SAGARIKA GHATAKROLL NO. – h2017ws014M.A.
IN WOMEN STUDIESSEMESTER – 12017-2019 BATCHUNDERSTANDING POLITICSASSESSMENT – 1 Answer 1 a)A country is governed by a set of policies through a framework of laws, rules and regulations. In a democratic country, Constitution is a fundamental legal document which lays down the basic structure of the government and other powers, functions, rights and duties of its people. There are many articles written about the Constitution of India but only a few of them has critically analysed it. This paper therefore aims to throw light on the positive as well as negative aspects while the making of Constitution.
INTRODUCTIONIndia became Independent on 15th August, 1947 and it was decided to draft a Constitution for the country. To make the Constitution an assembly of the elected representatives of the people was set up which was called the Constituent Assembly. Dr Rajendra Prasad was the President of the Constituent Assembly.The Indian Constitution is the lengthiest written constitution of the world presently which consists of 444 articles, 12 schedules and 24 parts. It defines about the fundamental political principles, fundamental rights, directive principles, duties of the citizens. It was passed on November 26, 1949 by Constituent Assembly and came into application from January 26, 1950. The constitution is said to be partly rigid and partly flexible which means certain provision can be amended by simple majority of parliament and certain provisions can be amended by two-third majority in parliament.Every Constitution focuses to build up a political structure based on certain principles and ideologies.
The ideological background and philosophical knowledge of members of Constituent Assembly also had certain level of limitations and advantages as well. The paper points towards the critical analyse of the ideological foundation of Indian Constitution.CRITICAL EVALUATIONNegative Criticisms· Inclusiveness is an important element in creating a balance between economic and political scenario. The Indian National Movement during the freedom struggle failed to include people from all creeds, castes and religions of India for the fight towards independence. As a result it became a democratic shortcoming and biasness among class-caste in the process of national development with regards to the nation’s constitution and fundamental rights of the people.· “The two things – the social reordering and the fight for political Swaraj – must go hand in hand” which was preached by Mahatma Gandhi.
He meant that the prevailing social order must be rearranged so that everyone is treated as equals and those who have dealt with injustice in the past must be given justice. Therefore, the aim of the nationalism is political freedom and social liberation. Indian National Congress in their first session recognized it and provided a platform to unify.
However, the challenge was to act upon the unifying force and use it a medium to bring about social development in India but Indian National Congress was unable to bring this together in liberal political framework and as a result India emerged as a socially divided and disjoined country in its immediate years of independent democracy. · The members of Constituent Assembly did not represent the whole of India as it was elected on the basis of limited franchise. Only 28.5% of the adult population and 14% of the total population had voting rights in 1946. Secondly, the Assembly was not directly elected by the people but indirectly elected by the Provincial Legislative Assemblies which themselves were elected on the basis of restricted franchise. The Constitution that they prepared was not put before the people for their final approval in a referendum.
The Constituent Assembly of India elected as such was criticised both by the Indians and the Britishers as being unrepresentative of the people. · The Constitution of India is a borrowed constitution. The members of the drafting committee were influenced by the British model of parliamentary democracy and also a number of principles that is the judicial review & federalism from the US Constitution.
From the Constitution of Canada the principles adopted were federal government and distribution of power between central and the state governments and placing residuary powers with the central government. The directive principles of state policy were embraced from Ireland and the fundamental rights were taken from Germany. From Australia, the idea of Concurrent list of powers was adopted. Thus, the originality in the Indian Constitution is questioned.
· One of the biggest flaws of our constitution is the tough language in which it has been drafted. Being the sovereign document of our country it should have been drafted in a language easily comprehendible by the citizens. · One of the important parts of the Constitution is to secure justice for all but the current judicial system of India is somewhere failing in their purpose. Today, there are still a large number of cases that are pending. Also the procedure to approach the courts is very tiresome and all the people can afford to invest their time and money. The guideline stated in the judgement of D K Basu v. State of West Bengal which talks about prisons is rarely followed. Thousands of prisoners are still in jail, living in inhuman conditions and are denied basic rights to live.
Positive Criticisms· Framing the Constitution involved strenuous effort which Constituent Assembly effectively supported to produce the lengthiest Constitution of the world. First, the partition of the country followed by the violence in Punjab and Bengal led to the shocking state of nervousness among the leaders who immediately started working on building confidence in people about the governability of the country. Moreover, the task of integrating over 500 princely states in the Indian Union was challenging as the position of the rulers of the states like Junagadh, Hyderabad and Jammu and Kashmir were taken away.· Second, after the partition more than 10 per cent of the total Muslim population of the country was left in India whose cultural and religious identities need to be protected. At the same time, India itself had a diverse cultural base of people, it was a challenge to provide sufficient constitutional provisions to protect the distinct religious-cultural identities of the citizens, without compromising the unity and integrity of the country.
