Why Is Our Government Insistent on Changing the Constitution?


Why Is Our Government Insistent on Changing the Constitution?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


he Constitution of India turns 69 years old today, which, in Indian politics, is positively youthful. In fact, our Constitution is only a few months older than our Prime Minister, and yet, it has been alleged that he feels like it needs to change with the times. Narendra Modi’s celebration of the legacy of Hindutva ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay provides a window into his opinion of the Constitution. In his writings, Upadhyay said the Constituent Assembly, which authored the Constitution, could “think only on the lines of the west”, and that “an un-Indian element” had crept into the Constitution, which should have been drafted in Hindi, according to him.

This flippant attitude toward the very document that gave shape to modern India comes through when Modi directly questions why the Kerala state government complied with the Supreme Court verdict that allowed women entry to Sabarimala Temple. According to the Constitution, no government, at the Centre or state level, can refuse to implement an order from the Supreme Court, but the ruling party either doesn’t know or doesn’t care.