Mainstream, VOL LV No 10 New Delhi February 25, 2017
Defend the Constitution from the Sangh Parivar!
Monday 27 February 2017
by S. Sudhakar Reddy
We have been celebrating January 26 as the Republic Day. The Constitution of India, which came into existence on January 26, 1950, abolished the Dominion Status of India, rejected the British Crown and declared India as a full-fledged Democratic Republic.
The Indian Constitution is one of the biggest Constitutions of the world and is the most valuable gift from Dr B.R. Ambedkar to the nation and its people. It was necessary to overcome the painful colonial past. The Constitution gave Directive Principles for the nation, with definite goals to be achieved by implementing them. It gave us democracy, secularism and equality for all the citizens irrespective of religion, caste, creed and language. By incorporating socialism through an amendment, the goal for socialism was also included. Our Constitution gave us freedom of faith, freedom of expression and abolished untouchability, defining it as a punishable offence.
The Indian Constitution provided clarity and paved the way for secular democracy in the country by dividing the authority among the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary, with checks and counter-checks among the three and ensuring an autonomous status to the Judiciary.
It went on alright for almost six-and-a-half decades, though the Directive Principles were not taken up seriously by the ruling parties. The ‘Democratic, Secular, Socialist Republic’ has forgot socialism as its goal and after 1992, that is, following the collapse of the USSR with the emergence of a unilateral world led by the US, adopted globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation. This has led to the fast growth of corporate capitalism and of late crony capitalism, paving way for concentration of wealth in the hands of a few and looting crores of people pushing them into abject poverty.
After the BJP Government led by Narendra Modi has come to power at the Centre in 2014, consistent efforts are being made to sabotage the Constitution in letter and spirit.
Suffocating the Judiciary
After the new dispensation led by Narendra Modi has taken over, the Judiciary is being pushed to the wall. The fine balance between the Executive and Judiciary is thrown to the winds. Our Judiciary does not have enough number of judges from the High Courts up to the Supreme Court. The names recommended by the highest court are kept pending for years together and the Executive demands the right to appoint the judges according to its priority and choice. The Legislature is almost totally ignored. Parliament meets for a few days and the government, through its provocative acts and tactics, does not allow the proceedings and throws the blame on the Opposition. The Prime Minister wants the Legislature to stand up and applaud all that he says, instead of a proper meaningful debate on Bills and people’s issues.
Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as the ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’. Today it has become the ‘government of Narendra Modi, by the RSS and for the corporate houses’. People are nowhere. This is nothing but sabotaging the Indian Constitution and its guidelines.
Secularism at Stake
The right to faith and freedom of religion are being attacked by the Sangh Parivar for a long time but once they have come to power with absolute majority in Parliament they are utilising the government machinery, to spread poisonous communalism, harassing the minorities on the one side and pressurising and influencing the media to propagate its Goebbelsian lies on the other.
All those who are opposed to the RSS ideology and its pro-fascist agenda are being branded as anti-nationals. Patriotism has become the monopoly of the Hindutva forces in the country. In the name of cow protection, Muslim minorities and Dalits are targeted, attacked and killed. An atmosphere of terror is being unleashed all over the country.
Universities are attacked by anti-social elements, led by the ABVP, targeting Dalit students. Rohith Vemula committed suicide because he could not withstand the discrimi-nation and victimisation. It was done by the university Vice-Chancellor at the dictate of the ABVP. The Ambedkar-Phule Study Circle was banned in the IIT, Chennai. A students’ journal was banned in the Pondicherry University.
Kanhaiya Kumar in the JNU was arrested and targeted because he exposed the Sangh Parivar’s activities. They tried to physically harm him and branded him as anti-national. Freedom of speech was another target. Tamil writer Murugan was forced by the Sangh gangs to apologise for what he had written 30 years ago.
Scientists, journalists, writers, artists and economists are being attacked for returning their awards in protest. Self-appointed cow protection groups, cow vigilante groups have spread terror all over the country and the BJP Government in Maharashtra has banned the sale of beef.
Dalits in Una in Gujarat were beaten up and tortured in public with a false accusation that they had killed cows, while they were skinning a dead cow at the request of the owner of the cow. When the Dalits in anger refused to skin the dead animals, they were threatened. Dalit children were burnt alive in Haryana and it was termed by a BJP Central Cabinet Minister as like a stray dog getting killed after being hit by a stone.
Common civil code is being brought into the debate to provoke Muslim minorities and consolidate the votes of the majority community. Adivasis in millions are thrown out of their lands and houses for projects and mines of the corporates. Adivasi people are denied democratic rights in Bastar where the BJP Government is ruling with an iron fist. False cases are being foisted on university professors, teachers, and journalists. All democratic rights are being denied to the people, particularly the tribals. There is police raj. It is in the light of such unprecedented onslaughts on our Constitution by the Sangh Parivar and its affiliates with the blessings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the last meeting of the National Council of the Communist Party of India, held in December 2016 at Hyderabad, decided to observe this year’s Republic Day as the ‘Save Constitution Day’.
Reservations to SCs, STs, OBCs are opposed by the Sangh Parivar since long, accusing these as vote-bank politics. Now some upper castes in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Haryana are organising themselves demanding reser-vations. This will ultimately pave the way for cancellation of all reservations, which will deny the small guarantee to the downtrodden sections of the Indian society. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and his second lieutenant are repeatedly demanding a review of all caste-based reser-vations. If the discrimination was based on caste, how can reservation be denied to the victims who have suffered for centuries?
The economic policies of the BJP Government are pro-corporate, pro-rich and anti-poor. Only meagre Budget allocations are made for the MGNREGS, education, health and other welfare activities. Corporate tax has been reduced from 30 per cent to 25 per cent and still further reduction is planned. Service tax is increased by another three per cent including surcharges raising it to 15 per cent. Demonetisation is a direct attack on the poor people of the country.
The concentration of wealth has abnormally increased during the last two years of the Modi Government and 58 per cent of our wealth is in the hands of the top one per cent of the population. Where then is equality? Where is the welfare society? Every single provision of the Constitution in favour of the people is being flouted by Modi and his colleagues.
The Republic Day is the proper occasion for us to raise our voice in defence of the Constitution of India, which is targeted by the Sangh Parivar. It has no right to refuse the implementation of the provisions of the Constitution to the people of India, who created it. This nefarious game-plan should be fought back. We must with all our might defend the Constitution of India.
Let us pledge to do so! Let us fight for it!!
The author is the General Secretary, CPI.