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NBCLC (National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre, Bangalore) organized a webinar on Constitutional Values on 20 th November, 2021, Saturday, from 5. 30 pm to 7.30 pm. It is fifth of the NBCLC Webinar Series. There were 100 participants in zoom platform and 80 in the livestream of the event in our YouTube channel (NBCLC India). Fr. A. John Baptist, Director, NBCLC, started the webinar giving some instructions for the smooth running of the webinar. Sr. Sudha Umapathy reading from the Bible and saying the prayer invoked the presence of God. Most Rev. Pauly Kannookadan, Bishop of Irinjalakuda and Chairman of NBCLC welcomed all and introduced the speaker of the day, Justice Kurian Joseph. Apartment from his achievements in his carrier he was a man for mediation and reconciliation, ambassador and promotor of Christian values, he said.

Justice Kurian Joseph, the former Judge of Supreme Court of India, spoke on the Constitutional Values. In his talk, he insisted that we need to underscore the pillars of Constitution, namely, Sovereign, Socialistic, Secular, Democratic and Republic. Though Socialism and Secularism were not in the Constitution from the beginning and were not expressed in the Constitution explicitly, it was practiced in this nation but later added with the amendment. These basic pillars cannot be amended or changed.

Of the five pillars of the Constitution, he dealt more on the two pillars namely, Democracy and Secularism. The Constitution allows the citizens to profess, practice and propagate any religion in this country. India also welcomes any religion because they contribute positively for its growth. He also observed that our Constitution is very close to and promotes the Gospel values and Kingdom values such Justice, Equality and Fraternity. He also pointed out apart from fundamental rights which the citizens can expect from the country, there are also fundamental duties through which they have to contribute for the welfare of the country and its citizens.

During the interaction with the participants, apart from answering the questions and clarifying their doubts, he also suggested that we have to initiate dialogue with people of other faith. The dialogue should be intercultural and interreligious, recognizing the light from wherever it may come. He also affirmed that we need to live the Gospel values as individuals, family and society.

Towards the end, Fr. A. John Baptist proposed the vote of thanks and Rev. Fr. Varghese Palathingal said the final prayer. The webinar came to an end at 7.30 pm.

Fr. A. John Baptist