Protection’ of Constitution – the need of the hour

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November 26 has very historical significance for India as on that day in 1949 the Constituent Assembly completed its work by submitting the draft Constitution. Dr Ambedkar, head of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution, in his concluding speech had said, “On 26th January 1950, India would be democratic country in the sense that India from that day would have a government of the people, by the people and for the people.” However, he also had fears of what would happen to the democratic Constitution? The fear of Dr Ambedkar was not in vain as today the Constitution is getting trampled by the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary under the rule of RSS-BJP combine. It is ironic that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government who started celebrating the Constitution Day from November 26, 2015 are themselves threatening it by promoting the self-interests of the Sangh Parivaar and its followers.

It is all the more tragic and catastrophic that all the institutions of the governance are flattening the Constitution in a calculated manner. It was demonstrated in the most brazen way, when none other than the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on two occasions in the recent time made shocking observations that the apex court was discouraging petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution. That article described by Dr BR Ambedkar as the heart and soul of the Constitution empowers a person to directly approach the Supreme Court to seek remedy for the violation of fundamental rights. Earlier in May 2020, when millions of migrant workers were walking, without transport, food and money, hundreds and thousands of kilometres from cities and towns to their villages because of unplanned lockdown imposed by the Prime Minister to deal with the Covid pandemic, the Supreme Court did not act in a timely manner on several PILs to ensure their right to justice.

It is shocking to note that the constitutional liberty of some of the ‘so called high profile’ people close to the powers that are protected by the Supreme Court by listing their cases in the shortest possible time and granting them relief and in case of others they are asked to seek judicial remedy at the lower courts. Such dual standards adopted for dispensing justice remind us of the doctrine of differential rights upheld by colonial rulers who preserved one set of rights for themselves and denied the same to people whom they ruled. Time has come to resist the right-wing forces. The workers and peasants — the urban and rural working people — the workers in formal and informal sectors are on the streets fighting not only for their economic demands and their rights, but for saving the Constitution and Democracy. The trade unions and the organisations of peasants and rural poor are staging a country-wide strike on November 26, 2020. The very working people who fought for the independence of the country are standing up today to save the democratic Constitution and the Republic of India.

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