A Nation’s Conscience 

A Nation’s Conscience 

Context

It’s the Constitution that has checked Hindutva forces to a great extent

November 26: Constitution Day

  • On November 26, 1949, the Draft Constitution was placed before the Constituent Assembly. The assembly adopted the Constitution and India became a democratic republic in 1950.

Constitution: Much more than a document

  • The Constitution is much more than the country’s fundamental laws of governance. It affirms the values of a pluralistic and diverse society and is wedded to the ideals of liberty, equality, fraternity as well as to secularism, gender justice and social, political and economic justice for all. It has been, appropriately, described as a social document.
  • Multiple religions, faiths & cultures: The consolidation of India as a nation and its resilience owe a lot to the way the Constitution has worked for more than six decades. It created the conditions for the empowerment of the deprived and disinherited sections of society.

Threat to the constitution

The Constitution has often faced challenges from the forces which opposed its progressive architecture of rights. In 1999 and 2002, the then NDA government talked about reviewing the Constitution. The proposal had the potential of overturning the Constitution’s core ideals. K. R. Narayanan, the then president, took a firm stand against the review of the Constitution. “Let us examine if the Constitution has failed us or we have failed the Constitution,” he said. This forced the government of the day alter its stand to review the Constitution. It appointed a commission to review the working of the Constitution.

Freedom to express

  • Accommodation and understanding — not division and confrontation — lay at the heart of the methods used to frame the Constitution. In using coercive and compulsive nationalism, the government has lost sight of this spirit
  • Cow vigilantism, the lynching of Muslims in many parts of India in the name of cow protection and the barbaric attack on Dalits by the Hindutva groups go against the Constitution.
Print Friendly and PDF