SECULARISM & ETHOS

CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. The document lays down the framework that demarcates fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any country.

It imparts constitutional supremacy (not parliamentary supremacy, since it was created by a constituent assembly rather than Parliament) and was adopted by its people with a declaration in its preamble. Parliament cannot override the constitution.

on 26 January 1950. The constitution replaced the Government of India Act 1935 as the country’s fundamental governing document, and the Dominion of India became the Republic of India. To ensure constitutional autochthony, its framers repealed prior acts of the British parliament in Article 395. India celebrates its constitution on 26 January as Republic Day.

The constitution declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic, assures its citizens justice, equality and liberty, and endeavours to promote fraternity. The original 1950 constitution is preserved in a helium-filled case at the Parliament House in New Delhi. The words “secular” and “socialist” were added to the preamble by 42nd amendment act in 1976, during the Emergency.

In 1928, the All-Parties Conference convened a committee in Lucknow to prepare the Constitution of India, which was known as the Nehru Report. Most of the colonial India was under British rule from 1857 to 1947. From 1947 to 1950, the same legislation continued to be implemented as India was a dominion of Britain for these three years, as each princely state was convinced by Sardar Patel and V.P. Menon to sign the articles of integration with India, and the British government continued to be responsible for the external security of the country. Thus, the constitution of India repealed the Indian Independence Act 1947 and Government of India Act 1935 when it became effective on 26 January 1950. India ceased to be a dominion of the British Crown and became a sovereign democratic republic with the constitution. Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392, 393, and 394 of the constitution came into force on 26 November 1949, and the remaining articles became effective on 26 January 1950.

SECULARISM AND PSEUDO-SECULARISM

Indian National Congress is a big-tent and secular organization established by A.O Hume and several other politicians with an agenda to get India free from the British crown and it struggled for about 60 years to have got India free from the British Raj until 1947. Pt. Jawaharlal Lal Nehru, sworn-in-as the first Prime Minister of independent India and India, for most of its post independent history has been governed by the Indian National Congress under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi. Since, India has a feature of multiparty system, it allows many political parties to run for election and further enables every party to carry their particular ideology in order to connect with people provided such ideologies are within the constitutional framework. However, there have been instances where the powerhouse of the Indian politics has led to misuse and exploitation. India had suffered the horrendous period of 21 months emergency proclaimed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi under which major and basic rights were suspended including Right to life, mass sterilization campaigns were established in the Turkman Gate area of Old Delhi where men and even children were picked up and were sterilized forcibly by giving them a reason of population control on the orders of Sanjay Gandhi who happened to be the political heir of Indira Gandhi. As a result, when fresh elections were declared Indian National Congress led by Indira Gandhi suffered a major loss and were defeated by the Janata Alliance of various other anti-Congress parties with Indira Gandhi losing her parliamentary seat of Rae Bareli. After that, India saw a major Ram Janmabhoomi movement led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani that who started a term called Pseudo-Secularism by calling out for Hindus to get together and gather their support towards the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya in place of Babri Masjid that was there at that time. Lal Krishna Advani and Atal Bihari Bajpayee under the banner of Bharatiya Jan Sangh started a massive movement and L.K Advani started a rath Yatra across every part of India that resulted in massive human rights violations where anti-muslim riots took place wherever the yatra crossed. Moreover, in the duo started a political party in the name of Bharatiya Janata Party a contested its first ever 1984 general election. By the end of 1980’s the Bharatiya Janata party under the banner of hardline Hindutva politics started to impact the national politics by emerging, the major opposition political party against the Rajiv Gandhi led Indian National Congress and as a result in the 1989 general elections Congress could not attain majority and the government was formed by V.P Singh under a political alliance of National front with support from the BJP.

India has been seeing the trend of the prevalence of various political ideologies and history has proven that no ideologies have proved to be the soul indicator of the mood of the citizens. However, ideologies have resulted in mass exploitation of the people when followed with extremities. When the Bharatiya Janata Party led by L.K Advani and Atal Bihari Bajpayee coined the term ‘pseudo-secularism’ and declared their hardline Hindutva politics, a massive outbreak of anti-muslim sentiments arose in the Hindus and so an anti-Hindu sentiment in the Muslims and as a result violent activities started to rise against one another. Moreover, in order to gain the attention of followers of Hindutva ideology several politicians started hurling anti-muslim statements on record. Therefore, ideology-based politics has a major role in influencing the politics of a country.

