Republic Day: India's Constitution and its celebration with Dr. Anil Antony

Republic Day: India's Constitution and its celebration with Dr. Anil Antony


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January 26, 1950, was the day the Indian Constitution became the governing document of the country, turning the nation into a republic. In this Conversation, we will discuss the development and contents of the Indian Constitution, and how its adoption is colorfully celebrated today.

India has the longest constitution of any nation in the world. Its most famous words are its preamble: We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic and to secure to all its citizens: justice, social, economic and political; liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; equality of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all fraternity assuring the identity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation; in our constituent assembly this twenty-sixth day of November 1949, due hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this constitution.

This conversation will be led by Dr. Anil Noronha Antony, our resident Indian expert, and will discuss what those words mean, the elements of the constitution, the civil rights and duties it describes, and the way it requires individual states to develop economic and social democracy. We will also discuss and view parts of the annual Republic Day Parade, attended by a different head of state each year, which includes tributes to India’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, military and civilian awards, and truly fabulous camels.

Dr. Anil “Noro” Noronha Antony is an assistant director of the American Association for Cancer Research, the world’s oldest and largest private cancer research organization. He holds a PhD in Cell and Developmental biology and a lifelong interest in the history and culture of south India. Born in the Muslim-majority United Arab Emirates to an Anglo-Indian Catholic family and trained by a Hindu tantric in Kerala, he has direct experience of all three major Keralite religious traditions.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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