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Secular and Democratic are the two most abused terms in Indian Constitution

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Bimal Prasad Mohapatra
Bimal Prasad Mohapatra
Columnist is a Senior Research Fellow in Defense Research and Studies (DRaS), Faculty of Management Studies in Trident Group of Institutions, Bhubaneswar, and author of novel "Travails of LOVE" and "Bimal's ANAND MATH". He writes column on Geopolitics, Indian Politics and Media for MyVoice.OpIndia, DRaS, The Kootneeti, The Diplomatists, The Avenue Mail, Delhi Post, Orissa Post, Outlook Afghanista, The Manila Times, etc. And also Moderated Panel Discussion on Geopolitics, Politics and Media

As per the Constitution of India adopted on 26 November 1949 and came to force on 26 January 1950, India was a ‘Sovereign Democratic Republic’ as highlighted in the Preamble of Indian Constitution. The terms Socialist and Secular, which have now been integral part in the Preamble along with the above three terms, were lateral entry through 42nd Constitutional Amendment undertaken by former Congress Party supermom Indira Gandhi in 1976 during the black days of her imposed draconian National Emergency when the majority of opposition politicians and prominent civil society members among others but Left and their ideological mentors were in jails, branded as enemies of nation and dangers to national security.

It was not that for inclusion of these two terms -Socialist and Secular in the Indian Constitution- there were no discussions in Constitution Assembly. A visit to the proceeding of Constitution Assembly tells the wise statesmen of august Assembly, who were integral part of nation long drawn and arduous route of freedom movement, had sincerely raised the issue and debated, but had not included for reason as summarized in Dr. B. R. Ambedkar with explanation that ‘there was no need to include the term –secular- as the entire Constitution embodied the concept of secular state, which meant non-discrimination on grounds of religion and equal rights and status to all citizens’. On the inclusion of the term -socialist- he said ‘it is against the very grain of democracy to decide in the Constitution what kind of society the people of India should live in’.

Yes, they had their valid and justified reasons to not include these two terms. But, now, when I analyze on the pathetic state of Secular and Democratic, a different reason, which might be the reason of non-inclusion of Secular, crop up in my mind. Is it that they(Members of Constitution Assembly) had prior impression that the term ‘Secular’ –very sacred to them- would be the most abused term along with ‘Democratic’ with passing of days in India’s democratic governance?

While getting the lateral entry of Socialist and Secular in Indian constitution, it was argued that ‘the words secular and socialist were added to reassure the nation that minorities would be safe and the moneyed class would not dominate the economy’. But, in this column, I have concentrated on two terms ‘Secular’ and ‘Democratic’ as I find they are most abused terms.

Let us start with abuse of the term SECULAR in Indian politics.

Eight years had just gone on inclusion of term Secular in Indian Constitution, the very party which did this ignoring the wisdom of the Constitution Assembly had went on rape and massacre of exclusively minority Sikhs in all over India including the national capital and wherever there were Congress party run state governments in 1984. Even Parliament Street in front of the Parliament building in the Parliament Street, which sanctified the induction of the term not spared. And the then PM of India from the very same party justified the heinous crime and anti-national act by his party workers with statement, “When big banyan tree falls, earth shivers.” As if this was not enough, the party skillfully propagated their massacre of minority Sikh as revenge for assassination of their party’s supermom by her two Sikh bodyguards in the early convened General Election to Parliament’s lower house in 1984, and got elected to power with highest ever number of MPs any party ever win since independence.

In 1987, the same Congress Party intervened on behalf of minority community communal leaderships and overturn apex court judgment in Shah Bano case. In 2006, the same Congress Party PM Oxbridge educate scholarly Dr. Manmohan Singh while addressing 52nd meeting of National Development Council said “Minorities particularly Muslims must have the ‘First Claim’ on resources so that benefits of development reach them equitably” as if longest ruling party since independence has so far got economical-social-educational developments of other communities including other minorities but Muslims, latter category’s development was pending for uplift by 2004-14 unelected PM. And now Congress crown prince accepted in principle that ‘Congress is a party of Muslims’. These are few abuses of Secular by the longest ruling Congress Party from Nehru to Sonia-Manmohan.

