The Modi Govt’s Efforts to Rewrite the Constitution Have Begun 

The government said in Parliament that it finds the Constitution inadequate and subject to continuous review.

3 min read
The Modi Govt’s Efforts to Rewrite the Constitution Have Begun 
Hindi Female

The Quint DAILY

For impactful stories you just can’t miss

By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy

Demonetisation led the winter session of the Parliament to be a total wash-out.

As the media focussed on the hullabaloo inside Parliament, a pertinent question was raised by BJP MP Dilipbhai Pandya from Gujarat about the “Review of the Constitution”, addressed to the Minister of Law and Justice, writes Neelabh Mishra in National Herald.

(Photo: Akriti Paracer/The Quint)

The government’s ominous response necessitates eternal vigilance on citizens’ part to enshrine the hard-won liberty, democracy and pluralism envisaged by the Constitution.

The reply to Pandya’s question was submitted as a statement on the House’s table by Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Minister for Law and Justice.

The government, according to its reply, finds the Constitution inadequate and subject to continuous review. However, the review itself is not to be done by a Constituent Assembly, that’s conferred sovereignly by the will and choice of the people but by the ministries and departments which derive their legitimacy and existence from the very document they wish to review.

They affirm to abide by the direction given by the Constitution Review Commission (the Venkatachaliah Commission), which was dubiously constituted via an arbitrary order of the previous NDA government, without the sanction of the then elected Parliament.

(Photo: Akriti Paracer/The Quint)
The first point of the response states “...The Commission submitted its report on 31 March 2002. Action on the recommendations made in the report lie with the various Ministries/Departments of the Government of India which are administratively concerned with the subject matter of the recommendations…”

The copies of the report were forwarded to the ministries/departments to examine and process the recommendations.

In responding to the other two points, the government states, "Review of the Constitution of India, with a view to bring it in harmony with the current economic, social and political situation in the country, is a continuous process normally done by Central Ministries/Departments as part of their business."


The government’s callousness regarding the document that enshrines the democratic principles, republic ideals and collective sovereign of the Indian people reflected in its response.

The Constitution then becomes an “administrative rule book” rather than the backbone of democracy, one which can be amended by the government of the day according to its principles, rather than by the collective will of the people, exercising their sovereignty and democratic rights.

The Constitutional Review in question is not the routine set of amendments any constitution in the world goes through but a comprehensive one which would mean an overhaul – in essence a new constitution altogether.

People bring into being the constitution of a nation, which gives legitimacy to the government, not the other way round. It is the government that’s accountable to the people and the constitution.

2017 should be when the government is confronted by the people, over its plans and designs for the Constitution and democracy.

Democracy is not just getting the majority rule and then governing with an iron fist. It's about being accountable to the democratic and republican values that help elect the government.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from news and india

Topics:  BJP   India   Democracy 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More