National

The Concept of Indianism – An Essay

India is an ancient land. Like its various rivers, different races, which have come from different directions and from different areas, have converged in this land. This land is not the only confluence of great rivers but also of great civilizations. This land has been inhabited by great civilizations. It has been ruled by Hindu Kings, Muslim Kings and even by Christians. India, in its history, did not exist as one single entity in the manner it exists in the post-constitutional era. Pre-constitutional history of India reveals that sometimes it was one single entity, ruled by one King and in other times, it was converted into many independent Countries/States/Principalities and was accordingly ruled by their own rulers.

The subjugation of people of this land by the British Empire put the inhabitants of this land to untold miseries. This land was denuded of most of its natural and material resources. Majority of people of this country were made to live in abject poverty. In order to extricate themselves from the shackles of slavery, the people inhabiting this land, belonging to different faiths, colours, castes, descents and creeds, launched the independence movement. It is this movement, which fused all these otherwise heterogeneous components into one nation. From the bosom of freedom struggle, which struggle, as already stated, had fused the people of all shades into one nation, was born a country named India. It is the huge sacrifices of the people, who constituted one nation, who gave to themselves the Constitution. The Constitution created the State called India. India, thus, became the land of the people, who belonged to different religious denominations, faiths, castes, colours and who were and are having their own different cultures.

The Constitution makers, by their great efforts, vision and wisdom, have chiseled a constitutional person called Indian, irrespective of his/her belonging to any religion, faith, caste, colour or creed.

The aforesaid constitutional provisions, with the preamble in its original form, viz. when it was originally declared, We the people of India having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign democratic republic provide complete evidence that India was constituted into a country having no State religion. The constitutional provisions, reference whereof is made hereinabove, treat all persons/citizens as one single unit. We the people who gave Constitution to themselves, conferred themselves only status of being citizens of India, in other words, called as INDIANS. The Indians in view of the aforementioned provisions, have to be given uniform treatment and cannot be subjected to discrimination on the ground of religion, race, place of birth or descent. An inbuilt mechanism is made to guarantee Indians right to profess their religion and faith. They have been given the freedom to establish their Institutions. India, as already stated, was inhabited by people who came from distant and different areas and belonged to different races, cultures, religions and faiths and settled in the land, now called India. In order to hold together this heterogeneous conglomerate of people, the Constitution was conceived to protect the interests of cross-sections of society and was delivered in a manner so as to sustain it for all times to come.

India owes its existence to the Constitution, which We the people have given to ourselves. We the people have catapulted ourselves to glorious heights by providing a road map in the shape of the Constitution to reach to the pinnacle of moral, material and physical development. The Constitution of India, which We the people have given to ourselves, has guaranteed to the Indians belonging to the different religious denominations, faiths, castes, linguistic and cultural groups to follow the ideals of their lives. The Constitution of India, on the day it was adopted by We the people, thus, declared the people and citizens of this country as one entity, called Indians 42nd amendment of the Constitution, by which the preamble of the Constitution was substituted and expressions secularism and socialism added thereto, it appears has been done only to further clarify the already existing constitutional position, in as much as, the provisions of Constitution do not discriminate between the citizens, who belong to different religions, castes, creeds as also on their places of birth.

In our constitutional scheme, a citizen of India is only an INDIAN. No person can claim himself to be a Hindu nationalist, Muslim nationalist, Sikh nationalist, Buddhist nationalist or Christian nationalist. The constitutional provisions, mention of some of which has been made in this order, does, in loud, clear and unambiguous terms, forbid using of such expression/s. A person, who persists with use of such expression/s and, in fact, believes in such a thought, has to be dealt with and proceeded against in accordance with the mandate contained in the Constitution and other laws of the land. As already stated, India belongs to Indians, who constitute one nation. Constitution of India does not recognize Hindu nationalism, Muslim nationalism, Sikh nationalism, Buddhist nationalism or Christian nationalism. These expressions denote that there is a Hindu nation, Muslim nation, Sikh nation, Buddhist nation or a Christian nation. These expressions or thoughts are antithesis and abhorrent to the Constitution of India. The Constitution, as already stated, has created one nation called India. In our constitutional philosophy, there is only one ism that is Indianism. All other isms are sworn enemies of Indianism. Any person claiming to be Hindu nationalist, Muslim nationalist, Sikh nationalist, Buddhist nationalist or Christian nationalist is not only working against the Indianism but against the very thought of India. In India, there can be forces, which can be bracketed into two groups only, Indians, who are for India and communals/extremists, who are enemies of India. If India, which is created by its Constitution, which we the people have given to ourselves, has to survive, then it is only Indianism, which has to be there and all other isms have to disappear from the firmament of the country called India.

