Congress President Sonia Gandhi embattled the government on the issue of intolerance alleging that ideals and principles of the Constitution were under threat and being attacked deliberately. She said, “People who never had faith in the Constitution, nor had they participated in its drafting, are now swearing by it and are laying claim to it. Insisting that whatever being witnessed over the past few months was “totally against the principles” of the Constitution.” She recalled Ambedkar’s warning to hit out at the ruling dispensation, as she sought to highlight the contribution of the Congress in the drafting of the Constitution and in the freedom struggle. Ambedkar observed that howsoever good a Constitution may be, if those implementing it were bad people, then the ultimate effect would only be bad.
Upon India’s Independence on 15 August 1947, the new Congress-led government invited Ambedkar to serve as the Nation’s First Law Minister, which he accepted. On 29 August, he was appointed Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, charged by the Assembly to write India’s new Constitution. Granville Austin described the Indian Constitution drafted by Ambedkar as ‘first and foremost a social document’. The majority of India’s constitutional provisions are either directly arrived at furthering the aim of social revolution or attempt to foster this revolution by establishing conditions necessary for its achievement. The text prepared by Ambedkar provided legitimate guarantees and protections for a wide range of civil liberties for individual citizens, including freedom of religion, the abolition of untouchability, and the outlawing of all forms of discrimination. Ambedkar argued for extensive economic and social rights for women, and won the Assembly’s support for introducing a system of reservations of jobs in the civil services, schools and colleges for members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and Other Backward Class, a system akin to affirmative action. India’s lawmakers hoped to eradicate the socio-economic inequalities and lack of opportunities for India’s depressed classes through these measures. The Constitution was adopted on 26 November 1949 by the Constituent Assembly.
In the recent past, the Indian Constitution has outlived its utility. It becomes the most confused document which promotes unethical governance and corrupt people. Just look at today’s Rajya Sabha, it is no more a house of elders and wise men. It has become an entry door for bad people. Rajya Sabha is a white elephant on government treasury. It is time for people to write a new Constitution which is simple, lucid, short and effective with Indian ethos and aroma and not bulky with rearranged chapters from European and American constitutions. Every Constitution in the world has undergone the test of time, so as Indian Constitution should go. However, the specialty of the Indian Constitution is that it gives more power to the Judiciary. It seems that, power of Supreme Court of India is the highest compared to any other apex court in the world. The end point is that, the sanctity of the constitution, which is modified close to 100 times, should not be at stake.
At a time when BJP is seeking to appropriate the legacy of Ambedkar, Gandhi also utilised Ambedkar’s praise of the Congress for its contribution in the drafting of the Constitution, indicating that the Congress could lay the rightful claim on the document.
The nation is going to witness another session of Parliament. The opposition is going to “storm” both the houses, because of some stray incidents here and there. Collectively, politicians with the help of media successfully blew these out of proportion as if the people are in grave danger. The Opposition’s pressure for discussion on the rising intolerance is justified in a vibrant democracy; expression of dissent is a healthy sign. These are such genuine issues that need to be deliberated in tune with the country’s ethos, rather than majority and minority. TV channels, print media and politicians have already discussed much about the great tolerance. Time of the parliament should not be wasted on non-issues. Parliament functions on taxpayers’ money. India is the most democratic country existing on the planet. Intolerance is on the highest level in USA and Europe. In USA, every second week police killed black people, and Europe is the house of discrimination. So is Israel, who does not value life. Everybody shut their mouth on it. Please do some solid thing for the uplift of poor people. Winning or losing election may be important to the political parties, but is this important to the citizens of this country? We need to ask to every political party who behaves with no responsibility. Political parties should train their leaders and workers not to indulge in any kind of hate mongering or speeches. They should discuss and comment only on governance and administration. Here, we have been ruling political party, which constantly picking non issues and shout too much on it. The ruling political party should take the call on it and stop behaving in a manner that they are still in opposition.
Constitution is written for a law and order, but political mongers are misusing it to divided people. Judiciary is corrupt; interpreters of law are either sold or helpless. Whole country is restless. Justice has become a joke. In such crises, how can we celebrate Constitution Day?