Explaining the Basics
Divya Santhanam
WE, THE CHILDREN OF INDIA: THE PREAMBLE TO OUR CONSTITUTION by Leila Seth Puffin Books, 2010, 40 pp., 150
November 2010, volume 34, No 11

Leila Seth’s We, The Children of India is a beautiful window that opens to the basics of the Indian Constitution. The book explores what a citizen should know about his/her country and the most important book of the nation.
Children, when asked the importance of the 26th of January, immediately respond that it is ‘Republic Day’. But the knowledge often does not exceed beyond this. This book gives the child a clear and in-depth understanding of the importance of the day and the Consti-tution of India and its functioning in a very interesting, simple and illustrative manner.The book begins with why there was a need for such a book of rules for our country and explains the incidents that led to its creation.

Every term/concept has been explained in very simple language, giving examples from immediate surroundings. The illustrations make the concepts clear and understandable. The Preamble has been explained in detail and each value enshrined in the Constitution is cited with fine points. Each value has been explained and has been substantiated with recent facts, making it evident that this old document is so relevant even today. For example, when explaining the word ‘secular’, the author has listed the number of religious sects that reside in India. Further, each value has an information bubble attached to it which clarifies the concept and explains it more. For instance, while giving details on the ‘Democratic Republic’, a bubble on the page explains more on who makes our laws and who runs our government. The inclusion of the names of the drafters of the Constitution with their photographs and contributions is another highlight of the book.
The striking features of the book are simple language, age appropriate information, and wonderful illustrations to substantiate the content of the text. The author in her introduction mentions the importance of being a good citizen of India and the need to follow the goals of the Constitution.

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