Kartavya Path: ask not what Modi can do for you… ask what you can do for Modi’s India


What Modi has been doing there is putting the monkey on the citizen’s back, by shifting the definition of the constitutional state from the government’s duties to the citizen. The rights, as Mahatma Gandhi said he’d tell you, will automatically follow.

To understand this better, you need to Google the 42nd Amendment to our Constitution. It was rail-road bed by Mrs Gandhi on 1 September 1976 in an illegitimate Lok Sabha in its sixth year — its terms extended in the Emergency. What we often refer to in our debate for decades since is that it inserted the words socialist and secular in the preamble. That, however, was more cosmetic. Because we know how socialist and secular we’ve been since. The real juice was elsewhere.

There is a reason why the 42nd Amendment was called a mini constitution. It sought to amend 48 key articles and the Seventh schedule. Besides, it sought to substitute four and add new sub-sections to 13 Articles. In essence, it switched India from a system of division of powers to parliamentary sovereignty, took away judicial scrutiny from the laws passed and handed unlimited sovereign powers to the prime minister….