B.R. Ambedkar View on Constitutional Morality

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B.R. Ambedkar View on Constitutional Morality

Source: The post B.R. Ambedkar’s View on Constitutional Morality has been created, based on the article “Constitutional respect should not be reduced to optics” published in “The Hindu” on 18th June 2024

UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper2-Indian constitution

Context: The article criticizes disregarding the Indian Constitution despite his public displays of respect. It highlights instances where he bypassed established procedures and norms, leading to concerns about the concentration of power and undermining constitutional values. B.R. Ambedkar View on Constitutional Morality

For detailed information on Safeguarding constitutional morality read this article here

What recent government actions went against the constitution?

  1. Preemptive Decision-Making: India’s PM approved the seventeenth instalment of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, a ₹20,000 crore scheme, before the allocation of ministerial portfolios, which traditionally falls under the Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Expenditure.
  2. Cabinet Actions Without Portfolios: The first cabinet meeting led to the decision to assist three crore additional households under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana without assigned portfolios, raising questions about the procedural legitimacy of the decision.
  3. Extension of Tenures: India’s PM extended the tenures of the National Security Adviser and the Principal Secretary prematurely, using the old Appointments Committee of the Cabinet setup, despite not having reconstituted the Cabinet Committee after the new government formation.

What are the implications of these approaches for democracy and governance?

  1. Centralization of Power: India’s PM approach centralizes decision-making in the PMO, bypassing other ministries and diluting collective cabinet responsibility.
  2. Lack of Accountability: The centralized governance model has reduced the effectiveness of parliamentary checks like questions and motions, limiting the daily and periodic assessment of government actions.
  3. Suppression of Opposition: His public speeches often dismiss and belittle the opposition, weakening democratic debate and oversight.
  4. Ignoring Major Issues: The government has been slow to address critical national problems such as unemployment, inflation, and regional conflicts like the situation in Manipur, suggesting a focus on optics over substantive governance.

What historical warnings did Ambedkar give that relate to Governance?

  1. Ambedkar’s Warning: B.R. Ambedkar cautioned that blind devotion in politics could lead to dictatorship.
  2. Constitutional Morality: He emphasized that constitutional morality must be cultivated and respected by both the ruling and opposition parties.
  3. Ambedkar’s Quote: On November 4, 1948, Ambedkar stated that democracy in India is like a “top-dressing on an Indian soil which is essentially undemocratic.”
  4. Current Implications: Present actions of government show a disregard for collective responsibility and constitutional processes, leading to concerns about an emerging constitutional dictatorship.
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