Warning to the reader: You may find the following in extreme contrast to your personal views. The following is my personal view and falls within the *limits* of “Freedom of speech”.
Today I’m going to write about probably one of the most discussed however at the same time a very controversial subject. I want to discuss the validity of our current constitution which governs majority of the population.
That last line can be called controversial as I mentioned majority instead of ALL. I have my reasons to say so, which I want to discuss in my following rant and in the process try to fix some of the problems with it (as if it’s possible?)
Our constitution has undergone about 100+ amendments since it’s inception in 1950. That’s more than one amendment per year since Independence in 1947.
Our Constitution holds a high regard in our political ecosystem and all the policies originate from that system. The idea of a constitution is basically the same in the entire democratic world. The similarity between almost all of the constitutions across the world is that in the end it aims towards the betterment of its population and thus the nation as a whole (or vice-versa). Today we will discuss about the shortcomings and the validity of our current constitution, which was written during the times when poverty was at higher end, literacy was at its lowest, socioeconomic differences were at their worst, there was no such thing as open market or global trade (as far as India was concerned).
When constitution of India was written ideas were borrowed from the Democracies across the world during those times and the point to remember here is that most of those countries were much ahead of India in terms of economics, education, health services, etc. Our constitution was framed by borrowing ideas and ideals from countries which were nowhere near the cultural diversity like our India, that is Bharat. Most of those ideas were from inherently western societies which were mostly made up of one or two different cultures, unlike India which was and is a multicultural society, with multiple languages and variety of theological streams amongst other things.
A constitution is supposed to bind all of the population under one umbrella and provide equal opportunities to all of its constituents, having said this, an special effort can be made to uplift the most downtrodden in the population, but not like we do by offering Reservations.
Reservations are probably one of top 5 burning issues of discussion that we have in our country. A tool that has been mismanaged so badly that instead of doing good it has done more damage. As the basis of Reservations are majorly caste/religion driven it creates an inherent divide and sense of isolation. It could have been true that during the early years of Independence, when the divide really existed and was practiced, during that stage reservations may have made sense however in current times it is just a reason for discontent. If it cannot be abolished then it should be updated to counter the disparity that exists today, which is economic.
Economic disparity is one of issues that is not ignored However it is one of the least discussed. Ever since India underwent economic reforms during early 90’s, the populations were exposed to an entire new dimension of choices in all aspects of life, that led to Emergence of a new vibrant private sector providing jobs to unemployed graduates during those days. In the end, by the turn of century there were a lot more people in the private sector than India has ever seen before, however most of the workforce in the middle class was unable to reach the upper levels as, believe it or not, were tethered due to reservations that took a toll during 90’s. The institution’s (both providing Education and jobs) were bound by the law to reserve seats based on caste and/or religion. Merit was sidelined, by the constitution. As I have mentioned above the constitution has to uplift both it’s population and the nation and neglecting merit has done nothing but create hindrance in the progress of the Nation. Replace caste/religion with merit and economic condition, this will help bring in a much larger population who will help the Nation. A bright student coming from a low income family will be delighted to experience the transparency in the system and will have true respect for the constitution as the student will see it in action.
Religion Talking about religious bias in India is again a very sensitive, red hot topic may be in top 3. Since India, that is Bharat, has never imposed any religion upon anyone, it’s constitution should not favour any religion. We are supposed to believe that this is true, however reality is different. The laws that govern the major religion do not apply to second major religion in India, from marriage laws to divorce to property/inheritance laws the treatment is different. The constitution makers could not see beyond their limited vision, the disparity it will create in Future. This un-equal treatment led to severe ill treatment of the half of the population of the second major religion in India. As one half was taking advantage of the protection or rather blind eye that constitution provided. This brings me to my next point. Male Vs Female rights.
Male Vs Female rights and laws:- In this paragraph I will talk a little bit about the laws that concern our citizens, irrespective of any divisions. It is true that women have faced the brunt of times and have been subjected to many crimes both during war and peacetime. The constitution does provide the protection to the females as we have seen that sex determination tests were made illegal and jailable offense, triple talaak was outlawed, a strong deterrent against dowry is in place in India. The last one is the one which is most misused laws at present. There has been a steep rise in the number of false cases filed under Section 498A than the actual cases were there was actual crime. The solution for this can be formation of gender neutral laws, because as a citizen of the country everyone has to follow same set of laws, and it is important to form laws which are gender neutral to ensure fairness and trust amongst males and females who make up the population of the Nation.
Education it cannot be left unchecked, entire portion curriculum that still follows the changes made by British in 1835 has to be removed and local history has to be included as a compulsory subject. It must be made compulsory that all children have to have minimum of high school education and if religious institutions are providing education then they should be made responsible that modern Education of science and computers is included, as we cannot afford to have children growing up with non-scientific approach towards life. Universities should be made to dismantle all student unions as universities are not designated for politics it’s only goal is to impart knowledge to build citizens with knowledge and capability to take the Nation to new heights.
This is just the tip of the ice-berg, if only the founding ideas of our constitution were not borrowed, if only the makers were far-sighted, if only the amendments made later on were not driven by political ambitions, if only they would have done their jobs properly. All we can do is wish.