When the RSS/BJP first came to power, they wanted to review the constitution. To this anti-national move of the RSS/BJP Government, India’s then President, K.R. Narayanan, asked if the constitution has failed, or we failed. The RSS/BJP Government then changed the title of the committee to the review of “working” of the constitution. However, the constitution that came into existence today in 1950 is the public document that came into being after much debates and discussions that lasted for nearly three years and it has a history of many years of working of Indian government and hence electoral systems decades before. The constitution gave birth to Indian republic and handed over power to the people, in which the governor become the slave of the governed, and the governed the master.
In order to have this reversal of the role that governed becoming the masters of their destiny, the Parliament plays a role through its system of debates and discussion and hence in the Indian political system, the opposition parties are as much important as the ruling parties.
Let us look at what has failed the constitution.
The solitary answer is the caste and currently rising communalism in India that has failed the constitution. The constitution promised all the citizens of India Justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity. It was like handing out a blank account payee cheque to the larger body of India’s Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, the OBCs, and the religious minorities (who make more than 90 percent of India’s current population, if the population figures are made public), but when they went to the bank (the Government), they found that they could not cash their cheques. They are still waiting for their cheques to be cashed. The constitution of India promptly abolished the practice of untouchability and subsequent laws made it a punishable offense. Even today, the practice of India is prevalent and strongly practice throughout the length and breadth of India.
Can we say caste failed the constitution? No, the caste is a human institution and those who are at the helms of this institution have not given up their privileges which are accumulated through the historical processes have not given up their hold on the power. In reality, the so-called upper castes in India have failed to do anything to realize the goals of the constitution and hence strengthening Indian republic. This has been made clear by the RSS chief yesterday when he remarked that the politics is a reflection of the society as the society is based on the caste, so is the polity and the ultimate beneficiary of the caste system are India’s handful of the so-called upper castes.
The RSS/BJP wants to bring back the codes of Manu and they have the audacity to talk against the constitution of India, which means talking against Indian republic and by the legal logic it is an act of sedition. The caste system has affected every single institution in this country. The Indian media is fully castiest: the 90 percent of Indians are absent from it. Such is the case of Judiciary, businesses, and any other sector.
Directly linked to the caste is the phenomena of communalism. The communalism has become the handmaiden of the upper castes who try to create the “pseudo” identity of Hinduism to mobilise the lower castes in the name of “fifth columnists” propaganda by targeting the religious minorities such as Muslims and Christians. Besides, many other disturbing trends in India, these two trends have become the clearest and present danger to India’s Republic.
Author – Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist