We the people have to #SaveTheConstitution
By Vijaya Pushkarna
“When you hold this small leather-bound book in your hands, you are holding the very destiny of this nation written 62 years ago”
-- K K Venugopal, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India.
The 89 year old Attorney General of India wrote that in 2016 and it was his foreword to the ninth edition of the beautiful little copy of the Constitution of India, published by the Eastern Book Company, Lucknow.
He ended it saying“…this little book in our hands has revolutionized the lives of the people. We have a long march ahead and day –after-day the sacred words of the Directive Principles of the Constitution have brought solace to the billions of people of this country; and that is why I believe that this elegant book should be in the pockets of every Indian, enabling him to derive inspiration from the greatness of the ideas contained in the Constitution of India, which we, the people of India, have given unto ourselves”.
The Constitution has without a doubt more than revolutionized the lives of people. Remember the Emergency? The Constitution has given hope to the most marginalized. The poorest of poor Dalits living in the margins of society are proud of the fact that B R Ambedkar, a Dalit, was the architect of the Constitution of India.
Now, 65 years after we the people, gave ourselves the Constitution, it took a BJP leader to drag it into a needless and communal controversy.
Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi virtually maintained that the Constitution was drafted by B N Rau ,a Brahmin, and given to Ambedkar, who has got all the credit for it. Trivedi said Ambedkar himself had said so in Parliament.
It was the by now all too familiar show of BJP leaders twisting facts to suit their agenda of the moment.
What had in fact happened was, in the Constituent Assembly on Nov 25, 1949, Ambedkar had customarily thanked those who were part of his team as they drafted the Constitution. “The credit given to me does not really belong to me. It belongs to B N Rau” , Ambedkar had modestly said.
Trivedi went on to ask, "Do you know that constitutions of 60 countries were studied and then our draft Constitution was prepared? Do you know who presented that draft to Dr B R Ambedkar? We all take Dr B R Ambedkar's name with respect when it comes to the Constitution .History tells us that Brahmins always stand behind and promote others. It was Rau who kept Ambedkar ahead of him.”
The Gujarat Assembly speaker cannot be forgiven this petty behavior even if the platform where he said this was second edition of `Mega Brahmin Business Summit,” celebrating , beyond business, all things Brahmin.
The Constitution , not surprisingly, is being mentioned by almost every Indian who has hit the streets in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act even as scores of petition seeking its annulment are pending in the Supreme Court.
The RSS has made no bones about its views of the Constitution. It believes that it is a compilation of selections from Constitutions of the western world. The Sangh’s mouthpiece, Organiser, maintained in an editorial of 1949, that there was nothing Indian about it. M S Golwalkar has said the Constitution had “absolutely nothing which can be called our own”
Those with these views , if alive today, would be amazed to see how our Constitution is owned, as much by the unlettered millions as those who can quote it from start to finish—like Pranab Da!
Asked whether his budget was tilted towards the rural or urban India, the former President of India who was the finance minister, replied : “It is tilted towards India that is Bharat”
“India that is Bharat” are the first four words of The Constitution of India.