Society & Lifestyle
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|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
Much is suggested about economic reforms, political reforms, systemic reforms and social reforms. But nothing seems to work. No improvement in any aspect of governance emerges. There persists a yawning gap between precept and practice that defines India as a failing society. I think a possible solution exists. To remove the dichotomy between precept and practice, why not attempt Constitutional Reforms? If we cannot change political conduct to conform to existing law, why not change law to conform to political conduct? This of course has on occasion been done but with an ad hoc approach.
Why not attempt total Constitutional Reforms?
Ever since its proclamation the Constitution’s explicit powers of the President were blatantly ignored in functioning. Everybody was aware of it but refused to confront or address this anomaly. Only after Indira Gandhi developed differences with her colleagues did she betray her awareness of her vulnerability regarding the President’s actual powers. Therefore she insisted that the President must be the PM’s chosen blind loyalist for smooth functioning. That was not achieved. That is why she worked against her party’s own presidential candidate proposed by her and ended up by splitting her party. That is why she imposed dictatorship through a fraudulent Emergency and changed the President’s role as envisioned in the Constitution by introducing the 42nd Amendment.
Mr. Manmohan Singh solemnly affirmed under sworn affidavit that he was a permanent resident of Assam in order to get elected to parliament. He was following the practice of a large number of other members to make a patently false claim under oath. Mr. Arun Jaitley swore he was a permanent resident of Gujarat.
This can be changed to:
Will this not improve matters by removing the dichotomy between precept and practice? Given current political trends such an oath will surely render the lives of future Presidents much less complicated.
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