Constitution & Amendment

The Constitution makers were not faultless messiahs, they too were fallible mortals and so we shouldn’t hesitate while amending key provisions of the Constitution in the interest of the society even if it changes its basic structure (too some extent).

The fact that the Constitution makers bestowed legislators with the liberty of amending the Constitution was in fact an admission of their limited knowledge and the perceived inability of the Constitution to deal with changing circumstances. I refrain from using the term ‘Constitutionalist’ because no Constitution is immaculate and devoid of grey areas or loopholes and so the question of standing by the Constitution under all circumstances doesn’t arise. We shouldn’t shy away from pointing out the limitations of our Constitution and asking for rectifications or additions in it. Remember that everything which Hitler did during the Nazi Regime in the Third Reich was legal as per the erstwhile law prevalent at that time.

There’s always a need to keep amending the Constitution for the sake of contemporary compatibility but unfortunately the Indian Constitution has become virtually non amendable since the late 80’s because to amend the Constitution, two-thirds majority is required in both the Houses of the Parliament and such a bill needs to be ratified by half of the State Legislatures if it relates to the principle of federalism. No ruling government commands such absolute majority or staggering support and so an amendment to the Constitution can be made only when there is a wide national consensus.

Vow to be taken on this Republic Day

The Constitution of India happens to a masterpiece and is the fundamental charter of our democracy. The visionaries who drafted the Constitution envisaged that the country will always be ruled through the prism of constitutional rules and regulations but the contemporary dilapidated and fractured state of Indian polity is a cause of concern for all Constitutionalists.

There is a lot of tomfoolery going around. The Parliament’s stature has been corroded as disruptions appear to reign supreme instead of debating. The three holy institutions of our democracy, namely, the Parliament, Executive and Judiciary appear to be at loggerheads with one another and this confrontation is undermining the spirit of the Constitution. Some States are clamouring that the principle of federalism is being assaulted by the Union Government by enacting centralized schemes while on the other hand the Centre is concerned over the growing obstructionist methods adopted by States which are ruled by regional parties and by those who happen to be sitting in the Opposition in Delhi.

There has been an incredible spread of anarchy which threatens to abandon the rule of law in the State. These are some of the challenges faced by the Democratic Republic of India.  On this Republic Day, let us take a pledge that with a resurgent effort we will ensure the establishment of a country which is not contrary to its constitutional principles.