Thursday, August 10, 2006

Indian History Trivia (5): When did India become a Socialist country?

The preamble of Indian Constitution reads:

"WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC, and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;

and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION."


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"Socialism" is a dirty word these days... At least among the upward-mobile, urban, literate (educated?), Indian middle class... And many bemoan the "socialism" (which, by a leap of/across logic, gets automatically equated with dictatorship, corruption, inefficiency, stagnation, etc.), and how it kept the country - notwithstanding its history and point of reference - from miraculously transfoming into something like South Korea, Japan, China (despite its being the highest in terms of income disparities), or even USA (...or at least like the top 5% of that country)!!

In any case, interestingly, the 1949 Indian Consitution does not proclaim that India is "socialist" country... that the new independent India opted to be a "socialist" country is actually a myth!!!

The original Constitution of India - as can be seen below - says: "We THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solumnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC.... Nothing about being a "socialist" country

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Nehru, himself, was in favour of a mixed economy. In 1956, he said (I think when the Industrial Policy Resolution was ratified):

"I think it is advantageous for the public sector to have a competitive private sector to keep it up to the mark... I feel that, if the private sector... is abolished completely, there is a risk of the public sector becoming slow, not having that urge and push behind it."

So when did India become a "Socialist" country?

Actually, almost 3 decades later - and more than a decade after Nehru's death!!!

The two additional words "SOCIALIST" and "SECULAR" were added to the Indian Constitution by the controversial 42nd Amendment, by Indira Gandhi in 1976, during the Emergency, and came into effect on January 3, 1977.

...Just a bit of historical trivia!!

Previous in the series:
(1) The Story of Junagadh

(2)The Foundations of "Nehruvian Socialism"

(3) A "Nation-in-Making", and

(4) Legacy of "The Raj"

6 comments:

Shashikant said...

From Wikipedia:

The preamble is not a part of the Constitution of India as it is not enforceable in a court of law.

Sad, isn't it?

BTW, it would be nice if you attribute the source of the image.

THIRD WORLD WAR said...

India should convene a new constituent assembly to draft a new capitalist constitution for the post-nation state world, which Buddhist China may also adopt after it overthrows the evil Communism.
http://clearblogs.com/IndianConstitution/
http://indiatalking.com/blog/reforms4indianconstitution/
http://indiatalking.com/blog/kalkigaur/
REWRITE INDIAN CONSTUTION- CONVENE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY- KALKI GAUR
(1) Indian Constitution drafted in 1950 and undergone numerous amendments during one-dominant party system has become outdated and India needs a new constitutional assembly to draft a totally new constitution. Kalki Gaur has proposed a new Draft of a Constitution of India. Just as victorious USA imposed constitutions on Germany, Italy, Japan, Afghanistan and Iraq, similarly British Empire imposed 1950 Constitution on India to keep India week, instable and divided. It is time to convene a new Constitutional Assembly of India to draft de novo a Constitution of India. The 1950 Constitution is badly drafted and became outdated by numerous amendments, and 60 years is a too long a period for a Constitution to remain relevant and suitable for the modern aspirations of a Rising India, the Super Power of the world and in an age where archaic-nations states are giving way for continental-size regional supra-national federations. We need a new Constitution suitable for reunification of Indian Empire and to allow Greater India to emerge in Southeast Asia and Central Asia. It is a time to adopt a new constitution drafted by the new generation of India suitable for Global Power India.
(2) Prakash Karat of the CPM asked for EC reform. Once again, the CPI(M) and the Election Commission of India are on a collision course. In a direct attack on the Election Commission, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said he had never seen a more biased Election Commission and wants EC to be accountable. The CPM made it clear that unless something is done to stem the rot, the commission - one of India's finest institutions since independence, will degenerate the way so many other institutions have been destroyed in the country. Bitter with their Bengal experience, where the Election Commission held almost a month long elections spread over five phases, the CPI(M) has now prepared a note that raises the issue of reforming the EC of India. The CPI(M) plans to circulate it among all political parties. The CPI(M) wants a legislation that will clearly spell out the power of the Commission as well as ensure political neutrality. "Here we have a commission that told us to our face, elections in Bengal are held according to Rig veda." said Prakash Karat, on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 in New Delhi. Prakash Karat wants to mould Indian Election Commission to make it similar to Chinese Election Commission and to make Indian Democracy similar to the Chinese democracy, the motherland of every CPM Communist in India. Perhaps Indians should work to overthrow Communism in China and install new Constitution of China similar to Indian Constitution.
(2) Some of the reforms suggested by CPI(M) demanded include: (a) No election commissioner should be associated with any political party even after his retirement. Kalki Gaur supports this reform.
(b) An Election Commissioner should not go on to become a member of any political party or a member of parliament and they should undertake an oath to this effect at the time of appointment The government should consult the leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India before naming election commissioners There should be greater clarity on the powers of election observers. Kalki Gaur supports this reform.
(3) Whether or not this note changes the way the Election Commission functions, but it will surely generate an intense debate. "It is a democratic country and everyone has the right to express their views. He said that former ECs cannot get associated with politics? I agree with that view," said N Gopalaswamy, Chief Election Commissioner.
(4) Populists and Neoconservatives make following suggestions regarding the Election process, electoral lists:
(A) All such politicians, voters and officials that conspired to enroll illegal aliens from Bangladesh into Indian electoral lists after 1951, should receive mandatory five year jail imprisonment and fine of Rs. 100,000 per case of illegal aliens, and debarred from holding any political office for the period of five years.
(B) All illegal aliens from Bangladesh that entered India after January 1, 1951 and their descendants even if born in India, must be removed from all electoral rolls, and deported from India.
(C) All political organizations that opposed Indian Freedom Movement, or conspired for the partition of India in 1947, and partition of India in 1935, and worked towards secession of Khula from India should be derecognized as political parties in India.
(D) No person holding a criminal record should have right to vote and contest any elections in India.
(E) No person holding any Black money more than Rs. 10 lacs or tax evader for more than Rs. 1 lac should be eligible to contest for any political office. All candidates must get a clearance from Tax authorities that their tax payments are current and they do not hold any black money.
(F) Any act of any government in power using the government officials for furtherance of election campaign must get deterrent punishment.
(5) People of India should adopt the Indian constitution presented in Kalki Gaur Blog URL http://clearblogs.com/indianconstutiton/
http://360.yahoo.com/hindustanempire/
http://indiatalking.com/blog/reforms4indianconstitution/
http://indiatalking.com/blog/kalkigaur/
KALKI GAUR EMAIL dilomatkalkigaur@yahoo.com

