The Bold Voice of J&K

Know your Constitution

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   Dr. Kuldeep Singh 

Parliamentary System:- In parliamentary system, parliament is the supreme that represents the people. Though the government is carried on in the name of the President at the centre and the Governors in the States, the administration is actually carried on by the Council of Ministers which is responsible to the legislature. The central legislature is called Parliament and State legislature as Assembly.
Independent Judiciary:- The constitution also established a system of independent and impartial judiciary. It is not influenced by executives. It plays impartial role in case of conflicts between employees-government, and State-Central governments.
Adult Franchise:- Under Constitution, every Indian citizen who has completed 18 years of age has the right to vote and participate in choosing the governments at different levels- the Central and the State.
Fundamental Rights:- All citizens enjoy equal opportunities for growth and Constitution has granted six such rights.
[1] Right to Equality:- Constitution guarantees all citizens- equal protection by the laws; -State cannot discriminate against a citizen on the basis of caste, creed, race, religion, sex, or place of birth; -Special provisions for victims of unequal treatment such as children-women- schedule castes-schedule tribes-backward classes; -No discrimination in the matter of employment and provision of reserving some posts for required sections of people; -By abolishing the practice of untouchability and if someone practice it invites the punishment.
[2] Right to Freedom:- Right to freedom is a cluster of six rights- Freedom of speech & expression; -Freedom to assemble peacefully & without arms; -Freedom to form association & unions; -Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India; Freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and -Freedom to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation-trade-business. However, government can impose restrictions on these freedoms- If find threat to independence, sovereignty, integrity of India; -If violated a law or committed a crime; -In the interest of morality, and for public order; -If arrested enjoys right to defend herself/himself, and to be produced before magistrate within 24 hours; and -Imprison without bringing in court if done for preventive detention that means the person’s liberty a threat to law & order, and unity & integrity.
[3] Right against Exploitation:- Constitution prohibits- Traffic in human beings [selling & buying human beings]; Forced labour; Employment of children in hazardous jobs. In the absence of these provisions the whole society’s future is harmed.
[4] Right to Freedom of Religion: Constitution provides- For a right to freedom of all religions of India; -No religion is given preference; -All citizens can practice their religion; -Religious communities can set up own charitable institutions. Those activities of the religious communities which are not of religious in nature are governed by government laws- for instance the laws can govern the elections of religious bodies and financial activities. Establishing a charitable trust can also be restricted in the interest of public order, morality and health. But religious education cannot be given in the institutions run by the State.
[5] Cultural and Educational Rights:- Constitution takes special measures- To protect the interests of minorities conserving-developing their language, script and culture: For minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. No citizen can be discriminated against for admission in State or State aided institutions because of religion-language.
[6] Right to Constitutional Remedies: It is not enough to give rights to citizens but it is equally important to see that these rights are respected by the government. Constitution makes some important provisions if government uses powers against him/her unjustly or if he/she is imprisoned, or punished without reasons, or without law or if the government does not allow a person to enjoy these fundamental rights.
There is special provision called as the right to constitutional remedies by which the Apex Court or State High Courts or Lowere Courts can issue directions or orders or writs [order that court gives to government] for enforcement of the fundamental rights.
Fundamental Duties [Part IV- Article 51 A]:- It shall be the duty of every citizen of India- [a] To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem; [b] To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom; [c] To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India; [d] To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so; [e] To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; [f] To renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women; [g] To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture; [h] To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures; [i] To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform; [j] To safeguard public property and to abjure violence; [k] To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement; [l] Who is parent or guardian, to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.
There is close relationship between rights and duties. Every right is associated with a duty. We must perform duty in order to enjoy rights. Most of us act in selfish manner having the tendency to demand rights and forget corresponding duties. It is true that without rights people are slaves and forgetting duties would mean chaos and disorder that- what is happening in present scenario. Chief Justice of India K.G Balakrishnan has remarked that aggressive politics on divisive issues is the biggest threat to the Constitution of the country, and further expressed concern over degradation of moral values in Judiciary [TOI 19-11-2008].
Conclusion:-National Goals, Unity, Integrity, Fundamental Rights are put under threat by enemies of humanity. Laws governing the country are not being obeyed in letter & spirit. People mostly are ignorant about Constitution. Some feels above the law; they even encroach upon the rights of others; and feel ashamed to perform the enshrined duties. Commoners have to either worship a godfather or pay bribe for keeping interests/rights safe. Legal remedy is time consuming & a costly affair. Living conditions on Earth planet are threatened. Some are openly bent to divide the country in the name of region-religion and some openly disobeying the Constitution.
Some of the elected representatives are indulged in crimes and visionary poor. We suggest the rigorous Training-Orientation Course on Constitution-Governance Rules and Duties for elected/selected Representatives, including the Employees of every institution before they are assigned responsibilities. It is indeed essential to educate the masses on the issues of their rights and duties so that hurdles in the way of development, progress, unity, integrity, equality could be effectively defeated and eradicated.
(The article is an excerpt from book “Message to Youth by Dr. Kuldeep Singh published in 2010 by Yak Book Channel Jammu)

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