Aplea to strike down the words “socialist” and “secular” from the Constitution of India has been filed in the Supreme Court stating that there was“political thought” to include them.
Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain has filed the petition on behalf of Supreme Court advocates Dr Balram Singh and Karunesh Kumar Shukla, and social worker Pravesh Kumar, stating that when the Constitution itself guarantees the freedom to practice religion underArticle 25 of the Constitution, no citizen can be “compelled” to be secular.
The Plea to remove the words ‘Socialist’ and ‘Secular’
The plea intends that concepts are political thoughts that may be applicable in so far as the nature of the Governance of the country. But, in a democratic setup, “the subjects of the nation are not bound to accept a particular ideology and the application of the ideology depends on the will of the people to be reflected through votes from time to time.”
The notions of socialism and secularism have been thought to be propagated by Karl Marx, “the pioneer of communist thought”, which has been disapproved by a large number of nations.
Challenges Quoted in removal of words ‘Socialist’ and ‘Secular’
The 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976 by which the words “socialist” and “secular” were inserted into the Preamble of the Constitution of India as being “per se illegal for violating the concept of freedom of ‘Speech and Expression’ enumerated in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India and the right to ‘freedom of religion’ guaranteed under Article 25“has been challenged in the petition.
In Section 29 A (5) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 added by Act No. 1 of 1989, the insertion of the words ‘Secular’ and ‘Socialist’ making compulsory for the political parties, to bear adherence to the concepts in question i.e. the principles of socialism and secularism has also been challenged.
The petitioners state that the Constitution makers never intended to introduce concepts for the governance of a democracy and that it was only intended so that the Government does not show its inclination towards any religion and that the subjects will be treated equally without any religious bias by the State.
The petitioners pray that the concepts of socialism and secularism should not be applicable to common citizens, political parties or social organizations and therefore, seek a direction to strike off “socialist” and “secular” from the Constitution.