Ambedkar remembered, but not Constitutional spirit
India celebrated Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar's 128th birth anniversary on Sunday.
India celebrated Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar's 128th birth anniversary on Sunday. While it was necessary to do so to remind ourselves of the great contribution made to the country by Dr Ambedkar, it was regretful that we did not mull over the fate of our very Constitutional spirit.
Are we anywhere near Baba Saheb's goals and have we achieved his dreams? Growing disparities in the society, the financial and social status of the SCs, minorities and STs, should alarm us and push us towards real social reform.
However, given the nature of our political parties and the ideologies of individuals and organisations leading us, we are still working against Dr Ambedkar's dreams. A chailwallah who became a Chowkidar to help Suitwallahs and serve Badawallahs does not understand his own promise 'Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikaas', as his rule only seems to be helping the Bada Babus while the poor farmers, artisans and small traders and vendors continue to suffer in this country.
It is, indeed, a way of life, which recognises liberty, equality, and fraternity as the principles of life and which cannot be divorced from each other: Liberty cannot be divorced from equality; equality cannot be divorced from liberty. Nor can liberty and equality be divorced from fraternity.
Without equality, liberty would produce the supremacy of the few over the many. Equality without liberty would kill individual initiative. Without fraternity, liberty and equality could not become a natural course of things, as Dr Ambedkar stated.
Our Preamble stated categorically that 'We the People…" were giving ourselves this Constitution and we also said we were enacting, adapting and giving ourselves the Constitution. Socialism has slipped out of it.
Secularism has no place now in the country and socio-economic and political justice is still a far cry. Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship apart, even the liberty to dress and eat are being snatched away under this rule.
This being the case, one could always ask when would the country really celebrate Ambedkar's spirit? There is yet another aspect that we are forgetting here. When we declared ourselves as a sovereign nation in the Preamble of the Constitution, we also gave ourselves an internal sovereignty.
Internal sovereignty relates to internal and domestic affairs, and is divided into three organs, namely, the executive, the legislature, the judiciary. We all know how all the three are being relentlessly attacked with a view to manipulating the outcomes of their work nowadays.
Thanks to the independent judiciary which comes to our rescue at all times, we are able to retain semblance of Independence so far. Let us remember that our preamble has been amended only once so far.
On 18 December 1976, during the Emergency in India, the Indira Gandhi government pushed through several changes in the Forty-second Amendment of the Constitution.
Through this amendment, the words "socialist" and "secular" were added between the words "sovereign" and "democratic" and the words "unity of the nation" were changed to "unity and integrity of the nation".
It must be remembered that if the unity is disrupted, the integrity of the nation will be threatened.