SAILENT FEATURES OF CONSTITUTION: WELFARE STATE AND SECULAR STATE

WELFARE STATE


The Indian Constitution has been conceived and drafted in the mid-twentieth
century when the concept of social welfare state is the rule of the day. The
Constitution is thus pervaded with the modern outlook regarding the objectives
and functions of the state. It embodies a distinct philosophy of government, and
explicitly declares that India will be organised as a social welfare state, i.e., a
state which renders social services to the people and promotes their general
welfare. In the formulations and declarations of the social objectives contained
in the Preamble, one can clearly discern the impact of the modern political
philosophy which regards the state as an organ to secure the good and welfare
of the people.
This concept of a welfare state is further strengthened by the Directive Principles
of State Policy which set out the economic, social and political goals of the
Indian Constitutional system. These directives confer certain non-justiciable
rights on the people, and place the government under an obligation to achieve
and maximise social welfare and basic social values like education, employment,
health, etc.
In consonance with the modern beliefs of man, the Indian Constitution sets up
a machinery to achieve the goal of economic democracy along with political democracy,
for the latter would be meaningless without the former in a poor country
like India.

SECULAR STATE


India is a country of religions. There exist multifarious religious groups in
the country but, in spite of this, the Constitution stands for a secular state of
India.
The word ‘secular’ was not present originally in the Preamble. It was added
thereto by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment in 1976. What was implicit in
the Constitution until then became explicit. Even before 1976, the concept of
secularism was very much embedded in the Indian constitutional jurisprudence as
many court cases of this era would testify.


The concept of “secularism” is difficult to define and has not thus been defined
in the Constitution. Secularism has been inserted in the Preamble by reason
of the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976. The object of insertion
was to spell out expressly the high ideas of secularism and the compulsive need
to maintain the integrity of the nation which are subjected to considerable
stresses and strains, and vested interests have been trying to promote their selfish
ends to the great detriment of the public good. The concept is based on certain
postulates. Thus, there is no official religion in India. There is no state recognized
church or religion. Several fundamental rights guarantee freedom of
worship and religion as well as outlaw discrimination on the ground of religion

and, thus, by implication prohibit the establishment of a theocratic state. The
state does not identify itself with, or favour, any particular religion. The state is
enjoined to treat all religions and religious sects equally. No one is disabled to
hold any office on the ground of religion. There is only one electoral roll on
which are borne the names of all qualified voters.


The essential basis of the Indian Constitution is that all citizens are equal,
and that the religion of a citizen is irrelevant in the matter of his enjoyment of
Fundamental Rights. The Constitution ensures equal freedom for all religions
and provides that the religion of the citizen has nothing to do in socio-economic
matters. “Though the Indian Constitution is secular and does not interfere with
religious freedom, it does not allow religion to impinge adversely on the secular
rights of citizens or the power of the state to regulate socio-economic relations.”
The Supreme Court has declared secularism as the basic feature of the Indian
Constitution. The Court has further declared that secularism is a part of
fundamental law and an unalienable segment of the basic structure of the
country’s political system. It has explained that secularism is not to be confused
with communal or religious concepts of an individual or a group of persons.

It means that the State should have no religion of its own and no one
could proclaim to make the State have one such or endeavour to create a
theocratic State. Persons belonging to different religions live throughout the
length and breadth of the country. Each person, whatever be his religion, must
get an assurance from the State that he has the protection of law freely to profess,
practise and propagate his religion and freedom of conscience. Otherwise,
the rule of law will become replaced by individual perceptions of one’s
own presumptions of good social order. Religion cannot be mixed with secular
activities of the State and fundamentalism of any kind cannot be permitted
to masquerade as political philosophies to the detriment of the larger interest
of society and basic requirement of a Welfare State. The Court noted disturbing
trends. It noted that lately, vested interests fanning religious fundamentalism
of all kinds, and vying with each other, are attempting to subject
the Constitutional machineries of the State

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION: SOCIALIST STATE


The word “socialist” was not there originally in the Preamble. It was added to
the Preamble by the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution in 1976. Thus, the
concept of “socialism” has been made explicit and India’s commitment to this
ideal has been underlined and strengthened.


The term “socialist” has not been defined in the Constitution. It does not however envisage doctrinaire socialism in the sense of insistence on state ownership as a matter of policy. It does not mean total exclusion of private enterprise and complete state ownership of material resources of the Nation. In India, there has always been emphasis on mixed economy, i.e., along with a public sector, the private sector also has a role to play. The government accepts
the policy of mixed economy where both public and private sectors co-exist side by side. However, the private enterprises has so far been rigorously controlled by the government, but signs are appearing on the horizon that in future the private enterprise is going to play a much more important economic role than it has
played so far.


The Supreme Court has in a number of decisions referred to the concept of socialism
and has used this concept along with the Directive Principles of State
Policy to assess and evaluate economic legislation. The Court has derived the
concept of social justice and of an economically egalitarian society from the concept
of socialism. According to the Supreme Court, “the principal aim of socialism
is to eliminate inequality of income and status and standards of life, and to
provide a decent standard of life to the working people.”
Democratic socialism aims to end poverty, ignorance, disease and inequality
of opportunity. Socialistic concept of society should be implemented in the true
spirit of the Constitution.

In Samatha v. State of Andhra Pradesh, the Supreme
Court has stated while defining socialism : “Establishment of the egalitarian
social order through rule of law is the basic structure of the Constitution.”

The Court has laid emphasis on social justice so as to attain substantial degree
of social, economic and political equality. Social justice and equality are complimentary
to each other.
Another idea propounded by the Court is that socialism means distributive
justice so as to bring about the distribution of material resources of the community
so as to subserve the common good.
By reading the word ‘socialist’ in the Preamble with the Fundamental Rights
contained in Arts. 14 and 16, the Supreme Court has deduced the Fundamental
Right to equal pay for equal work and compassionate appointment.

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION: PREAMBLE

Unlike the Constitutions of Australia, Canada or the U.S.A., the Constitution
of India has an elaborate Preamble. The purpose of the Preamble is to clarify who
has made the Constitution, what is its source, what is the ultimate sanction behind
it; what is the nature of the polity which is sought to be established by the
Constitution and what are its goals and objectives?


The Preamble does not grant any power but it gives a direction and purpose to
the Constitution. It outlines the objectives of the whole Constitution. The Preamble
contains the fundamentals of the Constitution. It serves several important
purposes, as for example:


(1) It contains the enacting clause which brings the Constitution into
force.
(2) It declares the great rights and freedoms which the people of India
intended to secure to all its citizens.
(3) It declares the basic type of government and polity which is sought to
be established in the country.
(4) It throws light on the source of the Constitution, viz. the People of India.


The words in the Preamble, “We the people of India…in our Constituent Assembly…
do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this Constitution”, propound
the theory that the ‘sovereignty’ lies in the people, that the Constitution,
emanates from them; that the ultimate source for the validity of, and the sanction
behind the Constitution is the will of the people; that the Constitution has not
been imposed on them by any external authority, but is the handiwork of the Indians
themselves.


Thus, the source of the Constitution are the people themselves from whom the
Constitution derives its ultimate sanction. This assertion affirms the republican
and democratic character of the Indian polity and the sovereignty of the people.
The People of India thus constitute the sovereign political body who hold the ultimate
power and who conduct the government of the country through their
elected representatives.
The claim that the People of India have given to themselves the Constitution
is in line with similar claims made in several other democratic Constitutions,
such as those of the U.S.A., Ireland, etc.

As regards the nature of the Indian Polity, the Preamble to the Constitution declares
India to be a ‘Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic’. The term
‘Sovereign’ denotes that India is subject to no external authority and that the state
has power to legislate on any subject in conformity with constitutional limitations.
The term ‘democratic’ signifies that India has a responsible and parliamentary form
of government which is accountable to an elected legislature. The Supreme Court has
declared ‘democracy’ as the basic feature of the Constitution. The term ‘Republic’
denotes that the head of the state is not a hereditary monarch, but an elected functionary.
As to the grand objectives and socio-economic goals to achieve which the Indian
Polity has been established, these are stated in the Preamble. These are: to
secure to all its citizens social, economic and political justice; liberty of thought,
expression, belief, faith and worship; equality of status and opportunity, and to
promote among them fraternity so as to secure the dignity of the individual and
the unity and integrity of the Nation.
Emphasizing upon the significance of the three concepts of liberty, equality
and fraternity used in the Preamble, Dr. Ambedkar observed in his closing speech
in the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949 : “The principles of liberty,
equality and fraternity are not to be treated as separate items in a trinity. They
form a union of trinity in the sense that to divorce one from the other is to defeat
the very purpose of democracy. Liberty cannot be divorced from equality, equality
cannot be divorced from liberty. Nor can liberty and equality be divorced
from fraternity. Without equality liberty would produce the supremacy of the few
over the many. Equality without liberty, would kill individual initiative”.
The Supreme Court has emphasized that the words “fraternity assuring the
dignity of the individual” have “a special relevance in the Indian context” because
of the social backwardness of certain sections of the community who had
in the past been looked down upon.
To give a concrete shape to these aspirations, the Constitution has a Chapter
on Fundamental Rights which guarantee certain rights to the people, such as,
freedom of the person, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc.
According to the Supreme Court, “The Constitution envisions to establish an
egalitarian social order rendering to every citizen, social, economic and political
justice in a social and economic democracy of the Bharat Republic.” The Constitution
thus ensures economic democracy along with political democracy.
The goals and objectives of the Indian Polity as stated in the Preamble are
sought to be further clarified, strengthened and concretized through the Directive
Principles of State Policy.