In this galaxy of Secular abusers, Congress Party is not the only one. Almost all parties from Left to Left-Centre to Right-Centre are no less guilty. In 1989, soon after taking oath of office as PM of a party having lowest ever members in Parliament and supported by tallest Secular in Indian polity that is Left from one side and Right-Centre BJP, branded communal by Left and Left-Centre parties, from other, late V. P. Singh paid a mid-night visit to Shahi Imam in Delhi Jama Masjid, the man who used to say ‘we have ruled India for several centuries, and Insha Allah will do the same again’ and against whom there are number of pending NBWs for inciting communal violence, and who used to issue Fatwa to Muslim community to vote en bloc for this party or that of his choice. How this was Secular for Left and Right parties was difficult to define? However, they continued to support the government which had closed its eyes in another abuse of Secular by allowing rapes, massacres and ethnic cleaning of minority Hindus in Muslim majority Kashmir valley at the same time as though for all of them agenda of preventing corrupt Congress Party coming to power was uppermost. In the end neither they prevented corrupt Congress coming to power nor the ethnic minority Hindu cleaning of Kashmir Valley.

In the meanwhile, Secular India has experienced LJP’s late Ram Vilas Paswan accompanying Osama bin Laden lookalike in his election campaign to BSP’s Mayawati allowed singing of verses from Koran before addressing speeches in her election campaigns among others. The ruling Left party CPIM, the tallest Secular priest in India, went ahead breaking Pallakad and Kozhikode districts in Kerala to form first Muslim majority district in South India called Mallapuram in 1969 for getting support of Indian Union Muslim League which was responsible for partition of India in communal line.  Latest and the most terrific is Mamata Banarjee’s call to minorities in on-going sensitive border state West Bengal Assembly election campaigns ‘not to split their votes’ while suggesting majority community ‘not vote on the basis of religion’. And, at the same times, she refuses to respond to Election Commission of India’s notice over the comments, saying “Listen carefully. It does not matter even if I am served 10 show-cause notices. My answer will be same. I am telling everyone. There will be no split in votes. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians vote in a united manner. Don’t cast a single vote in their (BJP) favour….I will always stand against division of voters along religious lines.”

Coming to abuse of DEMOCRACY:

With the above quoted statement, Mamata Banarjee, currently holding a constitutional position of Chief Minister, not only abuses Secular embodied in Preamble of Indian Constitution but also abuses Democracy by way of ignoring the notice of constitutional authority that is ECI, only seen in states infected with anarchy. She has gone on calling people in public to prevent ECI deputed police forces doing their election duty which led to firing that killed five people in North Bengal last week.

Abuses of Democracy are not recent phenomena. In recent past, while attending an online interaction with Harvard professor, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi complained, “I don’t hear anything from the US establishment about what’s happening in India” and ‘Wholesale Capture’ of Indian Democracy. Seems he is least bother about his great grandpa’s foolishness of taking Kashmir issue to third party that is UN. Now, he is asking for US intervention in Indian Democracy. Therefore, he deserves a whip from US democrats with question that ‘in US, no political party is owned by family which is there in India, and Congress Party and Rahul Gandhi family are pioneers in this political dynasty enterprising, and Rahul Gandhi himself is a product of democratic institution -Wholesale Capture- as political parties in democracies are democratic institutions’. Congress party has not conducted party election, and since decade’s only members of one family is heading the party.

Democracy run by elected representatives of people all over world. But, in India, there was a PM from 2004 to 2014 for long two full-terms without being elected once. Is it not ‘Wholesale Capture’ of democratic institutions? Why not these question asked by professors from world’s oldest and second largest democracy to Gandhi scion? Have they lost democratic sense after electing a Don in 2016-17 to The White House?

