India Today

Surrender of the Institutions

Public institutions such as the courts and media, guardians of our civil liberties, have faced unprecedented obstruction and bullying.

On November 15, 1948, India's Constituent Assembly rejected an amendment proposed by K.T. Shah (Bihar, General) to Article 1. It read that 'India shall be a Secular, Federal, Socialist Union of States'. He was told that the Constitution is but a mechanism for the purpose of regulating the work of the various organs of the state. "It was somewhat new to me," responded K.T. Shah "to hear that a Constitution is a mechanism...and that any desire to include in it any aspiration of the people might be regarded as somewhat out of place".

But the incorporation of aspirations is not enough. Citizens have to be protected against the fatal tendency of all governments to wield awesome power. The Constitution, thereby, institutionalised power,

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