The Preamble lays emphasis on the principle of equality which is basic to the
Indian Constitution. The principle of equality is a basic feature or structure of the
Constitution which means that even a constitutional amendment offending the
basic structure of the Constitution is ultra vires. A legislature cannot transgress
this basic feature of the Constitution while making a law.

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION: WRITTEN CONSTITUTION

India’s Constitution is a lengthy, elaborate and detailed document. Originally
it consisted of 395 Articles arranged under 22 Parts and eight Schedules. Today,
after many amendments, it has 441 Articles and 12 Schedules. It is probably the
longest of the organic laws now extant in the world.

Several reasons contributed to its prolixity.

First, the Constitution deals with
the organization and structure not only of the Central Government but also of the
States.

Secondly, in a federal Constitution, Centre-State relationship is a matter
of crucial importance. While other federal Constitutions have only skeletal provisions
on this matter, the Indian Constitution has detailed norms.

Thirdly, the
Constitution has reduced to writing many unwritten conventions of the British
Constitution, as for example, the principle of collective responsibility of the
Ministers, parliamentary procedure, etc.

Fourthly, there exist various communities and groups in India. To remove
mutual distrust among them, it was felt necessary to include in the Constitution
detailed provisions on Fundamental Rights, safeguards to minorities, Scheduled
Tribes, Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes.

Fifthly, to ensure that the future India be based on the concept of social welfare,
the Constitution includes Directive Principles of State Policy.

Lastly, the Constitution contains not only the fundamental principles of governance
but also many administrative details such as the provisions regarding citizenship,
official language, government services, electoral machinery, etc.

In other Constitutions,
these matters are usually left to be regulated by the ordinary law of the
land. The framers of the Indian Constitution, however, felt that unless these provisions
were contained in the Constitution, the smooth and efficient working of the
Constitution and the democratic process in the country might be jeopardized.
The form of administration has a close relation with the form of the Constitution,
and the former must be appropriate to, and in the same sense as, the latter. It
is quite possible to pervert the Constitutional mechanism without changing its
form by merely changing the form of the administration and making it inconsistent
with, and opposed to, the spirit of the Constitution. Since India was emerging
as an independent country after a long spell of foreign rule, the country lacked
democratic values. The Constitution-makers, therefore, thought it prudent not to
take unnecessary risks, and incorporate in the Constitution itself the form of administration
as well, instead of leaving it to the legislature, so that the whole
mechanism may become viable.
It would, however, be wrong to suppose that the Indian Constitution with all
its prolixity finally settles all problems of government. It leaves a number of
matters to be taken care of by ordinary legislation. It also provides scope, though
not so much as in Britain, for the growth and development of conventions.


Thus, the relationship between the President or the State Governor and his Council
of Ministers, the concept of ministerial responsibility for acts of the officials,
the relationship between the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister in a State and
his Council of Ministers, the appointment of a State Governor, dissolution of the
Lok Sabha or of a State Legislative Assembly by the President or the Governor
respectively, the relations between the President and the Governor, are some of the
matters which are left to be evolved by conventions.


It is not correct to assume that the conventions of the British Constitution would operate suo motu in India wherever relevant and applicable. In course of time, some of these conventions have been questioned, and new conventions are in the process of emergence. This is mainly because most of the conventions of the British Constitution have been evolved in the context of a two-party system, while in India, a multiparty system is evolving. More will be said on this subject in later pages.

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION: MODERN CONSTITUTION



The fact that the Indian Constitution was drafted in the mid-twentieth century gave an advantage to its makers in so far as they could take cognizance of the various constitutional processes operating in different countries of the world and thus draw upon a rich fund of human experience, wisdom, heritage and traditions in the area of governmental process in order to fashion a system suited to the political, social and economic conditions in India. In the end result, the Indian Constitution has turned out to be a very interesting and unique document. One could discern in it the impact of several Constitutions. As for instance, the Indian Federalism is influenced by the American, Canadian and Australian Federalism. Fundamental Rights in India owe a great deal to the American Bill of Rights; the process of Constitutional amendment adopted in India is a modified version of the American system.


The influence of the British Constitutional Law, theories and practices on the
Indian Constitution is quite pervasive. As for example, the parliamentary form of
government in India closely follows the British model in substance; the system of
prerogative writs which plays a crucial role in protecting peoples’ legal rights and
ensuring judicial control over administrative action is Britain’s contribution to
India. Australia’s experiences have been especially useful for ordering the Centre-
State financial relationship, and for promoting the concept of freedom of trade
and commerce in the country. Inspiration has come from the Irish Constitution in
the shaping of the Directive Principles of State Policy.
The Government of India Act, 1935, which preceded the Indian Constitution,
has furnished not only administrative details, but also the verbatim language of
many provisions of the Constitution.
It will, however, be wrong to suppose that the Indian Constitution is just a carbon
copy of other Constitutions and contains nothing new and original. While
adopting some of the principles and institutions developed in other democratic
and federal countries, it yet strikes new paths, new approaches and patterns, in
several directions. It makes bold departures in many respects from the established
Constitutional norms and introduces many innovations. For example, in the area
of Centre-State relationship, with a view to achieve the twin objectives of promoting
the unity of India and reducing rigidity inherent in a federal system, the
Indian Constitution makes several provisions which are original in conception as
nothing parallel to these is to be found in any other federal Constitution and, to
this extent, it makes a distinct contribution to the development of theories and
practices of federalism in general.

Rights and Rulings regarding Live-in relationship

In India, the concept of Live-In Relationships is not expressly recognized by the legislature.

However, the courts in India have time and again observed that a long continued live-in relationship can raise a presumption of marriage to safeguard the interests of the parties (generally women) to such arrangement and the children born out of such arrangement.

Reforms of Criminal Justice System

Recommendations 

1) That evidence regarding a man and woman living together for a sufficiently long period should be enough to draw the presumption that the marriage was performed according to the customary rights and ceremonies of the parties

2) It was proposed that the word wife in the section 125 CrPC should be altered to include a woman who was living with the men like his wife for a reasonably protracted period.

Marvin versus Marvin

Court used a new expression of “palimony” has been coined the which is a combination of “pal” and “alimony”. For social obligation of a man entering into a live-in relationship with another woman without the formalities of a marriage.

It was held that

1) The provisions of the family law do not govern a non-marital relationship; such a relationship remains subject solely to the judicial decisions.

2) The court should enforce Express contracts between non marital parents except founded on the consideration of meretricious sexual services.

Gokal Chand versus Pravin Kumari

It was held that continuous cohabitation of men and women as husband and wife may raise the presumption of marriage but the presumption which may be drawn from long cohabitation is rebuttable and if there are such circumstances which we can destroy that presumption, the court cannot ignore them.

Badri Prasad v Director of consolidation

A strong presumption arises in favour of wed-lock where the partners have lived together for a long spell as husband and wife. Although the presumption is rebuttable, a heavy burden lies on him who seeks to deprive the relationship of legal origin.

D. Velusamy and D. Patchaimal

To get recognized as “in the nature of marriage,” certain conditions were set by the Supreme Court in the case of “D. Velusamy and D. Patchaimal (5 SCC 600).”

1) Duration of period of relationship Section 2 (f) of the DV Act has used the expression “at any point of time”, which means a reasonable period of time to maintain and continue a relationship which may vary from case to case, depending upon the fact situation.

(2) Shared household The expression has been defined under Section 2(s) of the DV Act and, hence, need no further elaboration.

(3) Pooling of Resources and Financial Arrangements Supporting each other, or any one of them, financially, sharing bank accounts, acquiring immovable properties in joint names or in the name of the woman, long term investments in business, shares in separate and joint names, so as to have a long standing relationship, may be a guiding factor.

(4) Domestic Arrangements Entrusting the responsibility, especially on the woman to run the home, do the household activities like cleaning, cooking, maintaining or upkeeping the house, etc. is an indication of a relationship in the nature of marriage.

(5) Sexual Relationship Marriage like relationship refers to sexual relationship, not just for pleasure, but for emotional and intimate relationship, for procreation of children, so as to give emotional support, companionship and also material affection, caring etc.

(6) Children; Having children is a strong indication of a relationship in the nature of marriage. Parties, therefore, intend to have a long-standing relationship. Sharing the responsibility for bringing up and supporting them is also a strong indication.

(7) Socialization in Public Holding out to the public and socializing with friends, relations and others, as if they are husband and wife is a strong circumstance to hold the relationship is in the nature of marriage.

(8) Intention and conduct of the parties Common intention of parties as to what their relationship is to be and to involve, and as to their respective roles and responsibilities, primarily determines the nature of that relationship. Live-in relationships are the new and on-going trends among the youth that gives them the freedom to live without any pressure of arranged marriages.

Legal Remedy against a false case

With the sharp increase in number of cases filed has seen Indian citizens becoming aware of their rights. People are now less timid to come out and fight against injustice. However, on the other side of the coin, the proliferation of false and vexatious cases before the judiciary has been taken place for past few decades. It’s imperative to know the legal way out of this trap so that one does not spend a long period of time fighting in the court against a false accusation which consumes his time and energy.

Section 209 in The Indian Penal Code

Dishonestly making false claim in Court.—Whoever fraudu­lently or dishonestly, or with intent to injure or annoy any person, makes in a Court of Justice any claim which he knows to be false, shall be punished with imprisonment of either descrip­tion for a term which may extend to two years, and shall also be liable to fine.

