Health Affairs of the Republic – Dr. Sebastian Paul writes | Special | Deshabhimani

Although Athens is known as the cradle of democracy, it has been claimed that India is the mother of democracy. Chaturvarna and democracy do not even have a connection between the plane and the flight of flowers. The world owes the idea of ​​a democratic republic to Rome. But the Roman Republic did not last long. The term Republic is a creation of Plato. But the democratic republic envisaged by the constitution is different from Plato’s republic.

This difference is not only due to the fact that the power vested in the people is vested in those who are elected through regular elections. An important factor is that authority is acquired by election rather than by inheritance as by birthright.

In a republican system Elizabeth’s son does not become king through succession. But the republic is based on some other things to become a democratic republic out of technical absolutism. Our constitution, which describes the system of government as a socialist secular democratic republic, justifies its establishment in the name of the people and for the people. The beginning ‘we the people of India’ is not just figurative. Ours is the constitution of the people prepared by the people for the people.

The landmark judgment in the Keshavananda Bharti case was written to recognize the court’s duty to protect the Constitution. The court said that the constitution should be amended and modernized while maintaining its essence, basic structure and originality. It is for the court to know what it is. Above that are fundamental rights. It is for their safety that Article 32. Ambedkar said that this Article is the soul and life of the Constitution.

Judicial review

Along with the Republic, the Supreme Court has also passed seven decades. The unique power of judicial review makes the Supreme Court unique. Judicial review is the examination to see if the executive and legislature are acting within the framework of the constitution. The court has power to amend and prohibit. There is a question whether the power of the court can be exercised over the will of the people.

In the Keshavananda Bharti case, the Supreme Court gave an answer to the question of whether the parliament or the court is greater. Parliament can amend the constitution. The answer was that the court would intervene if it affected the basic structure. It is up to the judges to answer the question of what basic structure is.

It was on this principle that the Supreme Court struck down the Act that established the National Judicial Appointments Commission for the appointment of judges. The court decided that the system created by statute in place of the college was unconstitutional as it affected the constitution of the independence of the judiciary.

The Supreme Court overturned the constitutional amendment, which was approved not only by the Senate but also by the majority of the legislatures. Although the constitution has been interpreted all this time, no decision has been made on how to appoint judges.

Freedom of expression

A study of the history of the Indian Judiciary reveals that freedom of expression is more important than the freedom of the individual. A new world of freedom emerged when Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, which did not refer at all to freedom of the press, was creatively interpreted.

A famous decision regarding the freedom of the press was made in the corporate case known as Bennett Coleman & Company. Although freedom of expression under the Constitution is limited to citizens, the Supreme Court’s most famous ruling was in favor of a corporate body.

News and journalists

The Supreme Court is a democratic institution that embodies the soul of the Constitution when it stands up to the state and corporations for a humble and honest man.

Siddique Kappan

Siddique Kappan

The court asked what the journalist had to do with the news. It may be asked what is wrong with the cat where the gold is stored. But the journalist should not have asked that question.

The court said nothing about the journalist’s freedom when Siddique Kapan was jailed for hostility after portraying him as an infiltrating terrorist. In terms of protecting life and liberty, the Constitution has no technical limitation, including citizenship. There should be no such restriction in the Constitution which embodies the vision and message of humanity.

The health of the seventy year old republic depends on the rule of law. The health of the rule of law depends on the strength of the judiciary. The judiciary need not always be in conflict with the executive. The Judiciary is responsible for correcting and controlling the Executive.

Limits of inviolable power are fixed in the constitution to avoid encroachment. But there is a contrast between the three ruling parties.

This function is known in constitutional law as checks and balances. If one starts showing subtlety to the other, the balance will be lost. The same thing happens in conflict. When the issue of farmers came to light, the farmers felt that the judiciary was speaking on behalf of the executive committee. So they didn’t trust the court. Mistrust in the court is harmful to the health of the republic.

A republic by the people for the people. Walking through the ancient streets of Rome, stones inscribed with the letters SPQR caught my attention. It was an abbreviation of Senatus Populusque Romanus. The meaning of the Roman parliament and people. The republic belongs to the people. Parliament could not defend him for them. The Senate surrendered to Sulla, and he arrived with mercenaries.

