India: Failing Constitution or Falling Governance

G. L. Batra, Writer & formerly Addl. Secretary, Indian Parliament and Chairman, Public Service Commission of the Indian State of Haryana

13450125_1010089725753671_2235245469292625216_nAuthor: G. L. Batra

The common man is right to blame his political representatives or politicians and the judiciary for delay in justice. Politicians are also blamed for failing to control lawlessness, but, is it not the duty of every free Indian citizen, who enjoys Constitutional rights to abide by the laws which have been framed for him?

Dr. Rajendra Prasad, President of the Constituent Assembly on Nov 26, 1949 in his concluding address to that august body said,

“The welfare of the country will depend upon the way in which the country is administered. That will depend upon the men who administer it. It is a trite saying that a country can have only the Government it deserves…If the people who are elected are capable and men of character and integrity, they would be able to make the best of even an imperfect Constitution. If they are lacking in these, the Constitution cannot help the country. After all a Constitution like a machine is a lifeless thing. It acquires life because of the men who control it and operate it, and, India needs today nothing more than a set off honest men who will have the interest of the country before them”.

Great visionaries, learned scholars and eminent administrators framed the Constitution of India. This is apparent from the sentiments underlying in Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s speech where he stated that it is meant for ‘gentlemen’ only. The founding fathers of our Constitution were men of impeccable credentials and unimpeachable integrity. The spirit of his speech is clear – if our elected representatives are men of competence and more importantly, character. Only then would be able to make the best of the Constitution even (and if) it is defective. Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, popularly known as the father of our Constitution has said,

“However good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are called to work it happen to be a bad lot. However bad a Constitution may be, it may turn out to be good if those who are called to work it, happen to be a good lot”.

The circumstances today force us to believe that the fond hopes of the founding fathers of our Constitution have failed to bear fruit, much to our pain and anguish as, before our eyes the very fiber of our country is being eroded, leading us into utter confusion, lawlessness and peril.

In spite of all this, we still assure ourselves that we are not the inheritors of a legacy of timidity, cowardice or pessimism. Sagacity and tolerance form a bond, which unites us. We still have confidence in our legislators, who frame our laws, and our administrators, who administer them. Our faith in the judiciary too is rock-solid and we can be sure that if, and whenever, laws are framed, which are inconsistent with the soul and spirit of the Constitution, and arbitrary orders are passed by administrators, the Courts will set these aside, without fear or favour.



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