The essential ingredients of an offence under Section 209 are:

  1. The accused made a claim;
  2. The claim was made in a Court of Justice;
  3. The claim was false, either wholly or in part;
  4. That the accused knew that the claim was false; and
  5. The claim was made fraudulently, dishonestly, or with intent to injure or to annoy any person.

A litigant makes a ‘claim’ before a Court of Justice for the purpose of Section 209 when he seeks certain relief or remedies from the Court and a ‘claim’ for relief necessarily impasses the ground for obtaining that relief.

The offence is complete the moment a false claim is filed in Court.

The section provides a remedy for making false and dishonest claims in the court. This provision has been seldom used. Despite that, there are some rulings in which the courts have initiated the criminal proceedings for false claims and dismissed their case.

In Badri vs Emperor, the court stated that it is immaterial whether the court in which the false claim was made had jurisdiction to try the suit or not.

Ramnandan Prasad Narayan Singh vs Public Prosecutor, The Patna High Court held that mere dismissal of the plaintiff’s case would not justify sanction under section 209 of Indian penal code. A mere proof that the accused failed to prove his claim in the civil suit or the court did not rely upon his evidence on account of discrepancies or improbabilities is not sufficient.

There are many prudent legal provisions to punish the offender who institute a false case, but in the presence of these legal provisions, the courts have witnessed an increase of false cases large number. Hence, there is a need to bring a special law to deal with the false cases as recommended by the Law Commission in its 192ndreport, to bring strong deterrence in society regarding this crime. Apart from this there is a need to spread awareness in people regarding their rights and remedies available in case of a false F.I.R.

RULE OF LAW



A few words may be said here about the concept of Rule of Law as other ideas
and concepts relating to Constitutionalism will be discussed in due course in the
following pages.
The doctrine of Rule of Law is ascribed to DICEY whose writing in 1885 on
the British Constitution included the following three distinct though kindered
ideas in Rule of Law:


(i) Absence of Arbitrary Power : No man is above law. No man is punishable
except for a distinct breach of law established in an ordinary
legal manner before ordinary courts. The government cannot punish
any one merely by its own fiat. Persons in authority in Britain do not
enjoy wide, arbitrary or discretionary powers. Dicey asserted that
wherever there is discretion there is room for arbitrariness.


(ii) Equality before Law : Every man, whatever his rank or condition, is subject
to the ordinary law and jurisdiction of the ordinary courts. No man is
above law.


(iii) Individual Liberties : The general principles of the British Constitution,
and especially the liberties of the individual, are judge-made, i.e.,
these are the result of judicial decisions determining the rights of private
persons in particular cases brought before the courts from time to
time.


DICEY asserted that the above-mentioned features existed in the British Constitution. The British Constitution is judge-made and the rights of the individual form part of, and pervade, the Constitution. The rights of the individuals are part of the Constitution because these are secured by the courts. The British Constitutional Law is not the source, but the consequence, of the rights of the individuals as defined by the courts.
DICEY was thinking of the common law freedoms, such as, personal liberty, freedom of speech, public meeting, etc. What DICEY was saying was that certain Constitutions proclaim rights but do not provide adequate means to enforce those rights. In the British Constitution, on the other hand, there is inseparable connection between the means of enforcing a right and the right to be enforced.
Referring in particular to the Habeas Corpus Act, DICEY said that it was “worth a hundred Constitutional articles guaranteeing individual liberty.” DICEY however accepted that there was rule of law in the U.S.A., because there the
rights declared in the Constitution could be enforced, and the Constitution gave legal security to the rights declared.
The third principle is peculiar to Britain. In many modern written Constitutions, the basic rights of the people are guaranteed in the Constitution itself. This is regarded as a better guarantee for these rights and even in Britain there exists at present strong opinion that basic rights should be guaranteed. DICEY’S thesis has been criticized by many from various angles but, the basic tenet expressed by him is that power is derived from, and is to be exercised according to law.

In substance, DICEY’S emphasis, on the whole, in his enunciation
of Rule of Law is on the absence of arbitrary power, and discretionary power,
equality before Law, and legal protection to certain basic human rights, and these
ideas remain relevant and significant in every democratic country even to-day.
It is also true that dictated by the needs of practical government, a number of
exceptions have been engrafted on these ideas in modern democratic countries,
e.g., there is a universal growth of broad discretionary powers of the administration;
administrative tribunals have grown; the institution of preventive detention
has become the normal feature in many democratic countries. Nevertheless,
the basic ideas are worth preserving and promoting.
The concept of Rule of Law has been discussed in several international forums.
The effort being made is to give it a socio-legal-economic content and a
supranational complexion.
Rule of Law has no fixed or articulate connotation though the Indian courts refer
to this phrase time and again. The broad emphasis of Rule of Law is on absence
of any center of unlimited or arbitrary power in the country, on proper
structuration and control of power, absence of arbitrariness in the government.
Government intervention in many daily activities of the citizens is on the increase
creating a possibility of arbitrariness in State action. Rule of Law is useful as a
counter to this situation, because the basic emphasis of Rule of Law is on exclusion
of arbitrariness, lawlessness and unreasonableness on the part of the government.

Constitutionalism



Besides the concept of the Constitution, there is also the all-important concept of ‘Constitutionalism’. Modern political thought draws a distinction between ‘Constitutionalism’ and ‘Constitution’. A country may have the ‘Constitution’ but not necessarily ‘Constitutionalism’. For example, a country with a dictatorship, where the dictator’s word is law, can be said to have a ‘Constitution’ but not ‘Constitutionalism’. The underlying difference between the two concepts is that a Constitution ought not merely to confer powers on the various organs of the government, but also seek to restrain those powers. Constitutionalism recognizes the need for the government but insists upon limitations being placed upon governmental powers. Constitutionalism envisages checks and balances and putting the powers of the legislature and the executive under some restraints and not making them uncontrolled and arbitrary.


Unlimited powers jeopardize the freedom of the people. As has been well said:
power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. If the Constitution confers
unrestrained power on either the legislature or the executive, it might lead to
an authoritarian, oppressive government. Therefore, to preserve the basic freedoms
of the individual, and to maintain his dignity and personality, the Constitution
should be permeated with ‘Constitutionalism’; it should have some in-built
restrictions on the powers conferred by it on governmental organs.
‘Constitutionalism’ connotes in essence limited government or a limitation on
government. Constitutionalism is the antithesis of arbitrary powers. ‘Constitutionalism’
recognizes the need for a government with powers but at the same time
insists that limitations be placed on those powers. The antithesis of Constitutionalism
is despotism. Unlimited power may lead to an authoritarian, oppressive,
government that jeopardizes the freedoms of the people. Only when the Constitution
of a country seeks to decentralize power instead of concentrating it at
one point, and also imposes other restraints and limitations thereon, does a country
have not only ‘constitution’ but also ‘constitutionalism’.
‘Constitutions spring from a belief in limited government. According to
SCHWARTZ, in the U.S.A., the word Constitution means “a written organic instrument,
under which governmental powers are both conferred and circumscribed”.
He emphasizes that “this stress upon grant and limitation of authority is
fundamental”. As PROFESSOR VILE has remarked:
“Western institutional theorists have concerned themselves with the problems
of ensuring that the exercise of governmental power, which is essential to
the realization of the values of their societies should be controlled in order that
it should not itself be destructive of the values it was intended to promote.”
The idea of Constitutionalism is not new. It is embedded deeply in human
thought. Many natural law philosophers have promoted this idea through their writings.

Some of these philosophers are: ACQUINAS, PAINE, LOCKE, GROTIUS AND
ROUSSEAU. The Magna Carta (1215) strengthened the traditional view that law is
supreme. As observed by ARTHUR SUTHERLAND, “The Great Charter was obviously
a cherished standard, a welcome assurance that people could set some limitation on
the arbitrary power of the king.”
A written Constitution, an independent judiciary with powers of judicial review,
the doctrine of rule of law and separation of powers, free elections to legislature,
accountable and transparent democratic government, Fundamental Rights of the
people, federalism, decentralization of power are some of the principles and norms
which promote Constitutionalism in a country.

Preliminary inquiry before FIR?

In India, there is no law which gives the police power to conduct preliminary inquiry but there are certain judgements which have stated that in the case of matrimonial disharmony, police can prefer preliminary inquiry before filing FIR.

But let’s first start first definition of “inquiry”

Section 2(1)(g) of CrPC

” Inquiry” means every inquiry, other than a trial, conducted under this Code by a Magistrate or Court.

Now, whether investigation and inquiry the same?

Manubhai Ratilal Patel vs State of Gujarat:-

Investigation by police is neither inquiry nor trial

Section 157(1) in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973:-

Procedure for investigation preliminary inquiry.

(1) If, from information received or otherwise, an officer in charge of a police station has reason to suspect the commission of an offence which he is empowered under section 156 to investigate, he shall forthwith send a report of the same to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of such offence upon a police report and shall proceed in person, or shall depute one of his subordinate officers not being below such rank as the State Government may, by general or special order, prescribe in this behalf, to proceed, to the spot, to investigate the facts and circumstances of the case, and, if necessary, to take measures for the discovery and arrest of the offender; Provided that-

(a) when information as to the commission of any such offence is given against any person by name and the case is not of a serious nature, the officer in charge of a police station need not proceed in person or depute a subordinate officer to make an investigation on the spot;

(b) if it appears to the officer in charge of a police station that there is no sufficient ground for entering on an investigation, he shall not investigate the case.

Police have the authority to not investigate after filing the FIR if the matter is trivial but will have to send the report to the magistrate. Further, on receiving such report, Magistrate may direct an investigation, or, if he thinks fit, at once proceed, or depute any Magistrate according to Section 159 of CrPC.

