Today, I make this post to share the few disappointments I have with this constitution. Our constitution provides us with our fundamental rights, and other important stuff, okay. But, there are problems with this hand-written document.
Firstly, a major concern for each one of the general category student or job seeker – Reservation. It has been tough enough for each one of us to secure a seat in our favorite college, get a good job, or secure a scholarship in a competitive exam. We loose our seats to those who are comparatively less deserving in terms of working hard to achieve the goal, but were fortunate enough to be born with a backward caste.
Art 15(4): Special provisions can be made for the advancement of socially andeducationally backward classes of citizens including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.[Inserted by 1st amendment, 1951]
Art 15(5): Empowers Legislatures to provide for reservation for any socially andeducationally backward class including SCs and STs in educational institutes including private unaided institute. (Though same has not been provided in private unaided institutes)[Inserted by 93rd amendment, 2005]
Art 16(4): Empowers Legislatures to provide reservation to any backward class in government jobs if it is not adequately represented. This will again include SCs and STs obviously.[Was a part of the original Constitution also]
Art 16(4A): SCs and STs (only and not any other backward class) may also be provided for reservation in promotion in government jobs with consequential seniority.[Inserted by 77th Agreement, 1995]
Art 16(4B): Any unfilled vacancy of seats reserved for SCs and STs in jobs are not to be considered in the ceiling of 50% as has been fixed by the Supreme Court in the judgement of Indra Sawhney v Union of India, 1992.[Inserted by 81st Amendment, 2000. Thus should also be considered by some people as answer to BJP’s reservation policy as NDA was in power then.]
If you read the above mentioned parts from our constitution, we see that it provides the backward castes the reservation that they get. But, most of these have been added later by the government in rule. What did the original constitution said about the reservation is also important to know.
When Indian Constitution was in drafting phase there were a lot of discussions on reservation. Dr. Ambedkar was appointed as the chairman of the Drafting Committee. Congress did not want to commit the same mistake as was done during the British time which granted separate electorate for Muslims and therefore reservations were approved.
Some minorities like the Parsis voluntarily gave up this right. India’s first Prime Minister Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru while addressing the Constituent Assembly in May, 1949 said “I try to look upon the problem not in the sense of religious minority, but rather in the sense of helping backward groups in the country. I do not look at it from a religious point of view or a caste point of view, but from a caste point of view that a backward class ought to be helped, and I am glad that this reservation will be limited to ten years”. Initially reservations in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies were set to expire after 10 years but it was extended upto 2010 by successive amendments. By 95th Amendment of Indian Constitution in 2010 the reservation for SC’s and ST’s in Lok Sabha and States Assemblies were extended to 2060.
So, basically, the caste based reservation was only for a period of 10 years, which was later exceeded till 2060. During independence, the state of the backward classes was really bad, keeping in mind that untouchability used to be a common practice then. But, people in power later said that these castes still need the reservation as they are still underprivileged. Anyone who’s familiar with the Indian politics knows that all this is just for the vote bank. If the reservation was on economic background basis, I guess no one would’ve complained as much. But, there are many SCs with strong economic background, who really don’t need the reservation they get.
We don’t have all those fundamental rights now that the constitution provided us in 1950. This includes, the right to property. Article 31 of the constitution, making right to property a fundamental right was moved to Article 300A later, giving the government the right to take your property.
You can run for becoming the most powerful person of the country irrespective of the crimes you’ve committed, or how educated you are. But, if you were sent jail for smallest of a thing, you would not even get a government job.
Next, it fails to understand that a person below 18 years of age is not always juvenile. Nirbhaya case is a perfect example. Those people, who raped an innocent girl to death were let go after a jail sentence just because they were younger than 18!
Even though there is a law asking the government to provide free education upto 14 years, but little is being done to implement this. If the education is being provided, the education quality is too bad. Education is an important part of a person’s development, and our constitutions gives very less instructions to the government to provide good quality education. Its shameful for the nation who gave the world zero, and trigonometry, that private schools are providing better education than the government schools.
Lack of evidence: Hundreds (or maybe thousands) of criminals are let go without any punishment because there were not sufficient evidences.
I do respect our Constitution, its ideals, the efforts that went into framing it, but I feel if the government has the right to mend it, it requires a bit of editing, without thinking of the vote bank for once.
At the end, a very Happy Republic Day to every Indian reading my post.