· Third, the national movement has created a high level of expectation among the common people in general and marginalized sections of the society, like Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other backward classes to experience equal rights, free from discrimination and exploitation in any form and opportunities to enjoy other rights which they are entitled to.· Fourth, the spirit of liberal democratic traditions were so strong among the majority of national leaders irrespective of the preparedness to experience a democracy based on universal adult franchise as well as the hidden challenges which will be appear in the future. · The makers of the Constitution had to prepare a lengthy and comprehensive document that contained not only the classical tenets of a constitution but also a number of unconventional provisions as well so that it is easy to access for any matters related to Indian Constitution.
CONCLUSIONNumerous ideals has been cherished by the leaders of national movement while shaping of social, economic, political, cultural and religious systems of governance for the people of India. The Constitution of India came out to be fairly accepted scheme of things among the various perspectives. It also carried the limitation from the part of Constituent Assembly which gave rise to further amending policies and laws tiring to be as comprehensive as possible in terms of providing equality, justice and free from discrimination.REFERNCESBhargava, R.
(2008). Politics and Ethnics of the Indian Constitution. New Delhi, India: Oxford University Press.Chakrabarty, B. & Pandey, R. (2008).
Indian Government and Politics. New Delhi, India: SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd.Khanna, H. (1981).
Making of India’s Constitution. New Delhi, India: Eastern Books Company. ANSWER 1 (b)The ten provisions which should be added in the Constitution are:-1) Reservations based on income – At present the reservations based on caste, religion etc. are being misused by the people who do not actually in need of this benefit and as a result the deserving candidates has to suffer. It would be better had the target groups been formed on the basis of income and not caste and religion.2) Discrimination against LGBTs, Section 377 – Any citizen should have the right to choose one’s partner irrespective of gender. The implementation of Section 377 is essential as every citizen has the right to live with dignity.
3) Blasphemy Law – This law was introduced by the British in 1860 which says that anyone outrages any religion with the intention of maligning will be punished. Since this law goes against the secular democracy, it can be modified and reframed for the protection of the ones who are affected by the outrage caused by the religious violence.4) Juvenile Justice Act – The punishment for the heinous crimes should be changed especially in case of minors. According to the law, if the crime committed by a juvenile the maximum sentencing is to be in special home for the period of three years which shows that the punishment for any petty crime and rape cases are the same.5) Women being allowed to work in night shifts and ensuring their safety in the work- Till the present day women are not allowed to work in factories during the night hours, even though there is demand. Apart from allowing night shifts for women, the law need to ensure their safe working environment.
6) Right to Property – According to the Hindu personal laws, women still are deprived of property rights. In the absence of the spouse, the property is being inherited by the husband’s heirs. “Even if the deceased woman was ill-treated in her marital home, her husband’s mother or father will get her property instead of her own mother or father,” says Kirti Singh, the family and property lawyer who authored the UN report. The provision should give right to the women to be the first nominee to claim the husband’s property after his death and second nominee to the children in the absence of the mother.7) Marital Rape should be punishable – It is believed that women in India are 40 per cent more likely to experience rape by their husbands than by a strangers. Indian Penal Code does not define marital rape and thus did not consider it as a rape due to scared nature of marriage in Indian culture. This provision will protect the women from sexual abuse which is the major cause of violence against women.8) Prostitution should be legalized – Various comprehensive reports of WHO, CSWB, UNAIDS and AWHRC reveals that most of the prostitutes in India are minors and the number in rapidly increasing in the recent years, a large number of sex workers suffer from HIV/AIDS, do not have access to health care facilities.
To regulate this industry is it necessary to legalize it and implement the laws in organized way. The present law do not give any protection to sex workers thus abolition of existing laws and implementation of new laws is required. 9) Compulsory training of teachers in Government schools – Right to education provides every child with free and compulsory education but this education is of no use if proper trained teachers are not there to teach them. Many government schools especially in rural areas, the level of teaching is quiet low and therefore a provision for compulsory training for the teachers on a regular basis is required as they are makers of our future generation.10) Every student at graduation and post-graduation level should dedicate at least four hours a week in community service or social work, this will help them to bring sensitivity towards the unprivileged sections of the society and develop the understanding about the life in a better way.
Looking at the huge gap between various classes this initiative will help to build up a structure of understanding within the students and generate their thinking towards more positive aspects of nation building. “A nation culture resides in the hearts and the soul of its people” -Mahatma GandhiKeeping in mind the issues related to the nation the provisions made by the Government should benefit all the sections of the society and should be free from any form of discrimination.