As something to read on Republic Day, we can’t think of anything better than Leila Seth’s We, The Children of India. An introduction to the Constitution written by India’s first female Chief Justice (with a little help from her grandchildren), it’s perfectly pitched at a young audience.
Starting by breaking down and explaining each part of the Constitution’s preamble, Leila Seth encourages children to think about the meaning of words like secular, democratic, justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. Difficult concepts are explained in simple terms and are visually explored through colourful illustrations by (the late) Bindia Thapar, while photos set the historical context.
Adults might enjoy the trivia as much as children (and perhaps find out a few things that they didn’t know). The book also chalks out a brief introduction to key figures on the constitution’s drafting committee.
Perhaps the greatest strength of this important book is the section at the end, which encourages children to think about what still needs to be done. The Constitution gives every Indian child the right to food, health and education. However, we have children in India who are poor and hungry. A wonderful way for children to start thinking about both the privileges and responsibilities which come with citizenship.
Published by Penguin India (Rs 150)