IDEOLOGY; THREAT TO INDIVIDUAL

India is a home for many religions, 79.8% of the population of India practices Hinduism, 14.2% adheres to Islam, 2.3% adheres to Christianity, 1.72% adheres to Sikhism, 0.7% adheres to Buddhism, and 0.37% adheres to Jainism. Zoroastrianism, Yungdrung Bon, the Baháʼí Faith, Sanamahism, and Judaism also have a history in India. Therefore, it is quite possible to have a specific biased ideology against one another and the moment such biasness comes into picture, it gives rise to leaders that intend to use such bias by way of giving it a political image and representation to the marginalized and persecuted. Representation of the persecuted sectors is must and giving it a valid thought to overcome the marginalization and persecution is a noble deal to work on, but carrying a hardline ideology gives rise to radicalization of the sect and it is furthermore possible to develop a feeling of hatred against one another. There have been instances in earlier times where strict and hardline representation gave rise to bloodshed and hatred. Further below are some of the instances where radicalization prevailed;

[1]After the demolition of the Babri Masjid, on the evening of December 6, 1992, kar sevaks started attacking Muslim residents of Ayodhya, ransacking and demolishing their houses. Eighteen Muslims were murdered, almost all their houses and shops were torched and destroyed, including 23 local mosques. Additionally, riots broke out in different parts of the country, including Mumbai, and around 2,000 people were killed. Two FIRs are filed, one against kar sevaks for the demolition and the other against the likes of Advani, Joshi and Bharti, for the communal speeches they delivered that led to the demolition. Violence broke out in different parts of the world including Bihar, Mumbai, Gujrat. Ever since, the Ram Janmabhoomi movement started, there have been sense of difference of opinions amongst Hindus and Muslims in the matter of Ram Mandir and Babri Masjid. 

After the Godhra Train incident where 59 Hindu pilgrims and kar sevaks where alleged murdered by setting the train ablaze and as a result violence broke out in parts of Gujrat where several Hindu outfits started to set ablaze the mosques the and kill the Muslims in the locality and vice versa and it is further alleged that the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi gave a free hold to the Hindu organizations and refrained police to act against the perpetrators of the riots.  

Muslims in Pakistan attack more than 30 Hindu temples. Pakistan government closes offices and schools for a day in protest against the destruction of the mosque in India. Therefore, history has proven that following the hardline ideology leads to violence, not just against the marginalized but also against the one being radicalized.

CONCLUSION

India happens to be a country which is free from any religious affiliation and label itself a secular republic. When the Constitution of India was in making, its makers initiated to add fundamental rights and made an attempt to make citizens and non-citizens available the basic freedoms such as Right to life, right to equality and freedom of religion to which the citizens/non-citizens can trust and thrive smoothly, without any disability. India having the 2nd most population and 7th largest country in the world consists of more than 70% Hindus and around 20% Muslims and rest others. despite of having such a huge population of Hindus the constitution makers ought not have India labeled a Hindu republic but proudly accept India a secular republic. Political ideology is something which gives meaning to direct representation and strengthen the need to have a democratic way of uplifting the marginalized and weaker section. It not only enables the weaker and backward but also enables the forward class to prevent carry a burden of backward class in on their heads and further permits everybody to have an equal image that constitutes India as a whole. However, there are exceptions that these separate representations give feeling of division amongst both the classes and further divides people into further sub-divisions and as a result hatred arises. Our Indian Constitution lays down the provision in Part III under Fundamental Rights that separate provisions can be made for different class of people i.e., intelligible differentia and Rational nexus under Article 14, these provisions must be adhered to making provisions for the betterment of the people. It is further pertinent to mention that discriminating against castes is permissible by the Constitution but discrimination against castes but provisions against which the discrimination is done is not meeting the Rational Nexus of the end result then it is not permissible. Indian political parties and their ideologies have now started to impact the constitutional framework and India, in the name of left and right wing has deteriorated in its democratic index. Constitution gives every political party to follow any ideology provided it is within the purview of advancement and betterment of people. Constitution of India enables everybody to have a noble and honest leader who would look after everybody irrespective of any bias. Since, India labels itself a Socialist, Secular, Sovereign, Democratic Republic as its basic feature it only allows to have an ideology that doesn’t violate this basic feature. India is observing a surge in the views of Hindutva politics that carries an ideology of labeling India as a Hindu Rashtra in place of Secular republic which in itself unconstitutional and an insult to our constitutional makers.

When the Constitution of India was in making, one of the members of the constituent assembly namely K.M Pathak Rukund stated that the preamble of the constitution should be started with the name of Bhagwan, Allah or God, on seeing this Dr. Rajendra Prasad confronted and argued that the preamble shouldn’t began with any of the aforementioned words and rather should began with “WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA”. This shows the seraphic character and sanctity of the minds of our constitution makers about their views that is above than any of the religions and focused only on the people of India. Therefore, an ideology must be predicated along the humanitarian lines and not on casteist and religions grounds because it would do no good to the country and will rather disable and limit our country with this thought.

REFERENCE


[1] thewire.in 

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