“Law and order are the medicine of the body politic and when the body politic gets sick, medicine must be administered.”
-Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (Father of the Indian Constitution)
This 26-11-2019, India celebrates the landmark 70 Years of its Constitution which was formally adopted on 26-11-1949.
This Constitution day holds significance due to some incredible events that took place this year in which the most striking event that overpowered every other event was – Abrogation of Article 370, due to which now Jammu and Kashmir will also acknowledge and celebrate the “Constitution Day”.
Drafting Committee was elected by the Constituent Assembly on 29th August 1947. It held its first meeting on 30th August. Since August 30th it sat for 141 days during which it was engaged in the preparation of the Draft Constitution. The first Draft Constitution as presented by the Drafting Committee to the Constituent Assembly contained 315 Articles and 8 Schedules. At the end of the consideration stage, the number of articles in the Draft Constitution increased to 386. In its final form, the Draft Constitution contains 395 Articles and 8 Schedules.
The Constitution of India has gone through more than 100 Constitutional amendments. Now the Constitution comprises 466 Articles and 13 Schedules.
As per Article 79 of the Constitution of India, the Council of the Parliament of the Union consists of the President and two Houses known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha). Article 74(1) of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head to aid and advise the President, who shall exercise his/her functions in accordance to the advice. The real executive power is thus vested in the Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head.
Some of the excerpts from Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s last speech, which would definitely leave us with thoughts and perspectives of our own, have been stated below:
“On the 26th of January 1950, India would be a democratic country in the sense that India from that day would have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The same thought comes to my mind. What would happen to her democratic Constitution? Will she be able to maintain it or will she lost it again this is the second thought that comes to my mind and makes me as anxious as the first.”
“…it is quite possible in a country like India – where democracy from its long disuse must be regarded as something quite new – there is danger of democracy giving place to dictatorship. It is quite possible for this new born democracy to retain its form but give place to dictatorship in fact. If there is a landslide, the danger of the second possibility becoming· actuality is much greater.”
If we wish to maintain democracy not merely in form, but also in fact, what must we do?
“The first thing in my judgement we must do is to hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives. It means we must abandon the bloody methods of revolution.”
“The second thing we must do is to observe the caution which John Stuart Mill has given to all who are interested in the maintenance of democracy, namely, not “to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him with power which enable him to subvert their institutions.”
“The third thing we must do is not to be content with mere political democracy. We must make our political democracy a social democracy as well. Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy.”
In the end Babasaheb parted with the following words:
Independence is no doubt a matter of joy. But let us not forget that this independence has thrown on us great responsibilities. By independence, we have lost the excuse of blaming the British for anything going wrong. If hereafter things go wrong, we will have nobody to blame. Except ourselves. There is great danger of things going wrong. Times are fast changing. People including our own are being moved by new ideologies. They are getting tired of Government by the people. They are prepared to have Governments for the people and are indifferent whether it is Government of the people and by the people. If we wish to preserve the Constitution in which we have sought to enshrine the principle of Government of the people, for the people and by the people, let us resolve not to be tardy in the recognition of the evils that lie across our path and which induce people to prefer Government for the people to Government by the people, nor to be weak in our initiative to remove them. That is the only way to serve the country. I know of no better.
Preamble to the Constitution of India
“WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.”
Now is the time, more than ever, for the powers to be to follow Dr Ambedkar’s advice and abide by the mandate provided by the Constitution of India because India is on the verge of becoming an economic superpower and it is essential for the existence of idea of India that the vastly dynamic stratas in the society of the country get proper space to develop within the umbrella of the State’s protection and care, along with the necessary stimulus to the amazingly vibrant corporate sector, in State’s policies.