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Kiran Kumar (Lawyer)     26 January 2010

Have we failed the Constitution?

Today is Republic Day, no doubt this day makes us all proud. But apart from usual celebrations there are various questions which have arisen in the past 54 years.  But the final question remains is HAVE WE FAILED THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA OR THE CONSTITUTION HAS FAILED US?


Almost a decade ago on 22nd Feb, 2000 the Govt. of India appointed National Commission to review the working of Constitution and it submitted its report on 30-04-2002.


The appointment of Commission itself was criticised by few, even the Late President of India K. R. Narayanan went on to say that "its not the constitution which has failed us, but we have failed the constitution"


So, I would like to know the opinion of my Ld. friends on the above query.  We must keep in mind that each and every law of India derives its authority from the Constitution of India thus Constitutional law is the root of every law.  And the Constitution of India derives its authority from WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA.  Therefore we all will have to express our opinion keeping in mind whole India, we can not confine ourselves to a single state or religion or community or caste or class etc.


Hope my friends will find some time for this discussion. :-)


 36 Replies

A Truthseeker ( A retired Indian citizen)     26 January 2010

in my opinion neither 'we the people of India' nor the Constitution has failed. can we forget the Bangladesh War or Kargil. can we be oblivious of the fact that no famine due to shortage of food took place during this period of 54 years. India is vying neck and neck with China inspite of its democracy which is not always favouarable to overall Country's development particularly in the time of infringrment of personal rights. the hope is high that INDIA would be Supwer power and if we failed the Constitution or if the Constitution failed us it could not have been possible.

Arup Kumar Gupta, Korba, Chattishgarh ((m)9893058429)     26 January 2010

you choiced and raised this good topic at perfect time. it is not the failure of constitution. it is our failure to run the nation as per the desire of constitution.


Shree. ( Advocate.)     26 January 2010

India’s Constitution failed by its implementers: Kashyap

Eminent constitutional expert and author of over a hundred books on Polity and Constitution, Subhash C. Kashyap, who was the Constitutional Adviser to the Government of India and chairman of the Drafting Committee of the National Commission on the Review of the Working of the Constitution, in an exclusive interview to Shashank Chouhan of talks about the journey of the Indian Republic, its successes and failures in the past 60 years.

60 years of the Indian Constitution- success or failure?

In my opinion it is both. In certain areas it has shown tremendous success and at certain places, significant failures. Firstly, the survival potential of theConstitution is its greatest success. It has withstood the tests of time while those of other countries commenced around the same period have floundered or abrogated.

Our Republic has turned sixty without losing its basic tenets of freedom, democracy, secularism and rule of law, which in itself is a great success. We have successfully faced problems, calamities, internal disturbance, external aggression and secessionist threats without breaking down. And lastly, we have made considerable development despite malevolent forces and innumerable impediments trying their best to dismantle our constitutional machinery.

But we also cannot deny the fact that out Constitution has failed to live up to the expectations of its makers. The architects of the Constitution had hoped that the Indian Republic would provide basic amenities to the poor masses. But even after sixty years, we have millions of poor living in sub human conditions. In fact, we have more poor and illiterate today than our total population at the time of Independence.

Would you say that the preservers of the Constitution- the people's representatives, the judiciary, people's opinion etc have failed it or is it the other way round?

In this case also it is both ways round. Our Constitution was based on the colonial model. 75% of it has been derived from various Government of India Acts which intended to make India weak and divided. Dr Rajendra Prasad and BR Ambedkar had remarked that the success of the Constitution would depend upon the people implementing it.

If the Constitution has not been fully successful, it is not because of any fault in its draft but because of the weakness and incapability of its executers. People working on it are more at fault. They have turned selfish, completely forgetting its ideals of service, sacrifice and welfare.

What are the areas in the Constitution that need re-working and why?

Personally, I feel that many things that need to be done can be done easily without making any amendments to the Constitution. If only one change was required, I feel it should be in the electoral law and the functioning of the political parties. There should be an amendment in the Representation of People’s Act. Right now 70% of the elected representatives are elected by minority of votes (more against than in favour of them). It should be made mandatory for a candidate to win 50% plus votes and in case of absence of it there should be run-off election the very next day.

Rules should be made to do away with high expenditure in elections and involvement of muscle power. Number of political parties should be reduced and their accounts should be audited & brought under public scrutiny.

