Republic Day Thoughts


Reading list for the republic day –

  1. A fascinating artistic perspective of our constitution – https://storify.com/varungrover/a-fascinating-artistic-look-at-our-constitution
  2. Transcript from the debates of our Constituent Assembly when the Preamble was being decided – http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol7p6.htm
  3. The Directive principles advises the protection of cows and calves as part of promoting animal husbandry, which probably forms the basis for the asinine beef ban that is happening around the country. The directive principles probably requires a serious relook.
  4. This is a brilliant podcast by Sidin Vadukut about the Indian constitution – https://soundcloud.com/anewrepublic

This is an excerpt from the above transcript which wisely opposes the use of the word ‘Socialist’ from the preamble of the constitution.

Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I regret that I cannot accept the amendment of Prof. K. T. Shah. My objections, stated briefly are two. In the first place the Constitution, as I stated in my opening speech in support of the motion I made before the House, is merely a mechanism for the purpose of regulating the work of the various organs of the State. It is not a mechanism where by particular members or particular parties are installed in office. What should be the policy of the State, how the Society should be organised in its social and economic side are matters which must be decided by the people themselves according to time and circumstances. It cannot be laid down in the Constitution itself, because that is destroying democracy altogether. If you state in the Constitution that the social organisation of the State shall take a particular form, you are, in my judgment, taking away the liberty of the people to decide what should be the social organisation in which they wish to live. It is perfectly possible today, for the majority people to hold that the socialist organisation of society is better than the capitalist organisation of society. But it would be perfectly possible for thinking people to devise some other form of social organisation which might be better than the socialist organisation of today or of tomorrow. I do not see therefore why the Constitution should tie down the people to live in a particular form and not leave it to the people themselves to decide it for themselves. This is one reason why the amendment should be opposed.

The second reason is that the amendment is purely superfluous. My Honourable friend, Prof. Shah, does not seem to have taken into account the fact that apart from the Fundamental Rights, which we have embodied in the Constitution, we have also introduced other sections which deal with directive principles of state policy. If my honourable friend were to read the Articles contained in Part IV, he will find that both the Legislature as well as the Executive have been placed by this Constitution under certain definite obligations as to the form of their policy.

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