It appears that in terms of Constitution of India, which guarantees all the rights, which include right to practice and profess one’s religion and faith, there was no requirement of bringing in expression secularism in the preamble of the Constitution. This expression has evoked a sharp reaction from a section of the population and divided people of the country into different pigeon holes of different isms. A very serious and potential threat is posed to the very existence of the idea of India by the fringe elements, who take cover under various types of isms other than Indianism. India is not a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist or Christian India. It is India, which is born from the bosom of the unrelenting struggle of millions of people, who, as already stated, were subjected to untold sufferings and miseries by external aggressors. India is a land, which is not only inhabited by people belonging to different religions, faiths, colours, castes and creeds but it also has different geographical dimensions and constraints. This heterogeneous conglomerate is and will be held together by one theme and one concept of being one nation called India, which is born from the bosom of Constitution.

The Constitution has created a State called India. The State comprises of different organs, viz. Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. Each organ of the State has to perform its constitutional duties within the boundaries delineated by the Constitution itself. When the Constitution itself is threatened, which, in turn, poses a potential threat to the very existence of State, then the organs thereof cannot display ostrich syndrome but have to stand up and perform their constitutional duties and obligations so as to ensure that the Constitution and the State created by it, does survive. It is this constitutional obligation, which has impelled upon the conscience of constitutional Court to perform its constitutional duties.

The concept of Indianism is the soul of the Constitution. All other isms, in essence, pose a potential threat to the soul as well as conscience of the Constitution. India and Indians are unique in the whole world as they resemble to different colours of a bright rainbow.

In the aforementioned backdrop, a question of fundamental importance arises. Can any person/s or any organization/s be permitted to create and carve out a constituency on religious plank, when we the people have not provided any scope of the like nature in the Constitution. Now if any person/s or organization/s make/s efforts to create and carve out space for itself on the basis of religion to capture political power, when same is not permissible by the Constitution, then is it not the duty of those, who have taken oath under the Constitution of India to uphold the same by halting such person/s and organization/s in their tracks, lest they preside over the disintegration and dismemberment of this great country called India.

Freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution of India is not absolute. It is said that, in fact, no virtue is absolute. The rights are guaranteed under the Constitution and the citizens are also under constitutional obligation to perform their fundamental duties. Article 51(A)(a) of the Constitution provides that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to abide by Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the national flag and national anthem. The Constitution of India, in express terms, prohibits polarization of people on the grounds of religion, race, caste, creed or descent. Besides, it being a constitutional duty of the authorities, who are at the helm of affairs, to ensure that India stands as one unit, it is the duty of the citizens also to abide by the constitutional provisions. The collective conscience of the nation vouchsafes for India, which we the people have given to ourselves in terms of the Constitution of India. The Constitution of India is not written by the ink but by the blood of we the people. Ours is a constitutional State. The provisions of the Constitution of India do not say that the President, Vice President or Prime Minister of the country should belong to any particular religious denomination. Any citizen of this country can hold such post in accordance with the mandate contained in the Constitution. Any effort to occupy any such post in cruel defiance of the Constitutional provisions has to be stopped.

How to stop the defacement of the Constitution and occupation of the highest constitutional post(s) in violation of constitutional mandate, would require to be answered now.

