Speech by President  Dr. Rajendra Prasad on the eve of First Republic Day of India-26/01/1950

Our Constitution is a democratic instrument seeking to ensure to the individual citizens the freedoms which are so invaluable. India has never prescribed or prosecuted opinion and faith and our philosophy has room as much for a devotee of a personal god, as for an agnostic or an atheist. We shall, therefore, be only implementing in practice under our Constitution what we have inherited from our traditions, namely, freedom of opinion and expression. Under the new set-up, which we are inaugurating today, we hope to live up to the teachings of our Master and help in our own humble way in the establishment of peace in the world.

Speech by President Dr Rajendra Prasad – ‘Education And Our Present Needs’- 9/12/1950

The most ancient and undoubtedly the main current is the one which has been flowing from Vedic times (or perhaps even before) in our country and the life-giving waters of which have been satisfying the spiritual thirst of our people through all these centuries. It has enriched our life by inspiring it with lofty ideals, associated with great names which have become by-words in our sacred literature and ancient history, A synonym for faithfulness is Harishchandra; for sacrifice, Dadhichi; for surpassing pity, Shivi; for charity, Kama; for statesmanship, Rama; for disinterested service, Krishna; for ahimsa, the Buddha; and for dharma chakra, Asoka.

Salient features of Indian Constitution outlined by Dr. Rajendra Prasad in Constituent Assembly Debates -26/11/1949

Well, the first and the most obvious fact which will attract any observer is the fact that we are going to have a Republic. India knew republics in the past olden days, but that was 2,000 years ago or more and those republics were small republics. We never had anything like the Republic which we are going to have now, although there were empires in those days as well as during the Mughal period which covered very large parts of the country. The President of the Republic will be an elected President. We never have had an elected Head of the State which covered such a large area of India. And it is for the first time that it becomes open to the humblest and the lowliest citizens of the country to deserve and become the President or the Head of this big State which counts among the biggest States of the world today.