The Plea stated that the addition of these words through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment is “antithetical to the constitutional tenets as well as the historical and cultural theme of India.“
Further, It demanded the SC to direct the Union of India to declare that the concept of ‘socialism’ and ‘secularism’ in the Constitution to be ‘limited to the working of the sovereign function of the State and the same is not applicable to the citizen.’
The major concerns of the petitions are, Firstly- The Secularism and Socialism violating the concept of freedom of speech and expression enumerated in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution and the right to freedom of religion guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution.
Secondly, the move discussed the concept of the “great republic of Bharat, the oldest civilization of the world, having a clear concept of ‘Dharma’ different from the concept of religion,” the Idea of a Nation with cultural and Civilizational perspective. Further stating that the Communist Philosophy of the Religion in a state is not viable with a democratic republic country like India.
The Public Interest Litigation was filed by advocates Balram Singh and Karunesh Kumar Shukla and an individual Pravesh Kumar. The petitioners basically filed a plea as they were interested in launching a Political Party.
To launch a Political Party at the time of registration with the Election Commission of India (ECI), One of the important conditions is to compulsorily follow principles of ‘socialism and secularism’.
In this row, It is important to note that not just the removal of the words from preamble is in the discussion in the supreme court, there is a petition filed through advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, which ‘challenged’ the specific words ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ in section 29 A (5) of the Representation of People (RP) Act.
“The words in RP Act make it compulsory for all the political parties, registering with the Election Commission of India,” to make specific provision in its memorandum or rules and regulations that the association or body shall bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established and to the principles of ‘Socialism’ and ‘Secularism’ and democracy and would uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India.”
Recently there is a lot of conflict in changing the words or removing the words from the constitution. The recent PIL filed to remove word INDIA and to sustain the word BHARATH only in Article 1 of the Indian Constitution.
Apart from all these issues, there needs to be a clear understanding of the Essence of the constitution and the Concept of the Basic Structure of the Constitution.
Is it possible to Remove the words “SECULAR and SOCIALIST” from the PREAMBLE of the Indian Constitution?
The words SECULAR and SOCIALIST were added through the 42nd Amendment Act, but the idea of secularism and socialism is embedded in the constitution in the Philosophical part of the constitution since the inception of the Constitution. Furthermore, it is not possible to remove the words from Preamble as it is a part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution.
What is the Basic Structure of the Constitution ??
The concept of Basic Structure is provided from Keshavananda Bharathi case which protects the soul of the Constitution in the constant fight of amendments, the items included in the Basic Structure of Constitution cannot be Removed and the Essence of Constitution cannot be changed totally. The preamble is a part of the Basic structure of the Constitution.
What is Secularism and Socialism in the Indian Constitution, Does Only Preamble Discuss them ??
It is very important to know that Fundamental rights give a clear detail of SECULARISM, a concept in the hands of every citizen which is protected by the Constitution. Secularism in India means Treating all religions Equally – “ Sarvadharma Samabhavana.” No special provisions to any particular religion with regard to any treatment from the government or law.
The concept of Socialism is very much an integral part of Directive Principles of State Policy – the Indian form of Socialism is Democratic Socialism, the welfare as the backbone for the country and state taking the ownership of certain entities to provide the equal distribution of resources.
What is the issue with regard to the Representation of Peoples act – Secular and Socialist?
The registration of the Political Party is expected to be free and fair from all the religious voting mechanisms or any commercial purposes of elections. So, the act expects a Political party to bear allegiance with them.
Is Indian Secularism- Communist Philosophy ??
Communism believes Religion is a False Consciousness, Religion is the opium of Masses as said by Karl Marx. Communist philosophy from theory form believes religion is not a necessary requirement for the development of people. Indian adherence to Secularism is treating all the Religions on Equal grounds.
In the present world of PIL’s and petition of various grounds, there is a lot of ambiguity in understanding the original essence of the Constitution.
The constitution which beliefs in Fundamental Rights of Citizens and Directive Principles of State Policy as the Philosophy of its working would never overlook the needs and necessities of the people.
Indian Constitution is an inspiration in framing the concept of the Basic Structure of Constitution, and hopefully, with the petitions like this, the concept gets more significance for its relevance in the application.