The Deranged ‘Struggle’ of Constitutionalism and the Political Syndrome in India: Things to Declutter

Photo by Aashish R Gautam on Unsplash

India and ‘Nationalism’

Renowned advocate Gautam Bhatia brilliantly explains ‘civic nationalism’ in one of his YouTube videos, where he stipulates the idea of India as a state, where nationalism is central to secularism and the adherence cum reverence towards the basic law of secular India, i.e., the Indian Constitution, as I paraphrase his explanation of the understanding of the very term according to the Constituent Assembly of India. Now, civic nationalism has a direct and coherent relationship with the genealogy of India’s sovereignty and integrity, which like the 1973 Basic Structure Case stipulates, directly relates to the notions of the liberties and freedoms that India renders — and the quasi-federal system of a secular democracy. Now, what the international media and few academics point out every time they question the current dispensation at the Centre, led by Modi and Shah is the term called Hindu Nationalism as some sort of anti-thesis of civic nationalism. Shashi Tharoor always makes it a point to call Hindutva some antithesis of civic nationalism, which he — pointed out in Off The Cuff as ‘diversity in unity’. However, such a skewed understanding of India as a post-colonial state stems from the fundamental issue of cognitive and ideological dissonance that these ‘intellectuals’ assume, and therefore it is important to see the transformation of the Indian state as the relevant yardstick to the face and structure of Indian Constitutionalism & not the Eurocentric/post-colonial way.

Morality can be a pigment of inspiration — but should never be the centre of influence for the values of constitutionalism. The values of constitutionalism are rightful enough to transform, change and even amend its own follies that it did seek in the past, which emanates from its people. Thus, ignoring that — and standing against the attributes of such individuality and collectivity, will never make any sense in any constitutional system.

Power, Ideology and Competence in a Polity

It is very important to discuss and even estimate how come the notions of competence and power are shaped in a democracy because the application of law and the mindset behind is rooted in the notions of power and competence that enable the bureaucrat, minister, advocate, judge or any person in the system to behave accordingly. It affects ordinary citizens too. In the case of India, the story is skewed. I would argue that Nehruvian Socialism is still a part of the Indian Democracy, and its roots are also indebted to the coloniality of the Indian state, which is the British Era so to mention. Not just the laws passed by the British Raj were obsolete, the mindset of constitutionalism and rule of law they passed on to the people in the system still exists today, which hinders India in achieving the cyclical form of a constitutional polity, where accountability and transparency are not just the terms for some clarion calls, but also are deeply related to the idea of constitutionalism & law and order. Fairness and reasonability in a system glue the trust it shares from the people of the country, and that shapes the idea of competency in India.

The Aftermath of Derangement

Frankly, assuming that would not make any sense. India’s transformation as a state and civilization is cyclical and takes much time. The notions that make India ideal and reasonable change with time, and there can be no final path to internalize such aims in a prophetic manner. Instead, India’s history and present must be considered a cycle of churning cultures, individuality, liberty, cultural pluralism and honesty in dissecting competence from power — which can ultimately stabilize the role of the ‘Vishwa Guru’ which still is a ‘Vishwa Shishya’ for now.

Founder and CEO, Internationalism™ | Founder & Chairperson, ISAIL | AI-Law Futurist | YouTuber | Researcher | Poet

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