State of Telengana vs Managipet Reddy

A preliminary enquiry may be conducted pertaining to matrimonial disputes, commercial offences, medical negligence cases, corruption cases etc. The judgement of the court and Lalita Kumari does not state that proceedings cannot be initiated against an accused without conducting a preliminary enquiry. There is no set format or manner in which a preliminary enquiry is to be conducted the objective of the same is only to ensure that a criminal investigation process was not initiated on a frivolous and untenable complaints.

Preeti gupta vs State of Jharkhand

It is a matter of common experience that most of these complaints under Section 498a IPC are filed in the heat of the moment over trivial issues without proper deliberation. A large number of such complaints which are not even bona fide and are filled with oblique motive at the same time Rapid increase in the number of judgement cases of dowry harassment are also a matter of serious concern and it is imperative for the legislature to take into consideration the informed public opinion and the pragmatic realities into consideration and make necessary changes in the relevant provisions of law.

273rd Law commission of India report

Misuse of Section 498-A in many cases has been judicially noticed by the apex court as well as various High Courts. This has also been taken note of by Parliamentary Committee on Petitions (Rajya Sabha). However, misuse (the extent of which is not established by any empirical study) by itself is not a ground to abolish S,498-A. The law on the question whether registration of FIR could be postponed for a reasonable time is in a state of uncertainty. Some High Courts have been directing that FIR shall not be registered under S, 498A (except in cases of visible violence, and the like) till the preliminary investigation is done and reconciliation process is completed. The issue has been referred to a larger Bench of Supreme Court recently. In this regard, the police have to follow the law laid down by the jurisdictional High Court until the Supreme Court decides the matter.

Lalita Kumari vs State of UP

If the inquiry discloses the commission of cognizable offence, FIR must be filed. Scope of preliminary enquiry is not to verify the veracity of or otherwise of the information received but only to a certain whether the information reveals any cognizable offence. A preliminary enquiry should be made time bound and, in any case, it should not exceed 7 days.

Therefore, police can conduct a preliminary inquiry before filing the FIR in matrimonial disharmony cases which relate to Section 498a of IPC as misuse of Section 498-A in many cases has been judicially noticed by the apex court as well as various High Courts. If the inquiry discloses the commission of cognizable offence, FIR must be filed.

INDIA, BIMSTEC and ASEAN

ASEAN


The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was born in 1967 and was aimed at
promoting regional trade, investment and joint ventures. It proved to be the nucleus of regional
cooperation, was booming and looking for new markets and investment opportunities. It found
India and Vietnam complementary, now attracting investment opportunities. It also perceived
India and Vietnam complementary for strengthening regional political and security profile. Vietnam
had started the process of Doi Moi (Renovation) aimed at liberalisation, privatisation and
globalisation. India on the other hand, adopted the policy of economic liberalisation under the
stewardship of P V Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh, prime minister and finance minister
respectively, in 1991. The new government in India also started initiating the process of liberalisation,
privatisation and globalisation. India too announced tax-free incentives for foreign investors.
These policies encouraged the ASEAN for further consolidation of its co-operation with India.
ASEAN offered sectoral dialogue partnership to India in 1992. Accordingly, four core sectors
of co-operation were recognised, namely trade, investment, tourism, science and technology.
Sectoral partnership was instrumental in establishing the institutional linkage between India and
ASEAN and the partnership proved so useful that the ASEAN upgraded it within two years to
full dialogue partnership in 1995. This facilitated the growth of relationship in different areas with
economic, security and political implications. India was invited to participate in the post-ministerial
conferences of the ASEAN and also in ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the security forum of
ASEAN. Subsequently, both India and ASEAN began to talk of a common vision and a shared
destiny.
ASEAN-India co-operation committee was established to function as a key institutional mechanism
to provide substantive content to different sectors of co-operation. ASEAN-India working group
was also established to find out the areas for co-operation in science and technology, trade and
investment, human resource development and culture. The Joint co-operation committee
recognised the Indian expertise in the field of science and technology, especially in biotechnology
and IT (Information Technology). Proposals were given to co-operate in food processing, health
care, agriculture, engineering, electronics, communication and service sectors.
The meeting of the ASEAN-India co-operation committee decided to set up the India- ASEAN
fund to develop co-operation in trade, investment, tourism, computer technology, solar energy
and environmental protection. This fund was placed at the disposal of ASEAN Secretariat and
administered by a joint management committee. Joint co-operation committee also agreed to set
up an ASEAN-New Delhi committee consisting of the heads of diplomatic missions of the ASEAN
countries. The then Indian foreign secretary J.N. Dixit announced the scheme of scholarship and
said that each side could offer six post-doctoral fellowships upto six months in the area of science
and technology. India and the ASEAN region also started ASEAN lecture series from eminent
persons under which prominent ASEAN leaders and intellectuals delivered their lectures in India
and vice versa. This has proved useful in the confidence building and objective understanding of
the issues in the foreign policy and diplomacy of the ASEAN vis-a-vis dialogue partners.

BIMSTEC


BIMSTEC is a sub-regional economic grouping involving Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka
and Thailand. This is the first grouping of its kind in which two ASEAN partners have come
together with three South Asian Countries for economic cooperation. Established in 1998, this
grouping has already identified important areas for cooperation such as communications,
infrastructure, energy, trade and investment, tourism and fisheries. Each country has assumed a
specific responsibility for coordination and important projects under consideration of the forum
have been Asian Highway Link, Asian Railway Network and a Natural Gas Pipeline Grid.
Constituted on the Bay of Bengal Rim, BIMSTEC aims at tapping the vast potential of resources,
both natural and human in this sub region.
BIMSTEC (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand Economic Cooperation) is
endeavoured to provide an economic forum with both private and public sector participation
from member countries to promote a high level exchange of views relating to trade, investment
and economic cooperation. The primary emphasis is on the exchange of views on sectors such
as textiles and clothing, drugs and pharmaceuticals, gems and jewelleries, horticultural and floricultural products and information technology. Economic and Social Commission for Asia- Politic (ESCAP) hosted an expert group meeting in March 1998 at Bangkok to promote private sector participation in the BIMSTEC process. There were more than 80 participants at the meeting from all five countries. The meeting urged the private sector to play a key role in enhancing
economic cooperation and concluded with a series of general and specific recommendations.
A BIMSTEC chamber of commerce and industry was established and decided that there would
be annual meetings of BIMSTEC Economic and Trade ministers to follow up on the implementation
of economic cooperation initiatives. A BIMSTEC Senior Economic Officials Committee (SEOC)
was also established. The responsibilities for the various sectors identified for cooperation were
delegated amongst the five countries, as follows:
Bangladesh – Trade and investment
India – Technology
Thailand – Transport and Communication
Myanmar – Energy
Sri Lanka – Tourism and Fisheries.
It is remarkable that the economic ministers agreed that BIMSTEC should aim and strive to
develop into a free trade arrangement. The new sub-sectors were added to the aforementioned
five sectors for future cooperation and they were the following:
i) Commodities such as rubber, tea, coffee, coconut and spices.
ii) Automotive industries and parts thereof.
iii) Processed food.
BIMSTEC Ministerial meeting in Dacca on 19 December 1998 stated: “We emphasise the need
for establishing a BIMSTEC economic forum which will work as an important engine of greater
economic cooperation and progress within the BIMSTEC sub-region. We reiterate our resolve
to take all necessary steps to making the BIMSTEC economic forum operational for convening
at the next ministerial meeting”. It stated further that, “conscious of the important role that can be
played by transport and communication linkages in enhancing commercial, industrial, cultural and
social interaction and tourism, we reiterate the emphasis that we place on developing rail, road,
multi-modal transport, shipping and air-linkages. This would reinforce complementarities arising
out of the Bay of Bengal rim identity of BIMSTEC”.
The BIMSTEC meeting in Myanmar in December 2001 emphasised the desirability of
strengthening linkages among the think tanks of the member countries. They also agreed to
explore external financing of Mekong-Ganga Co-operation (MGC), a programme of action
involving India and Indo-China states. It was hoped that the flexible nature of the co-operation
agenda, ranging from culture and tourism to transport and communication could enable speedy
progress. MGC involves India with five ASEAN countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar,
Vietnam and Thailand. It is endeavoured to build a road linking Thailand to India through Myanmar.
MGC wants to go a long way in developing the infrastructure for transnational trade involving
India’s northeast border, Myanmar, Mekong region and beyond. Located between India and
China, Mekong region is very important for India’s security, peace and trading with East Asian
countries.
The first India-ASEAN Summit, which took place at Phnom Penh in November 2002, had
focused attention on relations with the countries in the Mekong region. Prime Minister A.B.
Vajpayee on this occasion spoke about the common visions and designs with the ASEAN. India
extended $ 10 million credit to Cambodia and signed three agreements in the areas of trade,
technical education and maintenance of the 1000-year-old Tam Pram Temple. India also accorded/
granted greater tariff concessions to Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. It was considered
as an important gesture towards the ASEAN.

