Written By Sumukha KC
India as a country has had many incidents which changed the course of our country. Mangal Pandey’s first revolt against British rule in India which sparked the First War of Independence or the “Sepoy Mutiny”, Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful battle against British rule which reaped independence for India, India’s first successful nuclear bomb tests in Pokhran in 1995 which was the dawn of a new era in nuclear science for India or the recent Mars Orbiter Mission in 2014 and list will go on. India has always had great incidents or moments that paved way for the greater course of our country. Out of all the incidents, the Drafting of the Constitution of India by Dr B. R. Ambedkar has been a major milestone that changed the course of our country.
The Constitution of India perfectly uplifts justice through its laws without hindering the freedom of its citizens. The preamble which is an introduction to the constitution states its objectives to secure justice, liberty, equality to all citizens and promote fraternity to maintain unity and integrity of the nation.
Ancient India didn’t provide the perfect society for lower caste people to live in, there was discrimination based on caste, creed, race, sex or place of birth. Certain people belonging to certain castes were assigned to do specific works and there weren’t allowed to do other work than the ones assigned to them. There was also a practice of naming a caste after the kind of work people did. For example, lower caste or ‘Harijans’ as called by Gandhi, were never allowed to learn or study Vedas and if they were found to be doing it, they were usually punished or banished out of the village. Harijans weren’t allowed to enter the streets where upper caste people lived and they weren’t allowed inside temples. There was also this practice of untouchability which hugely discriminated against people. All these age-old prejudices were prohibited by Articles 14, 15, 16, 17.
Articles 14, 15, 16, 17 to be put in a single statement abolishes untouchability and discrimination based on caste, creed, race, sex or place of birth, also stating citizens would be treated equally and public employments would be equal for all. Dr Ambedkar who himself hailed from what society had considered lower caste had faced enough situations where he and his community had been treated as anything but human. So, someone who had very closely seen and in fact experienced such discriminations, Dr Ambedkar was the perfect person who could have drafted India’s constitution, not only from the emotional perspective but also from an academic and intellectual perspective.
Post independent India needed a start, a new dawn which wasn’t supposed to be overshadowed by its past and the constitution gave that exact path following onto which India could become the nation it was destined to be. A nation where kids could play with each other, drink water from the same tap, where everyone could enter temples, where people wouldn’t be scared to cross paths was the original destiny which the constitution arguably succeeded in making India reach.
But every pro has its con. The con here is the amendments that have affected the main motive of article 15 and punched secularism in its gut. The 95th amendment brought to action in 2009 extended the period of reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. This wasn’t a great amendment that encouraged anti-secular practices and overshadows secularism. This would discourage youth who would have dreamt of studying some courses in some college but the dream wasn’t fulfilled because of an amendment that was wholly biased towards a single community.
Even the moon has dark spots so I guess just a single amendment shouldn’t and will not affect the purity and goodwill of the constitution. But there would always be a feeling that the great constitution which has adapted some of the best laws from all over the world ended up being a next to perfect constitution.
Featured Image Courtesy – DNA India