Consensus and tolerance are the essence of democracy


By Thoudam Imomacha Singh


There are, indeed, intricacies in matters of governance in a democracy like India. Despite having a thumping majority in the Lok Sabha, the NDA Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been spending quite a number of sleepless nights. Because, they lack the essential numbers in the Upper House (Rajya Sabha). The Modi Government has often maintained that they were keen on getting the controversial Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill passed during the current winter session of Parliament. But a negative response from the Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son and Vice President of the Party Rahul Gandhi was that they have already red-flagged three issues which were non-negotiable. Meanwhile Parliamentary Affairs Minister M.Venkaiah Naidu said while talking to journalists that Modi Government representatives had already spoken to the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad and the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge on Wednesday. Of course, Mr. Naidu, while not specifying what offer had been made to the Congress, quipped “We are open to suggestion as long as it does not change the principal contents of the Bill.” Over and above, a party like the Janata Dal (United), which was earlier backing the Bill has now stated in the wake of its victory in the Bihar assembly polls that it will not support the Bill till the Modi Government is prepared to address the problems of the Congress and the Left as they wish to keep the opposition unity intact. Now, the political situation in Parliament has already reached a point of no return, as both the Modi Government and the Opposition Congress remain prepared for a political show-down on the National Herald issue. It is rather the most unfortunate thing to happen. The GST impasse remains unsolved as Sonia Invokes Indira Gandhi in very daring terms like “I’am Indira Gandhi’s daughter-in-law. Why should i be afraid of anyone”. In this connection, a lower court in Delhi has directed Sonia Gandhi and her son to attain the court on Dec. 19, it is, now said. In view of these sudden development it has now become the entire responsibility of the BJP led NDA Government at the Centre to see that an amicable settlement is brought to dispel the logjam on GST in parliament.

In a time consuming discussion on 26 Nov. 2015 in Parliament, commemorating the constitution of India and the framer of this Holy Book of Indian Governance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has categorically stressed the importance of the occasion by remaining in the August House till it strikes 7 in the afternoon. Very interestingly, the official theme entitled “Commitment to India’s Constitution as part of the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. BR. Ambedkar, Home Minister Rajnath Singh steering the discussion said : “The words ‘socialists’ and ‘secular’ were incorporated in the Preamble through the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution. We had no objection. Let bygones be bygones. BR. Ambedkar had never thought the necessity to incorporate it in the preamble as these two words were part of the Constitution. It is inbuilt in the Indian system”, Mr. Rajnath Singh said. There were loud protests from the opposition Congress on that occasion. This means, even if the constitution of India is inherent with secularism in spirit and in letter the words are to be enshrined in the body of the constitution for all the time to come. Here lies the importance of secularism in a chaotic society in India. The recent Dadri and other incidents of murder strongly support this terminology to be expressly reflected in our Holy Book i.e the Constitution of India.

Pointing out that there is always a political angle to the whole episode of religious intolerance, the newly appointed Chief Justice of India (CJI), Tirath Singh Thakur has spelt out a strong message against divisive forces. He said India is always an inclusive society where people of all religious beliefs and practices can identically flourish with utmost mutual respect. He added that the Supreme Court of India will ensure that the rule of law reigns supreme. When asked by “The Hindu”, why the highest judiciary of the land did not use its extra ordinary jurisdiction of powers to take a suo motu cognizance of murders of eminent activists and writers like Dabholkar, Pansare and Kulbargi. The CJI retorted: “an order of the Supreme Court will not stop the killings”. He continued: “Crime has been a part of human life. There are people who give in to their animal instinct to kill”. Mr. Thakur rightly advised that what society should learn to nurture is the spirit of tolerance, mutual respect for religions. He said: “We are committed to uphold the constitution”.


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