India and South Asia

Southeast Asia is comprised of ten countries namely Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. All these countries are members of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Burma (Myanmar) shares a contiguous land and sea frontier with India while Thailand, Indonesia and other countries in the region share
common maritime frontiers. Needless to say, that they are India’s close neighbors, with whom its relations date back to time immemorial. The history of the ancient Southeast Asian Kingdoms, i.e. Funan, Champa, Cambodge, Pagan, Dwarabati, Srivijaya and Majapahit indicate India’s intimate cultural ties. The art, architecture, epic and language have had similarities and their origin and growth cannot be understood in proper perspective without understanding their Indian counterparts. Ashoka the Great, had sent his emissaries, Sona and Uttara to spread the gospel of Buddhism in the region of Burma, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. These nations declared Buddhism as their state religion. The impact of Hinduism still remains as part of their indigenous culture and religion. The ethnic Malays accepted Islam as their religion but the Muslims in Java have not yet disowned their Hindu traditions. Some of them still believe in animism and worship many spirits in different names. Bali remains a Hindu dominated society, and adherents of Buddhism
can be found in all parts of the Southeast Asia.


Malacca, Sunda and Lombok are the important sea-lanes linking East Asia with the rest of the world. Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand are industrially advanced. Singapore has an effective service sector in the field of finance, airlines, computers and shipping. Mainland Southeast Asia has diverse mountain ranges and rivers running from North to South, and most of them originate in Tibet. The main rivers are Mekong passing through Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Other rivers are Irrawadi, Chindawin and Salween in Burma, Menam Chao Phraya in Thailand,
Song Koi (Red River) and Song Bo (Black Rivers) in Vietnam. These rivers bring rich alluvial deposits regularly to make the land fertile. Most fertile areas created by these rivers are lower Burma, Central Thailand, Tongking and Mekong deltas. Thailand and Vietnam are the largest rice exporting countries in the world. This unit examines various aspects of socio-economic-political features of South-East Asian countries. India’s relations with ASEAN countries are analysed in this Unit. India attaches great importance towards pursuing good neighbourly relations with the countries in Southeast Asia. The policy of “Look East” is the strategy of the Indian diplomacy ever since 1991 and its major thrust has been to improve India’s existing ties with the ASEAN region, and promote trade, investment, tourism, science and technology relations. Indian policies are endeavored to resurrect close historical and cultural ties, which were marred during the colonial period. The Cold War paradigm in the past prevented India to attend various issues in its bilateral relations but the situation changed only after the end of the Cold War. Various initiatives have been taken to rejuvenate our economic, cultural and strategic connections. Total bilateral trade with ASEAN countries has shown increasing trends from 5.98 billion in 1998-99 to 7.98 billion in 2002-03.


ASEAN investments which were dismal during the Cold War period, started coming and confidence was displayed on both sides. Various packages for the promotion of tourism were mooted and now it is not limited only to visit Buddhist sites in Bodh Gaya. India is willing to attract investments from the ASEAN region and they have been advocating liberalisation and free trade. ASEAN is trying to reciprocate the Indian gestures. They recognise the importance of
India as a great market where they find the existence of middle class people in millions. Besides, they have common historical, religious and security interests. Both of them support the policy of democratisation, liberalisation and free trade. Both are opposed to the rise of fundamentalism and terrorism and both are supporting human rights to be universally respected.

Gender and Socialization

Children learn early on that there are different expectations of boys and girls. Cross-cultural studies show that children get aware of gender roles by the age of two or three. By four or five years of age, most children are firmly embedded in the culturally appropriate gender roles. Children acquire these roles through socialization, a process in which people learn to behave in certain ways dictated by society’s values, beliefs, and attitudes. For example, society often views motorcycling as a male activity and therefore sees it as a part of the male gender role. Attitudes like this are usually based on stereotypes, oversimplified ideas about group members. Gender stereotypes involve an over-generalization of the attitudes, characteristics, or behavior patterns of women or men. For example, women may be thought of as too timid or weak to ride a motorcycle.

Gender stereotypes form the basis of sexism; Sexism refers to biased beliefs that place one gender over another; varies in severity; In parts of the world where women are severely undervalued, girls may not have equal access to food. They will also grow up believing that they deserve to be treated differently from boys. While it is illegal as discrimination in the United States, inequality of women continues to permeate social life. It should be noted that gender discrimination occurs at both micro and macro levels. Many sociologists focus on the discrimination that is built into the social fabric. This type of discrimination is known as institutional discrimination. Gender socialization occurs through four main agents in socialization: family, education, peers, and media. Each agent reinforces gender roles by creating and maintaining normative expectations for gender-specific behavior. Exposure also comes from secondary agents such as religion and the workplace. Repeated exposure to these agents over time leads men and women to mislead them into thinking that they are acting naturally rather than following a socially constructed role.

Family is the first agent of socialization. There is considerable evidence that parents socialize sons and daughters differently. Generally speaking, girls are given more latitude to step outside of their prescribed gender role. However, differential socialization typically results in greater privileges afforded to sons. For instance, boys are allowed more autonomy and independence at an earlier age than daughters. They may be given fewer restrictions on appropriate clothing, dating habits, or curfew. Sons are also often free from performing domestic duties such as cleaning or cooking and other household tasks that are considered feminine. Daughters are limited by their expectation to be passive and nurturing, generally obedient, and to assume many of the domestic responsibilities.

The strengthening of gender roles and stereotypes will continue till the child has reached school age. Until recently, schools made an explicit effort to stratify boys and girls. The first step in stratification was segregation. The girls were encouraged to take courses in home economics or the humanities. Studies suggest that gender socialization in schools is still happening today, possibly in a less overt way. Teachers may not even realize that they are acting to reproduce separated gender behavioral patterns. Ask students to arrange their seats or to align by gender, teachers may indicate that boys and girls should be treated differently.

Imitating the actions of other important people is the first step in developing separate sense of self. Like adults, children become agents who actively promote normative gender expectations and apply them to their surroundings. When children do not conform to the appropriate gender role, they may face negative sanctions such as being criticized or marginalized by their peers. Though many of these sanctions are informal, they can be quite severe. For example, a girl who wishes to take karate lessons instead of dance lessons may be referred to as a “tomboy” and has difficulty gaining acceptance from male and female peer groups. Children in particular are severely ridiculed because of gender mismatches.

Mass media serves as another significant agent of gender socialization. In television and films, women tend to play a less important role and are often portrayed as wives or mothers. When women are given a lead role, it often falls at one of the two extremes: a healthy and holy figure or a malicious hypersexual figure. The same inequality is widespread in children’s films.

Basic queries related to feminism. Part-1

Q1) What is feminism and when did it start?                                             

Feminism, one of the most influential ideologies, seeks to analyze the social position of women and lays the foundations for the reform and advancement of women in all areas of society.

This struggle for power, like class and race struggles, is potentially revolutionary. In fact, it is the oldest power struggle, the least public in its manifestations of conflict, and the most fundamental in its impact on society. In the Middle Ages or even ancient times, it makes more sense to start our studies at the end of the 18th century and the French Revolution. The Enlightenment and Revolution influenced women in France and other parts of Europe with the prospect of freedom and revolution. Mary Wollstonecraft is a leading early “feminist” writer and in her book “An Indication of the Rights of Woman (1792)”she says that women should have the same legal rights as men on the basis of equality of humanity, moral worth, rationality and freedom; It was wrong that women were defined by gender as denying their educational, legal, economic and political rights. She declared that there will be a beneficial revolution in the relationship between men and women.

As sensitive as these views appear today, they challenged the male-dominated power structures that ruled all levels of society in the 19th century. With men being liberated, women hoped their interests could be promoted through voting and parliament.

Three “waves” of feminism can be seen: the first between 1830 and 1930, focused mainly on legal and political rights; The second, in the 1960s and 1970s, focused on much more basic personal and relationship issues. The third over the past decade has also been essentially a reflection and re-evaluation of what has been accomplished.

Q1) Do you believe that only certain groups of people should be allowed to have an access to certain opportunities and rights? if no then why do we see this discrimination being practiced and why should anybody decide that?

Before answering the question, let’s deeply understand what equality of opportunity means.

Peter Westen, a renowned philosopher shows that an opportunity is a ternary relationship between a person, some obstacles, and the desired goal; however, a person only has an opportunity if he has a probability to achieve that goal. When you encounter insurmountable obstacles, you will have no chance. This makes it impossible to achieve a goal. For instance, one cannot have an opportunity to become the president of India if he is not a natural-born citizen. Many people, therefore, have no opportunity to become president of India. A person can have an opportunity even in the face of many, quite critical and severe, obstacles. So, a natural-born Indian citizen has the opportunity to become president, but he faces serious obstacles, such as accumulating the relevant number and distribution of votes, social obstructions, and gender obstructions.

For the opportunities to be equivalent within a group, each member of that group must confront obstacles that are not insurmountable. In our example, all Indian-born citizens have equal opportunities, when alterable obstacles such as race, gender, and religion are removed and when main barriers remain, such as getting democratically elected. One exception to alterable obstacles is that of biology. One can put a limit on sociological factors like racism, sexism, and casteism but not on the biological ones. Biology is the reason why men are preferred over women to form an army. The same reason goes for women as nurses are mostly women. You still can give equal opportunity to women to apply in the army but you can’t guarantee the equal outcome as a woman biologically has less stamina, power, and aggression than a man which are imperative to be a part of an army.

Now coming back to the question. No, I do not believe that only certain groups of people should be allowed to have an access to certain opportunities and rights. The real evaluation should be on the main obstacle. We should ultimately try to contain the alterable obstacles like racism, sexism, casteism etcetera. If we are able to minimize these obstacles, it will bring us quite close to achieve equality for opportunity.

The reason why discrimination is being practiced is because the alterable obstacles aren’t getting minimized as the sociological impact of flawed mentality taken from the society and the liberal provisions in the country are letting the young minds get corrupted.

They are taught from starting that, girls are only for household purposes and girls aren’t capable work outside the house.

