68th Anniversary/Adoption of the Indian Constitution:
An interesting fact about the Indian Constitution adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India (CA) on November 26, 1949 is that out of 35 constitutional polities born after World War II, India is the only country which survives with its Constitution in tact. All other countries have fallen prey to totalitarianism, civil war and military take-over. It is not that Indian democracy has had smooth sailing entirely. It is not that the constitutional structure has had no infirmities, India has not been able to do real justice to the have nots. However, only in India has a foundational document –the Constitution --based on liberal democracy and secularism been able to survive. Its emphasis on an all-inclusive polity assuring social, political and economic justice was, in essence a continuation of the anti-imperialist legacy of the national movement.
Constitution framing was arduous. It took 2 years, 11 months and 18 days of hard work after which the Constituent Assembly (CA) adopted the Constitution on November 26, 1949. As many as 284 members signed the document when it was drizzling outside. It was also decided that the whole Constitution would be enforced on January 26, 1950 to be then celebrated as the Republic Day. This great accomplishment was celebrated not only in India but the world over. In almost all parts of India there were jubilant scenes celebrating the occasion.
However, there was one significant exception. The Hindutva camp led by RSS which had consciously denigrated the anti-British freedom struggle mourned this historic achievement. Three days after the CA passed Constitution the RSS’ English organ, Organizer on November 30, 1949, in an editorial, rejected it and demanded the archaic, Manusmriti, as the constitution. It read:
“But in our Constitution, there is no mention of the unique constitutionaldevelopment in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day, his laws as enuniciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But tour constitutional pundits that means nothing”.
Even after Independence was attained, the RSS kept on denigrating the Constitution of India. From MS Golwalkar, (Guru) to most of the present Hindutva rulers including the Indian prime minister, they have rejected in totality the Indian Constitution in the following words:
“Our Constitution too is just a cumbersome and heteregoneous piecing together of various articles from various constitutions of western countries. It has absolutely nothing which can be called our own. Is there a single word of reference in its guidling principles as to what our national mission is and what our keynote in life is?”[i]
This hatred towards democratic-secular Indian Constitution overflows in everyday prarthana (prayer) of RSS which worships Hindu Rashtra and pledges to accomplish a Hindu state. It reads:
“Affectionate Motherland, I eternally bow to you/O Land of Hindus, you have reared me in comfort/O Sacred Land, the great creator of good, may this body of mine be dedicated to you/I again and again and again bow before you /O God akmighty, we the integral part of the Hindu Rashtra salute you in reverenve/for your cause have we girded upour loins/give us your blessings for its accomplishment." [ii]
Importantly, the RSS organ Organizer in its issue on the very eve of Independence, dated 14 August, 1947, rejected the whole concept of a composite nation (under the editorial title ‘Whither’):
“Let us no longer allow ourselves to be influenced by false notions of nationhood. Much of the mental confusion and the present and future troubles can be removed by the ready recognition of the simple fact that in Hindusthan only the Hindus form the nation and the national structure must be built on that safe and solid foundation, the nation itself must be built up of Hindus, on Hindu traditions, culture, ideas and aspirations..
RSS not only decried democratic-secular Indian polity but all those symbols which represented an all-inclusive India. It was ruthless in denigrating tri-colour or national flag.. On the eve of independence the RSS mouth-piece,Organiser, in its issue dated August 14, 1947, rejected this choice in the following harsh words:
“The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give may give in our hands the tricolor but it will never be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country.”
If the RSS is dead against the democratic-secular Constitution of India and all symbols that are manifestations of it, why are RSS cadres and prime minister Modi (and many of his colleagues) celebrating the 68th anniversary of Indian Constitution. As masters of doublespeak these proponents of a Hindu theocratic state are buying time and waiting for an opportune moment to strike from within. Over the last three and half years they have surely been destroying democratic institutions of Indian polity one by one, and are just waiting to demolish democratic-secular Indian polity as a whole. This plan was outlined by Guru Golwalkar long back in 1940. Golwalkar while delivering a speech before the 1350 top level cadres of the RSS at Resham Bagh, RSS headquarters in 1940 declared:
“RSS inspired by one flag, one leader and one ideology is lighting the flame of Hindutva in each and every corner of this great land”.[iii]
All those concerned about the future of democratic-secular Indian polity must come together to resist this anti-national agenda of RSS. The Indian Constitution today faces most critical challenge to its existence. Those who rule India have openly declared that they would over-throw democratic-secular Indian Constitution. For the first time in independent India’s history, the man who would be prime minister, Narender Modi, while chief minister of Gujarat called himself a ‘Hindu nationalist’.[iv] He is our prime minister now.
All patriotic Indians should unite to break the stranglehold of this Hindutva conspiracy aimed at destroying this historic reality, the democratic-secular polity, today a lone sentinel of all nations born after the World War II.
[i]M.S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1996, p. 238.
[ii]RSS, Shakha Darshikha, Gyan Ganga, Jaipur, 1997, p. 1.
[iii]MS Golwalkar, Shri Guruji Samagar Darshan (collected works of Golwalkar in Hindi), vol. 1, Bhartiya Vichar Sadhna, Nagpur, p. 11.
[iv]Modi as CM of Gujarat interviewed by Reuters at former’s residence at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat, July 12, 2013.
The views expressed here are the author's personal views, and do not necessarily represent the views of Sabrangindia.