Constitution Day

Today, 26th November 2023 Constitution Day was celebrated by the Indian Supreme Court at a function in which the President of India, Draupadi Murmu was the Chief Guest, and in which several dignitaries like the Chief Justice of India and other Supreme Court Judges, the Union Law Minister, the Attorney General of India etc were present.
 The speakers who spoke on the occasion waxed eloquent about the greatness of the Indian Constitution, what it has done for the Indian people, etc.

 But what is the truth ? The truth is that the Indian Constitution promulgated in 1950 has been flagrantly flouted and torn to shreds, rendered a scarecrow, hollow and empty, and now only acting as an instrument to deceive the people.

Consider the facts:

1. The Constitution ‘guaranteed’ equality among the people vide Articles 14 to 18, which were proclaimed as fundamental rights. Also, Article 38(2) stated, “The state shall strive to minimise inequalities in income”. Article 39(c) stated that the state shall direct its policy to ensure that there is no concentration of wealth.

But what is the reality today? It is reported that 10 Indians own wealth equal to the wealth of the bottom 50% of the 140 crore Indian people who are abysmally poor.

Also, minorities, dalits, etc are often treated shabbily and atrocities committed on them.

So much for equality!

2. Article 21 ‘guaranteed’ liberty. But sedition and preventive detention laws make a mockery of it, as exemplified by several concocted and fabricated cases often instituted against people who speak or write against the government, and they have to spend long periods in jail. Even a satirical tweet can result in deprivation of liberty, as illustrated by the case of Abhijit Iyer Mitra, whose bail plea was rejected by the the then Chief Justice of India Gogoi, head of the much flaunted ‘custodians of the rights of the people’ with the flippant remark “You are safest in jail”.

Although in Romesh Thapar vs State of Madras, a judgement given by the Supreme Court a few months after the promulgation of the Constitution in 1950, it was held that in a democracy people had the right to criticise the government, the truth is that today it is often dangerous to do so in India.

So much for liberty!

3. Article 25 ‘guarantees’ freedom of religion. But that did not prevent lynching of Muslims by gau rakshaks, beating them for not saying ‘Jai Shri Ram’, arresting and imprisoning Muslims on false charges, vandalism against churches in Delhi, or persecution of Christians in Odisha.

So much for our secularism!

4. Article 39(f) directs the state to ensure that children develop in a healthy manner, and Article 47 directs it to raise the level of nutrition. And yet over 76 years after independence, every second child in India is malnourished, many being wasted or stunted. We have the distinction of having over one-third of the world’s malnourished children. In this respect, we are worse than sub-Saharan countries like Somalia.

With skyrocketing prices of food, how can poor people, who constitute 75% or more of our people, get proper nutrition ?

53% of our women are anaemic

5. Article 39A states that the state shall ensure that the legal system promotes justice. But with 50 million pending cases, and cases often taking decades to decide, where is justice?

6. Article 41 states “The state shall make effective provision for securing the right to work and education, and public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age and sickness.”

But our state is in the hands of our crooked netas who are only interested in power and pelf, and care two hoots for this provision (probably very few would even know of its existence).

The Prime Minister, in his 2014 election campaign, promised creation of 2 crore jobs annually if BJP came to power. But it is estimated demonetisation alone destroyed 2 crore jobs, and unemployment is mounting to record heights in India.

To give an idea of the level of unemployment in India one may illustrate.
If 100 peon ( class 4 ) jobs are advertised in India by the government, there are often 500,000 applicants, some Ph.D, M.Sc, MBA, or engineering degree holders, all begging for a menial job.

As for good education, it is available only to a few in India, and most schools are in an abysmal condition.

The same can be said of the state of public health in India, despite Article 47. For the rich and mighty, there are state-of-the-art hospitals, but as regards the masses they are too poor to go there, and they have often to go to quacks.

7. Article 43 states that the state shall endeavour to secure a living wage to workers, industrial or agricultural. But with the massive level of unemployment in India, and the contract system largely replacing security in employment, a worker dare not ask a wage higher than whatever pittance he gets, lest he lose his job. And as for agriculture, this provision is a cruel joke on the over 400,000 farmers who committed suicide in India.

8. Article 48A directs the state to protect and improve the environment, but the pollution levels in most Indian cities (even the capital Delhi) have reached record heights, and our rivers are badly polluted.

The truth is in these articles of mine

9. The Constitution set up the system of parliamentary democracy in India, on the Westminster model, but it largely runs in India on the basis of caste and religious vote banks. Casteism and communalism are feudal forces which have to be destroyed if India is to progress, but parliamentary democracy further entrenches them

10. Article 19(1) of the Constitution grants freedom of speech to all citizens, but what use is this freedom to a person who is poor, hungry, or unemployed.

So what is there to celebrate about? Cheer haran has been done to our Constitution. Constitution Day is just a gimmick and a mockery


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