They are also told that one cast is higher than another or one race is greater than another or one religion is purer than another. This impact does make the upcoming generation susceptible to becoming sexist and racist.

Forms of Economic Analysis: Micro vs. Macro

Micro and Macro-economics

The subject matter of economics has been divided into two parts Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. These terms were first coined and used by Ragnar Frisch and have now been adopted by the economists all over the world. Nowadays one can hardly come across a text book on modern economic analysis which does not divide its analysis into two parts, one dealing with microeconomics and the other with macroeconomics.

The term microeconomics is derived from the Greek word mikros meaning “small” and the term macroeconomics is derived from the Greek word makros meaning “largo.” Thus, microeconomies deals with the analysis of small individual units of the economy such as individual firms and small aggregates or groups of individual units such as various industries and markets.

On the other hand, macroeconomics concerns itself with the analysis of the economy as a whole and its large aggregates such as total national output and income, total employment, total consumption, aggregate investment. Thus, according to K E Boulding, “Microeconomics is the study of particular fums, particular households, individual prices, wages, Incomes, individual industries, particular commodities.”

About macroeconomics he remarles, “Macroeconomics deals not with individual quantities as such but with aggregates of these quantities, not with individual incomes but with the national Income; not with individual prices but with the price level; not with individual outputs but with the national output “.

  • MICROECONOMICS

As stated above, microeconomics studies the economic actions and behaviour of individual units and small groups of individual units. In microeconomic theory we discuss how the various cells of economic organism, that is, the various units of the economy such as thousands of consumers, thousands of producers or firms, thousands of workers and resource suppliers in the economy do their economic activities and reach their equilibrium states. In other words, in microeconomics we make a microscope study of the economy.

But it should be remembered that microeconomics does not study the economy in Its totality. Instead, in microeconomics we discuss equilibrium of innumerable units of the economy piecemeal and their interrelationship to each other.

” For instance, in microeconomic analysis we study the demand of an individual consumer for a good and from there go on to derive the market demand for the good (that is, demand of a group of individuals consuming a particular group).

Examples of Microeconomic variables: Demand of a commodity, Supply of a commodity, Income of a consumer, Price of the commodity etc.

Examples of Microeconomic theories/study: Law of demand, Law of supply, Determination of consumer equilibrium, Determination of producer equilibrium etc.

-> Importance of Micro Economics

I. Price Determination:

Micro economics helps in elucidation how the prices of diverse commodities are determined.  It also explicates how the prices of various aspects of production such as rent for land, wages for labour, interest for capital and profits for entrepreneur are decided in the commodity and factor market.

II. Working of a Free Market Economy:

Free market economy is the economy where the economic pronouncements regarding production of goods such as ‘What to produce, How much to produce, How to produce etc.’ are taken by private individuals. These verdicts are based on the inclination of the consumer or demand for the product. Micro economics theory helps in grasping the working of the free market economy.

III. International Trade & Public Finance:

Micro economics helps to elucidate many international trade facets like impacts of tariff, determination of exchange rates, advantages from international trade etc. It is also beneficial in public finance to analyse both, the occurrences as well as effect of a specific tax.

IV. Utilization of Resources:

Micro economics helps in elucidating how the scarce resources can be effectually and efficiently utilized by the producers in order to achieve highest output.

V. Model Building:

Micro economics helps in grasping various complex economic situations with its modest models. It has made an imperative contribution to the science of economics by the development of numerous terms, concepts, terminologies, tools of economic evaluation etc.

VI. Helps in Taking Business Decisions:

Micro economic theories are beneficial to businessmen for taking decisive business decisions. These decisions comprise the cost of production, values, maximum output, consumer’s preferences, demand and supply of the product etc.

VII. Useful to Government:

Micro economics is that subdivision of economics which is related with the study of economic behaviour of individual economic units. It is beneficial in building economic policies such as taxation policy, public expenditure policy, price policy etc.  These policies aid the government to reach its goal of efficient distribution of resources and promoting economic wellbeing of the society.

VIII. Basis of Welfare Economics:

Micro economics endorses economic and social welfare by making finest utilization of the resources, thereby evading wastage.

  • MACROECONOMICS

Macroeconomics is a Study of Aggregates. We now turn to explain the approach and content of macroeconomics. ‘As said above, word macro is derived from the Greek word ‘makros’ meaning large and therefore macroeconomics is concerned with the economic activity in the large.

Macroeconomic analyses the behaviour of the whole economic system in totality or entirety. In other words, macroeconomic studies the behaviour of the large aggregates such as total employment, the national product or income, the general price level of the economy. Therefore, macroeconomics is also known as aggregative economics. Macroeconomics analyses and establishes the functional relationship between these large aggregates. Thus Professor Boulding says, “Macroeconomics deals not with individual quantities as such but with the aggregates of these quantities; not with individual incomes but with the national income, not with individual prices but with the price level; not with individual output but with the national output.

Macroeconomics, then, is that part of the subject which deals with large aggregates and averages of the system rather than with particular items in it and attempts to define these aggregates in a useful manner and to examine their relationships. ” Professor Gardner Ackley makes the distinction between the two types more clear and specific when he writes, macroeconomics concerns itself with such variables as the aggregate volume of output in an economy, with the extent to which its resources are employed, with the size of the national income, with the general price level”. Microeconomics, on the other hand, deals with the division of total output among industries, products and firms and the allocation of resources among competing uses. It considers problems of income distribution. Its interest is in relative prices of particular goods and services.

Examples of Macroeconomic variables : Aggregate supply, Aggregate demand, National income, Total output etc.

Examples of Macroeconomic studies/theories : Determination of equilibrium level of income, Determination of foreign exchange rate, Determination of govt. budget etc.

-> Importance of macroeconomics

Macroeconomics is a vibrant concept that studies the whole nation and works for the welfare of the economy. It is beneficial for the timing of economic variations to prevent or be prepared for any financial crisis or any long – term adverse situations. The system of fiscal and monetary policies rest on entirely on the examination of the widely held macroeconomic situations in the nation. Macroeconomics mainly purposes to help the Government and the financial bodies to fix economic stability in the country. This course of economics gives a broader viewpoint of social or national issues. The ones who want to provide to the welfare of society need to study macroeconomics. It guarantees or keeps a check over the appropriate functioning of the country’s economy and real position. The analysis of macroeconomics concepts and issues helps the economists to understand the causes and possible explanations of such macro-level problems.  Dealing with numerous economic situations through the use of macro-economic data unlocks the door for development in the country.

Introduction: Identity Politics and Political Correctness

Identity Politics

Identity politics is a term that describes a political approach wherein people of a particular religion, race, social background, class or other identifying factor develop political agendas and organize based upon the interlocking systems of oppression that may affect their lives and come from their various identities. Identity politics centers the lived experiences of those facing various systems of oppression to better understand the ways in which racial, economic, sex-based, gender-based, and other forms of oppression are linked and to ensure that political agendas and political actions arising out of identity politics leave no one behind.

There is a very positive element to identity politics, that identity politics can be a great source of strength and unity to minority communities: they help them feel psychologically safe and secure especially when coping with life in the West. Language, culture and religion are the ways in which people also cope with the psychological stress of trauma or rapid change — refugees and migrants will band together in ethnic communities in new countries in order to stay connected to what they have lost or left behind. More and more people join the social groups which results in more authority and power. And as it is said, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The social groups formed on the basis of their particular identity now starts to diminish, cancel and supress any valid argument made against them. Now that the majority of people are on the side of these social groups related to Feminism, Gay right activism, anti-racism etc, a person having an opposing but a valid strong argument can’t place it without being called as anti-feminist, homophobic, and racist. In most cases it leads to their career being destroyed.

This whole mob mentality which evolutionized from a primary cause to help the oppressed groups, class is because of the absolute power it gets on the later stages. They think that everything they do is correct and which is horribly wrong. This whole thing of identity politics has a bad effect on the society. Forget forgiveness, something said mistakenly isn’t tolerated at all and the criticism, hate and abuse the person has to suffer is immense and eventually leaves a mark for the rest of his life.

Political Correctness

Political correctness is a term used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society. The term has been used to describe a preference for inclusive language and avoidance of language or behaviour that can be seen as excluding, marginalizing, or insulting to groups of people disadvantaged or discriminated against, particularly groups defined by ethnicity, sex, or gender.

Political correctness makes sure we remain within societal boundaries that have been previously established. This helps us maintain the previous progress we have made regarding acceptance, equality and inclusivity. By directing people to be careful in their speech we help prevent negative polarisation and the acceptance of prejudices. This way we do not lose progress in tolerance and equality. The spread of hate crimes, extreme nationalism and prejudices can also be attributed to from lack of political correctness in politics. When people with a platform say bigoted things, the wider population sees these views as legitimate.

Political correctness restricts public debates and thinking in society and in mainstream media. This results in ‘touchy’ issues not being discussed efficiently. There is no flexibility with social boundaries. Political correctness is a form of social engineering used to silence people with ‘controversial’ ideas. Political correctness is not fixed, so what is unacceptable changes. But who gets to decide what qualifies as unacceptable? Politicians who condemn others citing political correctness (excluding ‘hate speech’ or clear examples of discrimination) are going against the principles of freedom of speech. They are silencing people according to their own standards. Some people think political correctness is a leftist plot that silences the right and removes ‘alternative politicians’ from mainstream media. Because much of the world’s views are not strictly ‘politically correct’, they are not represented. Others think that ‘The whole political correctness movement was invented by the Far Right to inhibit any meaningful discussion of diversity issues in order to keep racial, gender, and other barriers in place.

                      History is the future!

