Constituent Assembly debates should be taught in Universities

-Surya Pratap Singh Rajawat

This Citizen, as per second part of the Constitution of India, had an opportunity of access to the chamber where the Constitution duly signed by the members of the Constituent Assembly in Hindi and English, are preserved. Thereby replica of the original Constitution of India and a set of Constituent Assembly Debates were bought by me. Having examined the  replica of the original Constitution of India and a  Constituent Assembly Debates I am of the view that selected portions of the  Debates be incorporated in the  LL.B. syllabus in all Universities  for better understanding of  significant issues like citizenship, universal access to education, content of  textbooks, harmony between majority- minority, Uniform Civil Code, process of assimilation, secularism, synthesis of  cultural values, Sanskrit, national language, reservation policy, etc.

Illumination of the civilization in the original authoritative copy of the Constitution of India is the base for understanding the culture,   civilization and secularism of India. There is an attempt by the Constituent Assembly members to convey message for the future generation of India. As a matter of fact  it is  microcosm of the civilization of India from Harrapa Civilization to modern times in the form Mohanjodaro seal, Vedic Gurukul, Ramayan, Mahabharat-message of Geeta, Buddha, Mahaveer, Ashoka, statue of  Nataraj, King Vikramaditya court, Nalanda University , penance of Bhagirath for the Ganga , Shivaji Maharaj, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Rani Laxmi Bai, , Mahatma  Gandhi , Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose liberating “Bharat Mata  etc.Also it conveys that the cultural values of the oldest civilization on earth  can be best understood as Dharma. Each illumination represents Yugadharam of that era. Indeed, it is the embodiment of change with continuity.

It is worth meditating on the selection of the particular aspect of the theme for example the scene from Ramayan where the scene illustrates the return of Lord Ram, Mata Sita , and Laxman after victory over demon king Ravan. This carries multilayered message. Like after victory Lord Ram chose to come back to his kingdom. He could have retained Lanka which was wealthier. But this scene carries the essence of Indian civilisation. The essence of non- aggression and non occupation of foreign territory. Fight for right cause and upholding the “Dharmic” values. Similarly from Mahabharat the scene is from Kurukhetra where Lord Krishna is propounding the message of Gita. The Gita holds universal teachings for the human race.  Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Guru Gobind Singh Ji have been portrayed for the symbol of resistance against the tyranny  and evils of invaders and foreign civilization in medieval times  . Akbar has been given space for his contribution in the field of architecture. Tipu Sultan, along with Rani laxmi Bai , has been chosen to portray the resistance against British Raj.

Constituent Assembly rejected the proposal by Prof K T Shah for insertion of word Secular in Article 1 of the Constitution. Debates clearly signifies that the decision for not inserting Secular was on the ground that mischievous interpretation, narrow understanding   and political misuse of this word cannot be averted. Same Constituent Assembly clearly, explicitly and precisely underlines in the meaning of secularism in the India where God was added in the Oath of the President of India in the article 49 (Now article 60) on the proposal by H.V.Kamath.

Last but not least the recent protest against CAA 2019 in Universities on road leading to violence warrants that the youth must be aware of the making of the constitution of India and learn the Constitution Morality .University is the place for discussions, respecting the opposite views, debates with logic and reasoning. Protest must include logical reasoning with alternate solutions not stone pelting. Resolution of Kerala assembly on CAA 2019 when the matter is sub judice before Supreme Court of India is against the principles of Constitutional Morality. Judicial review is part of the basic structure doctrine of constitution of India.

Hence it is the pressing time to have national debate on the Constitutional Morality as talked by Dr Ambedkar so that such unconstitutional steps by states like Kerala be averted and true meaning of the Secularism as understood by the Constituent Assembly be placed before the Nation. Such act of Kerala reminds the words of Dr Rajendra Prasad on want of qualification for law makers. Vote politics coupled with appeasement policies with narrow definition of secularism has brought such state of affairs. This is the pressing time for   introduction of   Constituent Assembly Debates in LL.B. syllabus and other Courses in all Universities as well as in all libraries of all the Legislative Assemblies and the Legislative councils. Constituent Assembly Debates underlines that unity and integrity of India was never compromised for achieving social, political and economical reforms following the policy of   consensus and accommodation.

(Author is Advocate in Rajasthan High Court)

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