The Constitution, which is given by the people to themselves and has created the State called India, which State comprises of three principal organs, viz. Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, the affairs thereof are to be conducted in accordance with the spirit and mandate of the Constitution itself. The discussion made in this order would show that the State has no religion. Thus, no office in the State can be occupied by any person and no Legislative Body can be controlled by any organization by invoking the mandate of the people on the basis of religion. Person/s and organization/s, who does not believe in the Constitution of India, by using extra-constitutional methods, cannot be permitted to occupy the high constitutional/political Offices and/or Legislative Bodies. Article 356 of the Constitution of India provides that the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of a State or otherwise if he is satisfied that a situation has arisen, in which the Government of a State cannot be carried in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, he, by issuance of Proclamation, may assume unto himself all or any function/s of the Government of the State and all or any powers vested in or exercisable by the Governor or anybody or authority in the State other than the Legislature of the State; can declare that the power of Legislature of the State shall be exercisable by or under the authority of the Parliament. The President’s further power is to make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to him to be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Proclamation, goes a long way to show that the Government, in all circumstances, has to be carried in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Thus, any person/s and organization/s can assume any constitutional Office and/or a secure berth in Legislative Body only when such person/sand organization/s believes in and conducts its affairs strictly in accordance with the mandate contained in the Constitution. If any person/s and organization/s, in the process of securing high constitutional Office or place in the Legislative Bodies, act in cruel disregard to the constitutional mandate, then the constitutional and statutory authorities have to take steps in accordance with the laws of the land to stop the forward progress of such people. Besides these authorities, the Election Commissioner of India, in terms of article 324, is under constitutional obligation to ensure that person/s and organization/s, who, practice and profess their thoughts, which are outside the purview of Constitution and which constitute potential threat to it, are halted in their tracks in the manner which not only secures but safeguards the unity of India. The Election Commissioner of India, besides taking recourse to the provisions of Representation of Peoples Act can also issue administrative instructions in this behalf.

The very scheme of the constitutional provisions would show that We the people constituted India as a country, which guarantees equality before law and equal protection of laws and prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and also provide equality of opportunity in the matters of public employment for all the citizens and it is provided that no citizen shall, on the ground only of religion, race, caste or sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against, in respect of any employment or office under the State. The protection is accorded to all the citizens to the right to freedom of speech and expression; to assemble peacefully and without arms; to form associations or unions; to move freely throughout the territory of India; to reside and settle in any part of India; to practice or to carry on any profession, trade or business. These are the promises, which constitute some of the fundamental rights contained in Part III of the Constitution of India in terms of its articles 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19. Article 20 thereof also refers to the expression no person and not to a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian etc. and article 21 also provides that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except in accordance with the procedure established by law. Similarly, other provisions of the Constitution, more particularly, appearing in Part III thereof, refer to the person and/or citizen. Article 25 guarantees freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion to all persons. The said provision of the Constitution provides that all person are equally entitled to the aforementioned guarantees. Article 26 of the Constitution guarantees to all its citizens’ freedom to manage religious affairs. Article 27 provides that no person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated for payment of expenses for promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination. Article 28(1) provides no religious instruction shall be provided in any educational Institution wholly maintained out of State funds. Article 28(3) provides no person attending any educational Institution, recognized by the State or receiving aid out of State funds, shall be required to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such Institution or to attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such Institution or in any premises attached thereto unless such person or if such person is a minor, his guardian has given his consent thereto. Article 29 provides protection of the interests of minorities. Article 29(1) provides any section of citizens residing in the territory of India or in any part thereof, having a distinct language, script or culture of its own, shall have a right to conserve the same. Article 29(2) provides no citizen shall be denied admission to any educational Institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them. Article 30 guarantees the rights of minorities, whether based on religion or language, to establish or administer educational Institutions.

The Constitution makers, by their great efforts, vision and wisdom, have chiseled a constitutional person called Indian, irrespective of his/her belonging to any religion, faith, caste, colour or creed.

 

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