                                 

We have always been cramming the dates, years of the major events that have happened in the past or the main points of the revolution that happened. Those sure were the pain in the brain, the main reason of this beautiful subject being boring. What would have happened if we did put more emphasis on pondering over the ideas that triggered all those wars and revolutions?

It would have been better in my opinion that rather than making students cram the date of the attack on Bastille, the idea behind the attack was targeted, making students think whether it was the right way to do it? It would have better if the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Maximilian Robespierre was earmarked, and the opinion was taken of each student on that, training their brain on HOW TO THINK rather than WHAT TO THINK.

How does it affect the future? You know the basic problem in India is we feed students; we do not make them search for the food. There must be a reason why we are a hub of cheap labour in the world but not of high skilled labour and leaders. The root cause of this is the blocked vision and the one-dimensional brain that is the result of constant feeding without thinking. A labourer won’t question your ideas, but a thinker would dare to question the thinking and could even change it and that’s where the creative thinking comes from, expanding your horizons, increasing your dimensions. You can see the world with the eyes of Albert Einstein or Max Weber by not merely reading their ideas but to think over it.

We all have read about Hitler, and we have crammed what he did. If we had been more possessive about his thinking itself, we must have known how one man can control the peoples’ mind. He was one of the powerful orator the world has ever seen, flowing peoples’ mind with hatred against one race and then controlling the stuff that their mind should feed through media, newspaper and other magazines, eliminating the THINKERS and the people he felt weren’t suitable by his standards or were opposing his draconian actions. In the end, the majority of the people left were his followers and the next thing we know was the start of WW2.

Now see your country’s leader, are there any similarities? If there are and there isn’t a big opposition against him, people must have learnt History from a wrong way, now tell me how cramming the date of Hitler’s birth would have helped us?

Let’s take another example, we all are aware of the India-China standoff that occurred recently. It wasn’t the first time China has done that. China’s shenanigans commenced from blunders that Pt Jawaharlal Nehru made in the 1950s which also were the great catalysts in India losing the 1962 war.

India happily ignored Chinese claims until the early 1950s. Maps released by Beijing in 1954 showed the north-eastern edge of Jammu and Kashmir (Aksai Chin region) as the territory of the Chinese, which triggered the alarm. Instead of vigorously addressing the issue with China and trusting the country, the Jawaharlal Nehru government decided to remain silent. The obvious way out was to sit across the table and solve the problem. A diplomatic solution was possible, this was the moment. The controversial borders were not delimited, only delimited. (Singh, 2019)

The sheer cowardice of Nehru has been haunting us ever since. One can’t change the historical mistakes but we sure can learn from them.

History should be treated as a subject that imparts important modern competencies like writing, critical thinking, reasoning and decision making. This makes the matter more relatable, beneficial, engaging and in the long term, helpful for the country.

Importance of Atmanirbhar Bharat

A nation’s strength ultimately consists in what it can do on its own, and not in what it can borrow from others.” – Indira Gandhi.

Self-Reliance, one thing which is common in all developed nations and a thing that a developing nation wants to achieve. One of those developing nations which are striving to make themselves self-reliant is India. The battle to become self-reliant is not new but started back from the independence itself. At that time, India was the largest economy in South Asia, the self-reliance in the state heavy industries and strategic sectors in the post-independence decades put India before most of the developing world.

However, in the 1970s and 1980s, India did not modernize these industries to move up the technological ladder. Little was done to modernize light industries. The industrial ecosystem was held hostage to the license-permit-quota system that hampered innovation. As a result, self-reliance gave way to corruption and dependence on imports. A major turn came in 1991 after economic liberalization in India was initiated in 1991 by Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao and his then-Finance Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

1) Atmanirbhar Bharat and the idea behind it

At a time when the world was plagued by the deadly pandemic, PM Narendra Modi launched a campaign which was meant to convert this crisis into an opportunity and strengthen India’s fight by becoming Aatmanirbhar or self-reliant.

-> There are five pillars of Atmanirbhar Bharat which focus on:

  • Economy
  • Infrastructure
  • System
  • Vibrant Demography and
  • Demand

-> The Five phases of Atmanirbhar Bharat are:

  • Phase-I: Businesses including MSMEs
  • Phase-II: Poor, including migrants and farmers
  • Phase-III: Agriculture
  • Phase-IV: New Horizons of Growth
  • Phase-V: Government Reforms and Enablers

PM Modi emphasized the fact that it is time to voice our local products and make them global. A special economic package was created as part of this campaign. Established by the government, which will benefit various segments including the craft industry, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), workers, the middle class and industry. The economic package announced by the Prime Minister, along with various packages launched during the lockdown period, amounts to around 20 lakh crore rupees ($ 283.73 billion), which was roughly 10 percent of India’s GDP. It was expected to support and empower different parts of the country and give new impetus to the development of the country in 2020.

In order to express the determination of an independent India, land, labor, liquidity and laws were included in this package. Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, made all the announcements related to several sectors on different days, divided into five tranches, and provided detailed information on the steps the government is taking.

2) Division of package for different sectors in Atmanirbhar Bharat

  • First tranche – Rs 5,94,550 crore

The first aid installment announced by Nirmala Sitharaman focuses on empowering the backbone of the Indian economy: MSMEs, which employ around 11 billion people and have a GDP share of around 29 percent. This included unsecured loans of Rs.3 billion and a capital injection of Rs. 50,000 billion for MSMEs through the funds

  • Second tranche – Rs 3,10,000 crore

Nirmala Sitharaman’s second installment of measures was targeted at migrant workers and street vendors. The minister introduced ‘one nation one ration card’ card so migrant workers can buy ration from any ration depot in the country. Around 50 lakh street vendors will have access to a special credit facility of Rs 5,000 crore within an initial working capital of Rs 10,000. Around 2 lakh crore rupees will be delivered to farmers via kisan credit cards, while 2.5 crore farmers, including fishermen and animal husbandry farmers will be able to attain institutional loans at a preferential rate.

  • Third tranche – Rs 1,50,000 crore

The third tranche worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore aims at agriculture and related sectors, including dairy, livestock and fisheries, as the government proclaimed measures to toughen the broad agricultural sector.

  • Fourth and fifth tranches – Rs 48,100 crore

The fourth installment of the Rs 20 Lakh Crore package included reforms for sectors such as coal, minerals, defense production, airspace management, airports, MRO, UT distributors, space and nuclear energy.

3) Sectors to benefit from Atmanirbhar bharat.

I. MICRO, SMALL, AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES

Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises have played a vital role in Indian economy. It has contributed one third to the GDP of India and also provided employment to large sections of society. The sector is source of livelihood to 110 million people. With the current phase of Atmanirbhar Bharat these MSME’s has become more significant to India’s financial and economic sector. Acknowledging the importance of this sector it would contribute to 50 million jobs and half of India’s GDP in the coming five years.

Benefits of MSME’s under Atmanirbhar Bharat:

  • Collateral free loans- The commencement of collateral free automatic loans will assist the existing borrowers and this will also give the fuel restart to the business operation.

Some of the key highlights of this benefits are-

-> According to bank policies, the current borrowers should have the standard ratings and turnover of rs.100 crore.

-> Four years of loan tenure and 12 months on principle payment.

-> No additional collateral is required.

  • Equity Infusion- Government is going to setup a fund for funds of 10,000 crore to overcome this situation of pandemic. FOF will be operated through a Mother fund and few Daughter fund. Through these funds the MSME’s can expand their size and capabilities. This will also encourage MSME’s to get listed on the board of stock exchange.
  • Debt for stressed MSME’s- To support MSME’s the central government will provide Rs. 20,000crore as subordinate debts. The infusion of fresh capital into the business will reduce the burden on MSME’s and will benefit two lakh MSME’s.

II. Agriculture and Fisheries

Agriculture is the most important sector of Indian economy. It contributes to 18% of GDP and provide employment to 50% of countries workforce. Government towards improving this sector has released two major initiatives Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN) and Agriculture Infrastructure Fund this will help to improve the financial and agriculture status of farmer.

Benefits of agriculture under Atmanirbhar Bharat:

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN)- Under this scheme financial benefit of Rs 6,000/- is provided to beneficiary farmers and is payable in three equals that is 4 monthly installments of Rs 2,000/-. However, under this scheme an amount of more than 17,000 crore has been transferred to 8.5 crore beneficiary farmers.
  • Agriculture Infrastructure Fund- The objective of this scheme is to drive investment across the agricultural chain. This scheme will allow farmers to store their produce till they get better price and affordable post-harvest infrastructure. Farmers and other stakeholders will have access to financing 3% interest and credits from governments and this will help them to enhance their product value.

III. Coal Mining Reforms

India being the fourth- largest producer of coal in the world. In the vision to build Atmanirbhar Bharat a reform to promote commercial coal mining in India has been announced. Opening up of these sectors will expand world class production capacity and provide top product services with global supply chain.

Benefits of Coal mining under Atmanirbhar Bharat:

  • Forty-one coal mines are opened for auction and there are no end restrictions on the coal production for these mining. Bidders will not require any previous experience in coal mining they just have to put up sufficient amount of money. Mining plan approval will be provided in 30 days rather than 90 days. Coal mining will be determined through a National Coal Index for different grades of coal.
  • These 41 mines are likely to produce 225 million tones annually and Rs. 33,000 capital expenditure to get these mining going. Additionally, state government will generate more than 20,000 crore per year in royalties from these mining. This will generate direct and in direct jobs for more than 3 lakh employers and is expected to generate fund of Rs. 112 crores for the District Minerals Foundation Fund.