When Cicero’s warnings were ignored, the lights of the Republic went out. Caring for the Republic is everyone’s responsibility. It is good to check from time to time whether the judiciary is fulfilling that constitutional responsibility. You can also remember the story of the people having to defend the republic when Parliament and the Judiciary failed together during the Emergency.

In the preamble of the Constitution, India is described as a sovereign, egalitarian, secular, democratic republic. Every adjective has a meaning. These ideals, humane and noble, if not competent, are what fuel the republic. They are crowned with jewels such as justice, freedom, equality and fraternity which are necessary for the dignity of a person. Freedom, equality and fraternity were the ideals written in blood by the French revolutionaries. These ideas are the basis of all revolutions.

After the verdict in the Sabarimala case, Justice Chandrachud reminded people about constitutional morality. That is the morality to follow in a secular republic. The corresponding values ​​are specified in the introduction. The Supreme Court has said that the morality based on the narrow and sectarian spirituality of religions is related to the eternal morality which is constituted on the broad ground of humanity. It is on this basis that the Constitution is glorified as the holy book of the secular republic. The spirit of the Constitution is the spirit of the Republic.

Hindutva Republic

Hindutva republic is BJP’s dream. Rahul Gandhi envisions a Hindu Republic. Both are unacceptable for the same reason. The name Hindustan that was proposed for the country was unacceptable by the Constituent Assembly for fear of such dangerous ideas.

If an Islamic Republic can be called Pakistan, a Hindu Republic can be called Hindustan.

Ivor Jennings, a scholar of political architecture, has determined that the lifespan of our constitution is about seven years. The Constitution has completed 73 years by making Jataka irrelevant. As well as the Republic. The Constitution of Ceylon prepared by Ivor Jennings died in its infancy. We exist because of what we are. There are those who innocently call for a return to Manusmriti.

Manusmriti is the constitution of Hindu Rashtra. Not only the non-Hindus but also a large section of the Hindus will become aliens and untouchables in the Hindu Republic. Citizenship will be based on religion. The Citizenship Amendment Act is just getting started. Nationalism based on humanity and universal brotherhood will give way to narrow and dangerous religious nationalism.

The core of democracy

Our constitution is inclusive. No one is a stranger in the Republic. The Constitution provides for freedom of thought, expression of opinion and expression of ideas. This freedom is the essence of democracy. Today, the freedom under Article 19(1)(a) is being restricted and abused. Critics of democracy are traitors.

There is a section in the Penal Code to punish them. If they cannot be convicted, they can be imprisoned indefinitely as sub-trials. There is a condition for that too. But those who need to hear abusive hate speech are not listening.

Hate speech is directed against Muslims and Christians. Justice Rohington Nariman accused the ruling party of encouraging hate speech through inaction. Justice KM Joseph said anchors of hate channels should be controlled. Hate speech incites crowds ready to turn violent.

Hate speech is a call to genocide. It cannot be allowed in a society where the rule of law prevails. The collapse of the rule of law will spell the end of the republic. The law should be strengthened and the hate speech should be punished. When it is the policy of the rulers to spew the poison of hatred, criminals escape the law. Those who defend such people are the enemies of the republic.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat told Muslims that they should not only give up the attitude of being a coward and be submissive.

India is the world’s largest democracy in terms of the number of voters. But India is not ranked first in the index which is based on excellence. India ranks 93 on the Global Democracy Index. Sweden is in first place. India has a flawed democracy.

Assessments are based on a variety of criteria, such as the government’s stance on democratic protests, moves to limit freedom of expression, and rejection of secularism. India ranks 150th in the global index of press freedom. Norway is in first place out of 180 countries evaluated.

This is the state of our republic, we are proud to be running on a noble constitution. The world does not understand what we feel. In the eyes of the world, India is a country that is fast becoming totalitarian.

Federalism is a policy that recognizes and assimilates diversity. Modi’s federalism is about giving space to states that are not with him. The states are just victims of the Centre. The Center is sending governors to the states urgently. They act against the constitution and create a constitutional crisis.

The Bengal terrorist is now the Speaker of the Rajya Sabha. It questions the power of judicial review of the Court by raising the doctrine of the sovereignty of Parliament. Indira Gandhi was the prime minister who clashed with the judiciary on the basis of the doctrine of the sovereignty of Parliament. Those who do not see the forest for the trees are not getting a comprehensive view of the Constitution. Distorted views and attitudes are detrimental to the healthy existence of the Constitution.

(From Weekly Thought)

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