Supreme Court observed[dated 22.01.2008 passed in B.A. No.5255 of 2007[G. Surya Muthu v. State of Kerala] that the National holidays are days not merely to sit at home idle, rather these days be treated as opportunities to kindle the flame of nationalism, patriotism and constitutional idealism. Following was observed by this Court in paragraph 3 :
“3. National days are occasions not merely to sit at home and idle. They must be reckoned as opportunities to kindle the flame of nationalism, patriotism and constitutional idealism and as occasions to introspect and rededicate to the ideals that India stands for. They must be occasions when Indians think of their great good fortune of being Indians. They must look around in the neighbourhood and realise their great advantage of remaining citizens of a democratic country. These are occasions to be proud that we are Indians. Introspection must help us to realise and identify how and where we have erred and to contemplate; how the polity can be enthused to do better in the future years. Good must and shall certainly come out of such celebrations. The State should not let go such opportunities without realising their potentiality.”
8. In the above case this Court noticed that there is no express expectation for the Government servant as to how the national days must be celebrated in the office. The Court also noticed that the Circular dated 16.01.2008 was issued by the Government which stated that the Head of the Department “should ensure participation of the maximum number of staff in the endeavour.” The court in paragraph 5 further observed as follows:
“5. ……….. National days, I do hope, shall hereafter be occasions for serious observance and celebration in the Government offices and establishments in the State. Participation must be insisted. It must be a different type of holiday and not merely an idle holiday to sit at home. Even the order that is issued does not insist on participation specifically, but only says that the heads of departments “should ensure participation of the maximum number of staff in the endeavour” with due regard to the provisions of the Flag Code, 2002. I assume that the message will properly reach the target and national days shall hereafter be an occasion for sublime activity and celebration in the offices and establishments of the State. Ext.R1(b) order, it is hoped, shall be observed properly and the indiscretion which has taken place in this case will not hereafter occur in any office of the Government in the State.”
9. It is submitted before us that even after the order of this Court there are no clear directions by the State for the Government servant or other public servant including the employees of Local authorities and other bodies under the control of the State to compulsorily participate in the national day celebrations. In the above context it is relevant to refer to Article 51A of the Constitution of India by which provision fundamental duties have been incorporated in the Constitution by the Constitution(42nd Amendment) Act, 1976. Article 51A(a) (b) reads as under:
“51A. Fundamental duties.- It shall be the duty of every citizen of India-
(a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
(b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;”
One of the fundamental duties as noted above is to “cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom”. What else can be most important days than the above national days to cherish the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom. The above fundamental duty is cast upon every citizen of India. We are thus of the view that participation in the national day celebrations is expected not only from the Government servant and other public servant, local authorities, institutions, but it should be a spirit of every citizen of India to participate and cherish the memory of above important days in the history of India.
The Independence Day is one of the most significant day in the Indian history. After a freedom struggle of almost 100 years, India could attain freedom and to commemorate the above day it is declared as national holiday. Similarly, 26th January is another significant day for the country on which day the people of India have resolved to constitute India as a sovereign democratic republic on which day the constituent assembly adopted, enacted and gave to the people of India, the Constitution of India.