An year long Save Constitution campaign is to begin today, lead by the scion of Congress party, Mr.Rahul Gandhi. It is really a capper that this comes from Congress party which created a Kakistocracy rather than a democracy in India. Kakistocracy, the word has been derived from a Greek word which means government by the worst persons; a form of government in which the worst persons are in power. Rings a bell?
Over seven decades, Indian democracy was in shambles and its economic growth dragged at a pace of tortoise, yet the party responsible for this plight has the audacity to launch a save constitution drive. Ostensibly the march which Rahul Gandhi would be leading today is to voice its protest against the ill treatment of Dalits in India by BJP. The real reason many say is Congress’s inability to break the ice with the dalit community; In 2014 out of the 84 seats congress could manage just 3-4 seats, while majority of the seats were won by BJP. The success of this protest can only be determined by the number of seats congress will win in 2019. Or will it?
The long list of amendments made by Congress
Congress has so far amended the constitution more than a hundred times, under the garb of “taking a fresh look at it”.
Home Minister GB Pant,under Nehru Government observed: We are rehabilitating the Constitution, not tampering with it.
Out of the many amendments made under the Indira Gandhi government in 1976, one of them was to reduce the President’s powers, turning him into a mere figurehead. This would have happened earlier had the first president of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, not fought with Nehru for preserving the powers of the chair. Rajendra Prasad bravely put it in public that the Constitution gave the President the power to overrule the PM’s advice. Unfortunately nothing has been done so far to restore this amendment to what it was in the original constitution.
The media houses which jump the wagon to support congress and its endeavors, have conveniently forgotten that it was under Jawahar Lal Nehru that an amendment was brought about to curb the press’s freedom. It was done under the pretense of keeping the press “clean”, which was clearly a sign of times to come; it didn’t take long for the next congress leader Indira Gandhi to impose censorship on media during the emergency.
In the words of Time magazine “Part of the Indian press, said he, is dirty, indulges in “vulgarity, indecency and falsehood.” To teach it manners, Nehru proposed an amendment to India’s constitution that would impose severe restrictions”.
It did not end with Nehru and Indira Gandhi, Rajeev Gandhi had proposed a Postal bill, which was an attempt at censoring and intercepting all mails. Had President Zail Singh not refused to sign the bill, this draconian law would have come into effect.
In 2012, it was under Congress led government that sec 66(A) IT act was proposed, this was a blatant attempt to curb the rise of dissent on social media. Experts observed that under the proposed IT Act the penalties for the same offences were higher as compared to those in the IPC. For example threatening to defame through email would have attracted a penalty of 3 years imprisonment under the IT Act while if the same offence if committed verbally would have attracted just 2 years. But the sinister reason behind suggesting such a flummoxing punishment was– the offences punishable with a jail term of 3 years or more are ‘cognisable’ under law, and ergo a police officer can make the arrest without a warrant. An epiphany moment anyone? The supreme court of India decided to strike it down in 2017 and let the netizens continue to have their freedom of speech intact.
Shah Bano Case:
Beyond indirectly curbing the right to speech, there have been many more controversial amendments under the rule of Congress party which the populace of India should never forget. One of the most notable among them is the controversial Shah Bano act, 1986, when a law was enacted by the Rajiv Gandhi government under pressure from the Muslim clergy to overturn the Supreme Court ruling.
The voice of a 62 year old woman, who was supported by the Supreme Court, to have the right to alimony was stifled. The law brought about by the government was in line with Muslim personal law, under which maintenance to a divorced woman is limited only to the period of iddat, or three menstrual cycles/three lunar months after divorce. Could there have been a more regressive approach towards a woman’s rights? The capper is, same party today proclaims itself to be the beacon holder of women empowerment in the country. With this law the chances of having Uniform civil code too was trashed.
It is no surprise to the populace of India that parties in the opposition are picking up on non-existent issues in an attempt to improve their chances of a better performance in the elections of 2019. But with every attempt to malign Modi and his government falling flat on its face and biting the dust, opposition must now associate itself with something more credible.