Now discuss the Secular and Democratic credential of Indian Civil Society members

Now, the civil society members comprising NGOs, Think Tanks, Media, advocates, forced retired politician, retired judges, retired bureaucrats, educationists, etc. etc. are no less culpable in abuse of terms ‘Secular’ and ‘Democratic’. There are plenty of examples of their culpabilities. They are often questioned by right thinking people with sustainable proofs, but they are not dithering. They are so determine. Or they have sold their intellectual sole, may be for lollipop as announced by insider-trading-accused-cum-evangelists George Soros, who had vowed to demolish democratically elected government elected for first time with absolute majority after long two and half decades of instability and policy-paralysis in India, in 2014?

On last sacred Republic Day, the agitating farmers supported by some prominent civil society members invaded national capital using tractors as their weapons of terror. They broke agreed protest path, broke police barricades, ……… and found hosting a religious flag on the Red Fort where democratically elected Prime Minister of India as the leader of nation uses to host national flag on Independence Day since 1947 non-stop. In one tractor accident, a protestor, who was driving the farm equipment of other day-cum-terror weapon on that day, hit a police barricade, and as a fall out of the same, tractor overturned on the fallen farmer-cum-driver-cum-agitator, and died on the spot. The matter had happened in front of media. But, several media house’s senior most Anchor/Editor -Media House is considered as democratic institution as the Fourth Pillar of Democracy- and opposition leaders went on spreading the news that ‘Farmer died in police firing’ with clandestine agenda of spreading hatred against the law and order establishment so that brainwashed agitators went for extensive violence. How could these instigators forgot that the day is the most sacred for nation’s Democracy? It was different matter that Police dictated the criminal intent of journalists and opposition leaders and telecasted what was the fact with no loss of time. Are such acts of journalists and politicians not attempts to capture democratic institution?

Recently, it has been noticed that people irrespective status and eminence using omnipresent social media for spreading fake news. When they are caught, they withdraw the same. But the damages their acts get to social fabric and harmony between the time their posting of messages and withdrawals of the same may be sometimes found irreparable. One crime leads to another. When the latter crime is committed, formers are often forgotten as seen in Godra burning of 59 innocent pilgrims. How many people remember that Godra train burning that triggered Gujarat Riot-2002? All over world Gujarat riot spread like wild fire, then Godra train burning. In the process, damage to social harmony remains long impacted. Apart from these people, Indian nationals working in Western media and universities are used to spread hatred against India, Indian cultural ethos, Secularism and Democracy as seen in Oxford University recently where an Indian student namely Rashmi Sawant elected as university Students’ Union President was humiliated, harassed and forced to leave traumatized. But, British Government has not yet taken any corrective measure till date.

The US government agency called Freedom House questioned Indian secularism and democracy forgetting that it’s President takes oath of office putting his hand on Bible, the same nation could not till date elect a female as President, and over more than two centuries of democracy could not have elected a non-Christian as President, and only twice in 2008 and long after two centuries of its constitution written and adopted elected a Black as President.

But in India’s democracy of less than a century, we have experienced phenomenal progress of democratic institutions despite the grand old Party Congress has been occupied by Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and their imposition of draconian National Emergency when almost all democratic institutions from President House to Supreme Court to Indian Constitution to Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg were captured. Coming to Sweden’s V-Dem report on Indian Democracy and Secularism, I ask this country to answer who is head of their country? If he/she is not elected how could theirs is a democracy. Until they have corrected their democracy, they better should not poke their noses in Indian affairs where Western agents such as insider-trading accused George Soros is investing his ill-gotten money in facilitating dynasty politics through Italian national. Here, the West, the preacher of secular and democratic value, itself engaged in ‘Wholesale Capture’ of Democratic institutions in India.

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Bimal Prasad Mohapatra
Bimal Prasad Mohapatra
Columnist is a Senior Research Fellow in Defense Research and Studies (DRaS), Faculty of Management Studies in Trident Group of Institutions, Bhubaneswar, and author of novel "Travails of LOVE" and "Bimal's ANAND MATH". He writes column on Geopolitics, Indian Politics and Media for MyVoice.OpIndia, DRaS, The Kootneeti, The Diplomatists, The Avenue Mail, Delhi Post, Orissa Post, Outlook Afghanista, The Manila Times, etc. And also Moderated Panel Discussion on Geopolitics, Politics and Media
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