An unholy propaganda that I am Socialist & Secular and my opponents are Capitalist & Communal- makes mockery of our electoral process and our democracy!

Posted On: May 6, 2016

Object of inserting the word ‘Socialist, Secular, Integrity’ in the Preamble was to spell out expressly the high ideas of socialism secularism and nationalism because the institutions have subsided to considerable stresses and strains and vested interests having trying to promote their selfish ends to great detriment of public goods.

The object of the Government, in making the 42nd Amendment, was to make explicit what was already provided in the Constitution, but which, in the absence of such emphasis was going to be denigrated by ‘vested interests’ to promote their selfish ends. As far as ‘socialism and secularism’ is concerned, the relevant provisions in the Constitution are in Articles 14-30.

Secularism means that the State should have no religion of its own, and no one could proclaim to make the State house are such or endeavor to create a theoretic State. Persons belonging to different religions live throughout the length and breadth of the Country. Each person, whatever be his religion, must get assurance from the State that he has the protection of law freely to profess, practice and propagate his religion and freedom of conscience. Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that Secularism is part of fundamental law and inalienable segment of the basic structure of the Constitution.

Secularism means religious tolerance and equal treatment to all religions. It is a system of utilitarian ethics, seeking to maximize human happiness or welfare quite indecently of what may be either religious or occult. Secularism in India means that there shall be no discrimination between citizens and citizens on the ground of religion (Article 14, 15, 16). It means freedom of speech and expression for all citizens (Article 19).

Therefore, a study of different religions and their philosophy is permissible though imparting religious instruction in State funded institutions is not. India is a Union of States, and not an association or confederation of States. There is only one nationality i.e. Indian. Every Indian has a right to go or settle anywhere in India. In order to keep the country united, it is necessary to have tolerance and respect for all community and sects. The word ‘Secularism’ used in the Preamble is also reflected in Part IV-A to the Constitution containing Article 51A prescribing fundamental duties. ‘Secularism’ has to be understood as the basis of more than 60 years experience of the working of the Constitution. The complete neutrality towards religion and apathy for all kind of religious teachings in institutions of the State have not been helped in removing mutual misunderstanding and intolerance inter se between section of people of different religions, faiths and beliefs.

‘Secularism’ therefore, is susceptible to a positive meaning that is developing understanding and respect towards different religions. The essence of secularism is non-discrimination of people by the State based on religious differences. Based on the concept of “Sarva-Dharma-Sambhava”, a definition of the expression ‘Secular’ was attempted in the 45th Amendment Bill of the Constitution, which was passed as the Constitution (44th Amendment) Act 1978. The definition could not be adopted because of inadequate support in Upper House.

It reads: “In the Preamble of the Constitution – the expression ‘Republic’ as qualified by the expression ‘Secular’ means a republic in which there is equal respect for all religions.” Interestingly, the main opposition party of the day, which was ruling at that time, blocked the adoption of the definition introduced in the Constitution (80th Amendment) Bill 1993, which proposed to insert a new Article 28-A on lines of that definition.

It reads: “The State shall have equal respect for all religions”. The Amendment was however, not pursued and passed. The best thing we do for the community is not to fetter it with laws but to straighten our lives with honesty and modesty. The time will come when people will understand that highest function of the Government is not to legislate but to educate, to make not laws but schools.

The greatest Statesmen, like the subtlest teacher, will guide and suggest through information, rather than invite pugnacity with prohibitions and commands; his motto will be “Millions for education, not one cent for compulsion”. Our next generation will choose their rulers more wisely than we choose. They will ask not for lawmakers but for creative teachers; they will submit not to regimentation but to knowledge; they will achieve peace and order not through violence and compulsion, but through advance spread and organization of intelligence. Let us confess to ourselves that basic education system unfortunately is lopsided; it gives knowledge but no character; it gives power but no wisdom; it gives cleverness but no conscience.

This has to change and sooner the better. The quality of civilization depends on the quality of education. One subject, which ought to be compulsory for our children and most vital part of the school curriculum, is ‘Aims, Objectives and Basic Structure of the Constitution’. The key words of the Preamble proclaimed by the Constitution, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles of State Policy, are not understood to citizens except by a few who do not matter. Selfish people are using the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ for their person gain. Unholy propaganda, which makes mockery of electoral process and democracy, is going on.

The Constitution in its Preamble proudly announces that India is a Socialist Secular Democratic Republic. Democracy would indeed be hollow if it fails to generate a spirit of brotherhood among all sections of the people, a feeling that they are children of the same soil, the same motherland. It becomes even more essential in a country like India, composed of so many races religions languages and culture and with so many disruptive forces of Casteism, Communalism, Regionalism and Linguism.

It is necessary to emphasize and re-emphasize that ‘Unity and the Integrity of India’ can be preserved only by a spirit of brotherhood. The pity is that the key words of the Preamble not defined till date. Government should define the key words especially Socialist and Secular, proclaimed by the Constitution without delay and should provide an authoritative textbook on ‘Socialism, Secularism and Nationalism’ and a standard textbook having Aims and Objectives, Fundamental Rights and Duties, Directive Principles of State Policy and the Golden Goals as set out in the Preamble of the Constitution.

Study of the book should be compulsory for children and students tested about it by clever questions in examination papers. Government should also constitute a ‘National Unity and Integrity Commission’ to promote fraternity assuring the dignity of individuals and unity and integrity of the nation.

India is Socialist Secular Democratic Republic but socialism, secularism, as proclaimed by the Constitution, is neither clearly defined nor understood by majority of the Indians. There is not one authoritative textbook for the children to explain what ‘Socialism Secularism and Nationalism’ means under the Constitution. Selfish people have made the words- ‘Socialism, Secularism and Nationalism’, the words of political abuse.

An unholy propaganda that I am Socialist / Secular/Nationalist and my opponents are Capitalist /Communal/Anti-National makes mockery of our electoral process and our democracy. The recent anti-national slogans raised in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Hyderabad University, Jadhavpur University and National Institute of Technology Srinagar confirms that our basic education system needs to be reviewed. ‘Socialism, Secularism and Nationalism’, as proclaimed by the Constitution should be compulsorily taught to children to promote fraternity assuring the dignity of the individuals and unity and integrity of the nation.

Knowledge of the Aims and Objectives of the Constitution, Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties, Directive Principle of State Policy and the Golden goals, as set out in the Preamble of the Constitution, is not only necessary to control the Corruption Casteism Communalism Radicalism and Linguism but also essential to promote fraternity assuring the dignity of the individuals and the unity and integrity of the nation.

Justice Verma Committee Report (1999) on operationalization of fundamental duties observed: “Education is a sub-system of the total social system and it is in this context that the recommendations stated in this chapter should be viewed. Of course, a long-term strategy for developing a value-based society can come only through the instrumentality of right education and training”. Unfortunately, Justice Verma Committee recommendations on fundamental duties not implemented till date in letter and spirit.

A National Unity and Integrity Commission is need of the time. It is not only necessary to control Casteism, Communalism, Linguism, Radicalism and Regionalism but also essential to promote among the citizens; fraternity assuring the dignity of the individuals and unity and integrity of the nation.

Web Title: An unholy propaganda that I am Socialist & Secular and my opponents are Capitalist & Communal- makes mockery of our electoral process and our democracy

Keywords: Jnu Row| propaganda| Socialist| Secular| Nationalist| Capitalist| Communal| Electoral process| our democracy|

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About the Author

Ashwini Upadhyay
Ashwini Upadhyay
Ashwini Upadhyay is a leading advocate in Supreme Court of India. He is also a Spokesperson for BJP, Delhi unit.