IV. Non-Banking finance (NBFCs), Housing finance companies (HFCs), Microfinance institutions

For the Non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), Housing finance companies (HFCs), Microfinance institutions (MFIs) Ministry of finance has announced following measures:

  • Special liquidity scheme worth Rs. 30,000 crores
  • Partial credit guarantee scheme worth Rs. 45,000 crores

Benefits of these schemes under Atmanirbhar Bharat:

  •  Main objective of Special liquidity scheme is to provide liquidity support to MSMEs that are impacted due to this pandemic. Under this scheme investments will be made both in primary and secondary transactions in investment papers of NBFCs, HFCs, MFIs. These securities will be fully guaranteed by government. This scheme will ensure operational continuity and promote leading MSME sector.
  • Partial credit guarantee scheme is for NBFCs, HFCs, MFIs, having low credit rating and provide liquidity to leading MSMEs and individual and first 20% loan will be given by the government. This also helps the MSMEs to avoid distress sale of their assets for meeting immediate funds.

Conclusion

This campaign can reach its epitome if supported well by the government. Keeping in mind the increasing incursions by China and India’s dependence on it, the success of the campaign is now more in need than ever. If the government is solemn about instigating this economic philosophy, it must clearly list the areas that need improvement to make Indian manufacturing competitive. Only then will entailed policies get outlined and implemented to bring about the change.

E-Commerce – Benefits and Disadvantages

Long gone are the days when you had to venture through 7-8 shops before buying a desirable mobile or shoes. It didn’t take long to get all of those suitable things you crave to be present on your few clicks which was quite unimaginable back in a decade or so.

The growth of E-Commerce escalated with double or even triple digit annually around mid-1990s and this escalation was a result of the launch of the first web browser, aptly named “World Wide Web”. Also, the sheer development of internet and its usage was a major catalyst in the E-Commerce boom. By the end of 2020, 60-70% of the world has connected to internet. Amazon, eBay emerged as the major dominators in the world of E-Commerce with Amazon still keeping up its level till date.

The development and evolution of e-commerce has made our life easier and less hectic. One can give countless advantages of it like convenience, security etc. but what about the benefits which get cloak under the blanket of the obviously known advantages?

Advantages

1) Economy – The Indian E-commerce market is likely to grow to US$ 200 billion by 2026 from US$ 38.5 billion as of 2017. Much of the progress for the industry has been prompted by an upsurge in internet and smartphone penetration

  • On October 23, 2020, Flipkart acquired a 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, a subsidiary of the Aditya Birla Group, for Rs. 1,500 crore (US$ 203.8 million). (IBEF, 2021)
  • In October 2020, Amazon India collaborated with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to enable users to book and reserve train tickets on Amazon. (IBEF, 2021)
  • In October 2020, Flipkart acquired a 140-acre land at Rs. 432 crore (US$ 58.87 million) to establish their largest fulfilling center in Asia, in Manesar, Gurgaon, in a bid to scale their fulfilment infrastructure to cater to increased demand post COVID-19. (IBEF, 2021)
  • In October 2020, Amazon India invested over Rs. 700 crore (US$ 95.40 million) into its payment unit, Amazon Pay. (IBEF, 2021)

2) Cost reduction – E-commerce is affordable and requires less investment when compared with a physical store. This is also a good opportunity for an individual and a new seller who wants to earn an income but doesn’t have the required capital to run his business. Sellers also don’t have to spend a lot of money to promote their product. The world of e-commerce has several affordable and quick ways to advertise a product. E-commerce is a virtual channel and sellers can easily show off their products. In e-commerce sellers can compare the products on their own by using different tools. This gives them a good idea of product alternatives available, the standard rates, if a product need is fulfilled. This one is more benefit for the customers too so the people are more confident about the product they are buying. (Amazon, 2020)

3) Boon in the current COVID situation – World wouldn’t have asked a better boon than getting your essentials and suitable needs at home without going out in this deadly pandemic which has been haunting the world now for more than a year. This doesn’t only keep you safe but also keeps the fatal infection from contracting.

By now, we all have at least got an idea that internet has become an amazingly powerful tool to conduct business electronically. Many companies have jumped into e-commerce realm after seeing its potential and profit margin. Now here kicks in the concerns related to e-commerce business. Increasing relevance of this field also increases privacy concerns. The dearth of consumer protection legislations also starts lurking around. Indeed, the dark side of e-commerce is not short listed.

Disadvantages

1) Security – One of the biggest drawbacks to ecommerce can be the lack of reliability and security due to poor implementation. Online transactions are mainly processed via debit card, credit card and internet banking and in very few cases via the “cash on delivery” option. Website owners try to take all available precautions to protect card details. However, what if the website is hacked by cyber criminals? This is a harsh reality with ecommerce websites. It is important to remain vigilant and proactive in protecting the website and, primarily, customer-related information. Security has been an issue from the start and is considered to be one of the main disadvantages of e-commerce.

2) Lack of Privacy – The privacy invasion problem is a serious drawback of e-commerce. A customer must provide their personal information before purchasing. Some websites do not have advanced encryption technology that can protect their personal information from hackers, and this is very important. The leakage of this confidential information can create many problems for a consumer.

3) Huge technological cost – E-commerce requires advanced platforms to improve performance. If you run into issues in the form of software, network, or domain issues, you will not be able to offer smooth transactions. The right technical infrastructure is expensive and requires large investments. It also needs to be updated regularly to accommodate changing times. The cost of running a successful business is a disadvantage of the e-commerce portal.

Conclusion

E-commerce is generally defined as the automation of routine business processes and operations and their transfer into virtual space. This process significantly increases business efficiency and simplifies daily routine work. Recent research has shown that businesses are moving quickly between local businesses. Many companies are using the internet and e-commerce in more convenient ways to market their products in the local market. Most of the online retailers are cheaper than the same products they sell, which is the main reason why today’s online stores are gaining market share. Some online stores have exceptional terms where you don’t have to pay for a certain amount for home delivery. For e-commerce sales as the reports are automated. It is convenient for small businesses to go online as they can easily compete with the larger ones. In addition, online sales save costs, there is no need to rent an in-store point of sale, and storage is not always required. It is much easier to access overseas markets through the internet. The biggest shortcoming of online stores is that they cannot display a product before buying it.

BR Ambedkar: Social Justice


The contribution of Dr B.R. Ambedkar in Indian Democracy is not to be forgotten. As a Chairman of the Constitutional Committee, he gave a shape to our country of a complete Sovereign, Democratic, Republic based on an adult franchise. In the Constitution of free India all the citizens have been guaranteed social, political and economic equalities.

Baba Saheb BR Ambedkar’s name is written in gold letters throughout Indian history as the creator of social justice. Not only was he the creator of the constitution, but also the creator of social justice and the messiah of the oppressed. If Mahatma Gandhi gave us the direction and lesson of morality, then Baba Saheb shaped the social aspect without exploitation. It had, in the truest sense of the word, a democratic and antiquated goal. He spent his whole life promoting the poor, exploited untouchables. and classes with problems.
It has been a gloomy historic fact of Indian society that lower castes have been exploited and subjugated upon by the upper castes and for that reason the lower castes have mostly also been the lower classes economically and vice versa.

During the freedom movement there were many leaders and movements throughout India. The most protruding voice of and for the lower castes bad emerged in the person of B.R. Ambedkar who came from the untouchable Mahar caste in what is today Maharashtra. Even today Ambedkar is a hugely influential symbol who is followed by many political forces throughout the length and breadth of India. Ambedkar’s aim in his own words was to get justice for the ‘last, the lost and the least and he emerged as a sort of revolutionary leader of India’s Hindu untouchable and other castes. His intention was to fight for their equality and seek better-quality living conditions for them and reach education among them and get suitable representation for them in elected bodies and in government services.


During the freedom struggle. Ambedkar’s emphasis on issues related to social justice forced the leaders of the national movement to take these up as part of the agenda associated with the main demand for unshackling the country from the chains of colonialism. Ambedkar was a highly educated person with great academic accomplishments and a lawyer by training. His views on social justice are to be found in his books and speeches.
His most important works are Annihilation of Caste (1936). Who were the Shudras (1946) and The Untouchables (1948). Also, his writings like What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables. He put forward vivid well researched attacks on the exploitative Hindu caste system chiefly with respect to how untouchables were treated and struggled all his life to secure legal and constitutional safeguards for their rights. It is stimulating in spite of the fact that he had attacked Gandhi’s Congress Party’s views and attitudes on the caste system quite harshly and in a scathing manner in
his writings, despite of that Gandhiji suggested Ambedkar’s name to head the committee to draft the Constitution.


Ambedkar in his work “Who Were the Shudras?” questioned the whole Hindu social order and tried to create a theory that the Shudras were not a separate varna or caste but were originally Kshatriyas who in a struggle with Brahmins were manipulated out of the kshatriya caste by the Brahmins and were deprived of the sacred thread.
He proposed a hypothesis that the untouchables were originally disciples of Buddha and were Buddhists but the Hindus led by the Brahmins to try to undermine Buddhist influence and stop its spread put the untouchables in a corner and started branding them untouchables. He believed the root of all lack of social justice in India was the caste system that created the environment for exploitation of man by man- of the Shudras and untouchables by
the brahmins and other higher castes. He believed that democracy cannot be achieved in India without first establishing social justice through the annihilation of the caste. Hence, he took a position that contradicted both the position of Congress and Gandhiji, who first wanted political reform and independence from the British colonial government, and the socialists and Marxists who wanted economic equality also established themselves first.