By K A Johny
Dr. G Mohan Gopal, the former Director of the National Judicial Academy of the Supreme Court of India, and the former Vice-Chancellor of the National Law School of India, Bengaluru, currently a Supreme Court lawyer, warns in an interview with mathrubhumi.com that recent developments point to the scheme of the Sangh Parivar to achieve its openly stated aim of establishing a Hindu Rashtra in India by having theocratic judges mis-interpret the Constitution as a Hindu document and declare the Indian State as a Hindu state.
Excerpts from the interview:
The stunning revelations, made by you both in the speech at CJAR (Campaign For Judicial Accountability and Reforms) and in the interview with Karan Thapar, bring to light a significant crisis that Indian democracy faces these days. You have made it crystal clear that interventions in the judiciary are crucial to the Sangh Parivar’s agenda of establishing Hindu Rashtra. According to you Sangh parivar is trying to attain this goal by getting ‘theocratic judges’ appointed in the constitutional courts. You are also of the opinion that this is the most pragmatic way before the Sangh parivar to establish Hindu rashtra. What is the ground for this conclusion?
Establishing a Hindu Rashtra is an openly stated and long standing agenda of the Sangh Parivar. It is no secret. The Indian Constitution is the major stumbling block that the Sangh Parivar faces in achieving this aim. The Indian Constitution promises equal treatment and citizenship irrespective of caste and religion. The constitution is deeply rooted in equality, liberty, fraternity, socialism and secularism. The concept of Hindu Rashtra and the Indian Constitution can therefore never go together.
That means the Sangh Parivar won’t be able to implement their agenda as long as the constitution remains in its present form?
Exactly! The soul of the constitution is antithetical to any theocratic state. An examination of the debates and discussions in the constituent assembly will make this crystal clear. The founding fathers of the constitution including Dr. BR Ambedkar shaped the document consciously rejecting the call for a theocratic state.
The foundation of the constitution was laid vis a vis the theocratic state of Pakistan. Wasn’t it natural for the founding fathers not to choose the same path?
Certainly! The wound created by the partition was deep and painful. Lakhs of people sacrificed their lives in a bloody conflict over religion even while the Constituent Assembly was drafting the Constitution. Therefore the founding fathers had no doubt that India must remain secular. Fali S Nariman, a distinguished constitutional jurist often points out rightly that the Indian constitution is at its core a commitment to protect minorities. Every Indian is a minority – whether by religion, culture, language or region. There are so many diversities even within the Hindu, Christian and Muslim communities. In the Constituent Assembly the word ‘minorities’ was used to refer to all vulnerable groups. The project to bring majoritarian rule rejecting this pluralism is the agenda only of a microscopic savarna elite oligarchy. The Indian constitution and the Hindu Rashtra agenda are in direct conflict. Today the biggest hurdle before the Sangh Parivar in implementing their agenda is the Indian Constitution.
The Sangh Parivar can’t implement this agenda without undermining the constitution. So, what is their plan?
The Sangh Parivar has three options. If BJP gets a two thirds majority in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the first option would be to convert parliament into a constituent assembly, repeal the present Constitution and adopt a Manu-Smriti based new Constitution. BJP can claim that the people have given them the mandate to act in this way. Between 1947 and 1950, the constituent assembly acted simultaneously as a constituent assembly and an interim parliament. They can follow that pattern. The second option would be to amend the current constitution extensively and change its basic character from republican to theocratic. A fundamental principle of the constitution is that the Indian republic doesn’t have an official religion. In contrast, Islam is Pakistan’s state religion. The Pakistani constitution stipulates that democratic principles like liberty and equality will be protected only in accordance with Islamic values.
The Sangh Parivar will say that the amendments to the Constitution are being made to ensure that the Constitution’s basic features are interpreted and applied based on the teachings of Sanatana Dharma, which is an alias used by the Parivar for their version of the Hindu religion. Sanatana Dharma is entrenched in the ‘chaturvarnya’ social order. Hinduism will become the state religion. The new amendments will make criticism of the Vedas and Hindu dharma blasphemous. The ruler can no longer be questioned for anything. However, it will not be easy for Parivar to implement these two options. Those who plan to implement this agenda are a microscopic savarna oligarchy. The Hindu masses do not wish to be ruled by the Savarna oligarchy. There will be massive public revolt and resistance against both these options…
This story was originally published in mathrubhumi.com. Read the full story here