kannadigas, said, “Even though we, a generation of expats, are so far away from the country we trace our lineage to, it is our shared democratic values with the United States that help us stay connected to India.”
“Many of us have family members back in India and we proudly celebrate our traditions even in the US, but the crux of connection to our motherland from thousands of miles away stems from a collective belief in equality, freedom, and justice,” he added.
The Indian diaspora in the United States is invited to register for the event through this link to join in the reading of the preamble.
“Among other things, the event will be an incredible bridge between the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy,” said Dr. H. C. Mahadevappa, Karnataka’s Social Welfare minister.
“The commitment of the Indian and American people to democratic values have become an example and a beacon of hope for people across the world,” he said.
“We look forward to witnessing this significant coming-together and celebration. We want the younger generation to espouse these values as they grow up being the future citizens.”
September 15 is an opportunity to pay homage to ideals such as freedom of the press, equality before the law, freedom of speech, and equal representation that have transformed nations from mere congregations of people into proud symbols of identity, the release stated.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar, Mahadevappa, and other distinguished guests along with 10,000 children will read The Preamble of the Constitution on September 15, 2023, at 10:00 am from the grand steps of Vidhan Soudha, Bengaluru.
The event offers online participation. On September 15, participants can upload a video or picture of them reading The Preamble, upon which they will be approved to download participation certificates from the same website.
Companies, MSMEs, NGOs, RWAs, and even individual families are encouraged to register and read The Preamble of the Indian Constitution on the International Day of Democracy.