(Brig (retd) GB Reddi)
Why are “We the People” celebrating the 71st Republic Day? Ironic but true that majority lack understanding of its true import.
Stating the obvious, the Constitution was drafted by 299-members of the Constituent Assembly, who took almost three years to draft the constitution holding eleven sessions over a 165-day period.
And, the original Preamble was introduced by Nehru on 13 December 1946 stated that “We the People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens Justice, social, political, economic; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; Equality of status and of opportunity and to promote among them all; FRATERNITY assuring the Dignity of the individual and unity of the Nation.
Ipso facto, the Constitution lays down the framework demarcating fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any country on earth.
In retrospect, the original constitution was first destroyed in 1975 when “Emergency” was imposed by Indira Ghandy.
Followed the defacement, defilement, desecration and degradation of the Constituion in 1976 during the Emergency period, what with the inclusion of words “socialist”, “secular” and ‘integrity’ by the enactment of 42nd amendment.
Furthermore, the enactment reduced the power of the Supreme Court and High Courts to pronounce upon the constitutional validity of laws besides laying down the Fundamental Duties of Indian citizens to the nation. This amendment brought about the most widespread changes to the Constitution in its history, and is sometimes called a “mini-Constitution” or the “Constitution of Indira”.
So, the media hype of “Save Samvidhan or Constitution”, considered the Holy Bible or Holy Grail, prescribed for the “We the People of India” when the population was barely 34 crores in 1951 what with more than 85% illiterates inhabiting India, by over 135 crores of people – majority literate – is utterly rubbish and rubbish ad infinitum.
Add to it, “Save Democracy” is the most heinous fraud perpetrated on “We the People” of India considering its mutilation well beyond its original conception.
Ipso facto, “Save Samvidhan or Save Democracy”, partisan media hype sponsored by opposition political parties, particularly the Congress Party having presided over decay and disruption of the four pillars of the Constitution – the Legislature, the Executive, the Judiciary and the Media, is a bogey. In reality, it is the most heinous fraud committed by the political fraudsters on the “We the Gullible People” of India.
In retrospect, defiling, defacing and disruption of the Constitution is the cumulative fallout of murky electoral malpractices resulting in consolidation of criminalization of politics of the most heinous order. Today, everyone is aware of the rapid rise of “Neo Dynasties” at all levels – Parliament to Panchayats. Democracy has been replaced by kleptocracy. Neo-capitalists have emerged making mockery of socialism in the name of economic reforms and globalization. Last but not the lease, pseudo-secularists are on the prowl in pursuit of political power by hook or crook.
Viewed in the above evolution of modern India, all those sermonizing the virtues of “Samvidhan or Constitution’ during the 71st Republic Day celebrations need to introspect sans biases, prejudices and partisan political leanings as to the self destructing course on which the nation is traversing.
High time for intellectuals to identify and define national values and their true status! If what have been defined in the Preamble are to be viewed as national values like democracy, secularism and socialism, then all of them have been defaced and mutilated beyond their original conception long ago.
As per national security strategy experts in 1990s, “if national values are threatened, then national security is threatened.” By their application to India’s current internal security strategic environment or dynamic flux, as to what one may like to view it, India’s internal security is perilously positioned atop a precipice to fall into abyss irretrievably.
In particular with likes of Sharjeel Imam at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi and Faizul Hasan, former students’ union president of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), who earlier said Muslims can destroy anything if they wish to do… ,” inciting crowds with venomous rhetoric to rally and run amok to plunge the society into irretrievable chaos and anarchy.
Who are responsible and accountable for such a self destructive course? The blame squarely falls on the elected representatives in democracy. Today, all of them demonstrate utter disregard to the basic ethos of democracy – negotiation, conciliation and consensus. Out of power, the sole intent of opposition leaders to “oppose and create crises” with the intent to paralyze the effective functioning of governments.
None among “We the People” can relax by blaming the political leaders per se. The Civil Society is equally responsible for the envelopment of modern India in crises ad infinitum.
Let me highlight that the reverse of “Yatha Raja, Tatha Praja” is true in democracy, that is, “Yatha Praja, Tatha Raja”. In democracy, People get the type of leadership that they vote for. So, the ultimate responsibility for the current dismal state squarely falls on “WE the People”.
The key to the resolution of internal crises ad infinitum rests squarely on “We the People”. People must reject out rightly all “dynasts, Crorepathis, and Criminals” exercising money and muscle power to rig electoral outcomes and masquerading as leaders. It is yet to be sighted on the horizon. Such is the adverse fallout of pluralist society riven by sectarian divide on narrow caste, communal, racial and class considerations.
Similarly, “We the People” must also reject outright the “Tukde, Tukde Gangs on the prowl” financially aided and abetted by inimical external forces and teach them a befitting lesson.
Not to be left out of consideration is the irresponsible media houses largely spreading the venom in a veiled manner, particularly the visual media – both national and local. For in the age of “Hybrid War – Information Age”, it is the visual media, besides the social media network, that adds fuel to the ongoing ‘wild bush fires” all over the country.
In sum, the “Samvidhan or Constitution” is in the ICU. Superficial refinements or reforms cannot reset the course of the nation on the path of peace so vital for promotion of growth, development and poverty alleviation. Nation, sans discipline or unity, will ultimately collapse and disintegrate. That is exactly what the “Tukde, Tukde Gangs” and their partisan media outlets want to achieve.
Wake up “We the People” of India before it is too late. Rally to demand for the “Second Republic” or a “Constitution” that satisfy the growing aspirations of 135 crores of people going to increase to 200 crores by 2050. Otherwise be prepared for horrendous civil wars to erupt.