Changes should be brought about in Article 356 which pertains to Union-State relations. History shows that it has been more misused than used.

There has been a clamor for Presidential style of democracy in India for years now. What are your views on it?

It is sheer loose talk by those who have very a poor idea of our Republican system. There are many variants of Presidential style democracy. America, Fiji, Philippines and Sri Lanka have their own models. India too has its own Presidential system. There is no point aping US or any other country when we have our own form running successfully from the past six decades. What we have is a combination of both Parliamentary and Presidantial forms. Why should we change over to some other style?

What about the abrogation of Article 370? Is it going to be ever possible to do that?

If Article 370 is to remain, why not apply it to all states of the country? I believe in decentralization of power. I believe that there should be more power at local level as Gandhi ji had wanted it- power with the people.

Do you agree with the recommendations of the National Commission for Review of Constitution formed by the NDA?

I was the Chairman of the drafting committee of the National Commission for Review of Constitution. And 90% of the recommendations were mine. So you can imagine that I agree with most of them. (Laughs)



Anish goyal (Advocate)     26 January 2010

I don't consider indian constitution a failure, rather it is a master piece, which is often called as a bag of borrowings. Difficulties are always there, problem are long lasting, loopholes are still subsisting, very few besides the lawyers know what our constitution is all about, but all these things doesn't make our constitution a FAILED SUBJECT OF THE STUDENT (DR. B R AMBEDKAR)

Bhartiya No. 1 (Nationalist)     27 January 2010

It is bit difficult to answer. But as per my views with prevailing situations, it slightly tilts towards THE CONSTITUTION HAS FAILED US.

Anil Agrawal (Retired)     27 January 2010

 Why Ambedkar is called the father of the Indian Constitution? There were 6 other members:

1) Gopalswamy Iyengar 
2) Alladi Krishnaswami Iyengar 
3) N. Madhav rao substitute after death of K.L mithal
4) Muhammad Sadullah
5) K.M.Munshi
6) T.T.Krishnamachari 

Were they mute spectators?

Anil Agrawal (Retired)     27 January 2010

 As long as Executive remains the most powerful instrument, the Constitution, as it is today, will be an utter failure. 

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     27 January 2010

We have a balance Constitution though a final touch here and there in som grey areas may be necessary as stated by Anish, but the problems are created by those who implement the Constitution as Shree has pointed out, and as pointed out by Anil, there are some State who wish to function like a Dictator and dictate the State through its poliical executive power by even making those Independent Constitutional Organization to functions as its tools.If the Parliament take the opportunity to look into all those aspects it will be a great things for the people of India.

Arup Kumar Gupta, Korba, Chattishgarh ((m)9893058429)     27 January 2010

mr anil agrawal you are partially right, we do not show proper respect to other members, but for that reason we should not derespect dr ambedkar (our babasaheb). it is not babasaheb, it is we the people of india forget them. thanks to you for remind us about them.

donot forget, that babasaheb also a forgotton personality, after living congress, it is mayawati who bring him in limelite again.

a good debet going on among the intelectuals.

Arup Kumar Gupta, Korba, Chattishgarh ((m)9893058429)     27 January 2010

please read 'about our mistakes' instead of 'about them'

Rajan Salvi (Lawyer)     27 January 2010

We have failed. Directives are given over ridding effect over other articles because of vested intrests.  What is this. ? I agree with the post of Shree.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     27 January 2010

Regarding "Constitution Commission Report A Follow Up" I have gone through the same as edited by Shri.Subhash C. Kashyap and Shri.Abhaya Kashyap, but what struck me is that the Commission Report says something about Article 311, but it is totally silent regarding All India Judicil Services etc, what can be the reasons behind it? and whether any of its report has been considered by the Government?

Anil Agrawal (Retired)     27 January 2010

 It was set up by the NDA Govt and the present Govt won't touch it with a barge pole. Please remember that every Commission is staffed with bureaucrats. They won't allow Art.311 to be touched. What greater protection they can get to indulge in corruption?

Francis (Sr.Executive Accounts & Admin)     28 January 2010

What we experience in our catholic church of bangalore, where the head of the church forces us to worship our lord jesus in the state language, is this not the violation of basic right to worship in their own mother tongue.

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