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Don’t rewrite the Constitution

  • Published
    25th Nov, 2023

Context:

Rewriting of Indian Constitution in light amidst ‘Samvidhan Diwas’

Constitution-Making Prowess

  • Ample Deliberation: The Constituent Assembly, chaired by Dr. B.R Ambedkar, meticulously addressed concerns, with 7,635 amendments considered.
  • Hope for the Underprivileged: The Constitution, born from rigorous debates, instilled new hope, especially for millions of underprivileged citizens.
  • Exemplary Duration: The process spanned 114 working days over almost three years, shaping a comprehensive document containing 395 articles and eight schedules.

Challenges and Influences

  • Colonial Comparisons: Criticism as a "colonial constitution" arises from similarities to the Government of India Act 1935, reflecting British colonial influences.
  • Historical Realities: Dr Rajendra Prasad asserted that India's constitution wasn't bound by global norms, emphasizing historical realities, like the Simon Commission challenge in 1927.
  • Foundation in Dissent: The Nehru Report of 1928, initially lacking consensus, became a cornerstone for future constitutional struggles, addressing vital issues like fundamental rights.

Contemporary Relevance and Caution

  • Endurance of the Constitution: Calls for a new constitution notwithstanding, the existing one, shaped by Indian realities, has proven enduring.
  • Global Stability Models: Major nations, such as the US, demonstrate stability without frequent constitutional revisions, suggesting the resilience of established constitutional frameworks.
  • Need for Consensus: The call for rewriting necessitates consensus, echoing the principle of a "fair measure of general agreement" among the Indian populace. Rajendra Prasad's caution underscores the role of capable and ethical leaders in navigating a flawed constitution.
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