Bharat Ka Samvidhan : Useless or Used Less
Dr Ambedkar, who was the Chairman of the Constitution Assembly and is credited as the author of the Constitution of India, has on record said that there was no need for any constitution. The Government of India Act 1935 passed by the British parliament was enough. Then again he repeatedly denied being the framer of the draft. He even said when pressed too much if allowed he will like to burn the constitution of India.
Recently after the anti corruption agitations there have been discussion on a total change of system is needed for eradication of corruption. There is discussion on changing the parliamentary system to presidential and also following the American system rather than the British etc. Some are demanding the constitution to be rewritten.
Though repeatedly amended the Constitution of India in itself is not very bad and no one can say American system has served America well. So there is no guarantee that copying some of its provisions would have served India better.
The present constitution has served us well for last 61 years. We are in much better condition than many of our contemporaries. Most of the problems we face today are because of the neglect of Constitution rather than because of it. As Swami Chinmayanand ji used to say about Youth we can say the same thing about the constitution “It is not useless it is in fact used less”. To take an example – the constitutional provisions about Common Civil Code were never implemented. The makers of our constitution wanted Common Civil Code to be implemented soon. There have been several strong advisory from time to time by the Supreme Court. Still it is a distant dream. Let alone enactment the discussion about the demand itself is not tolerated. BJP had to compromise on this issue while arriving at the common minimum programme of the NDA. Now the super cabinet NAC is proposing a special criminal code for minorities in the garb of Communal Violence (prevention) Bill.
The makers of the constitution wanted the reservations for the SC and ST for 15 years only to give them a level playing ground. Constitution said it to be discontinued after 15 years. But no one dares to talk about this eve after a prolonged protest by the promising youths of professional institutions. Contrary to the spirit of the constitution that reservations are only temporary arrangements and should not be treated as right, now there is demand for reservation by every community. The vote bank politics has stooped to such a level that this UPA government has promised to give reservation to religious minorities.
Article 370 was also a temporary arrangement and hence the revocation of the same was provided for in the same article without the need of any constitutional amendment. But again contrary to the constitutional spirit the interlocutors on Kashmir issue appointed by the Union Government in their recommendations talk about more autonomy to J & K. There are many other constitutional provisions that are grossly neglected. We have not implemented our constitution in totality. Only the provisions which were politically convenient were used indiscriminately.
Even so we need to review the whole constitution not because it is useless but because many things have changed since. The hangover of the British raj is over and now we are a confident nation on a march to lead the whole humanity. The exuberance and enthusiasm can be seen in all walks of life. The economy, entrepreneurship, social activism and also the electoral activity all have shown a remarkable confidence. The percentage of voting has increased to 80% in last assembly elections. The just concluded Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir saw 90% voting in spite of threats by the extremists. This shows the growing awareness of the masses. The nationwide support received by the recent anti corruption agitation is also the indication of rising aspirations of the nation. We need a constitution that reflects this NATIONAL SPIRIT.
It can not be a copy paste product. We can study and learn from all the existing models of governance but to cater to the rising Bharat what we need is an original charter of this ancient nation. We need a total Bharatiya Approach. We have to study our own constitutional history. Each nation has its own evolution. This gives it a unique identity. The rise of Bharat will definitely ignite this search of its Identity. The constitution needs to project this National Identity to the whole world.
The quest is for a Constitution rooted in the oldest Civilisational experience of leading the world toward peace and prosperity.