(38) Article 38: Election Commission of India
(0)(38B) Article 38B. Election Commission of India
Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an election commission
(1) The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to Parliament and to the Legislature of every State and of elections to the offices of President and Vice-President held under this Constitution shall be vested in a Commission (referred to in this Constitution as the Election Commission).
(2) The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that the President makes behalf by Parliament.
(3) When any other Election Commissioner is so appointed the Chief Election Commissioner shall act as the Chairman of the Election Commission.
(4) Before each general election to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of each State, and before the first general election and thereafter before each biennial election to the Legislative Council of each State having such Council, the President may also appoint after consultation with the Election Commission such Regional Commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the Election Commission in the performance of the functions conferred on the Commission.
(5) Subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Election Commissioners and the Regional Commissioners shall be such as the President may by rule determine:
Provided that the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court and the conditions of service of the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment:
Provided further that any other Election Commissioner or a Regional Commissioner shall not be removed from office except on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner.
(6) The President, or the Governor of a State, shall, when so requested by the Election Commission, make available to the Election Commission or to a Regional Commissioner such staff as may be necessary for the discharge of the functions conferred on the Election Commission.
(0)(38C) Article 38C. Single Electoral Roll
No person to be ineligible for inclusion in, or to claim to be included in a special, electoral roll on grounds of religion, race, caste or sex
There shall be one general electoral roll for every territorial constituency for election to either House of Parliament or to the House or either House of the Legislature of a State and no person shall be ineligible for inclusion in any such roll or claim to be included in any special electoral roll for any such constituency on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or any of them.
(0)(38D) Article 38D. Elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assemblies of States to be on the basis of adult suffrage
The elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of every State shall be on the basis of adult suffrage; that is to say, every person who is a citizen of India and who is not less than eighteen years of age on such date as may be fixed in that behalf by or under any law made by the appropriate Legislature and is not otherwise disqualified under this Constitution or any law made by the appropriate Legislature on the ground of non-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal practice, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter at any such election.
(0)(38E) Article 38E. Power of Parliament to make provision with respect to elections to Legislatures
Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may from time to time by law make provision with respect to all matters relating to, or in connection with, elections to either House of Parliament or to the House or either House of the Legislature of a State including the preparation of electoral rolls, the delimitation of constituencies and all other matters necessary for securing the due constitution of such House or Houses.
(0)(38F) Article 38F. Power of Legislature of a State to make provision with respect to elections to such Legislature
Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and in so far as provision in that behalf is not made by Parliament, the Legislature of a State may from time to time by law make provision with respect to all matters relating to, or in connection with, the elections to the House or either House of the Legislature of the State including the preparation of electoral rolls and all other matters necessary for securing the due constitution of such House or Houses.
(0)(38G) Article 38G. Bar to interference by courts in electoral matters
Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution - (a) the validity of any law relating to the delimitation of constituencies or the allotment of seats to such constituencies made or purporting to be made, shall not be called in question in any court;
(b) no election to either House of Parliament or to the House or either House of the Legislature of a State shall be called in question except by an election petition presented to such authority and in such manner as may be provided for by or under any law made by the appropriate Legislature.
(0)(38H) Article 38H. Special provision as to elections to Parliament in the case of Prime Minister and Speaker
© 2006 Author Kalki Gaur, “Populist Constitution of India”
Email DiplomatKalkiGaur@Yahoo.Com;
Web Blog http://360.yahoo.com/HindustanEmpire/ http://clearblogs.com/indianconstitution/
http://indiatalking.com/blog/reform4indianconstitution/

Madhukar said...

ooops! Kalki

thanks for this "mouthful"/brain-"****" comment

clearly, you have a point to make... except that I am afaid, I did not get it

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