The world, how it works, surroundings, myself, etc.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Morality and the Constitution

I always used to wonder why the opposition starts demanding the ruling party(-y+ies) to own MORAL responsibility whenever they falter. I mean, why moral responsibility. Why not constitutional responsibility? Why not legal responsibility? Turns out, they can't. The government is not constitutionally/legally responsible for anything. I repeat. The government is not constitutionally/legally responsible for anything. There's not a single law (or even a suggestion) in the 395 odd articles of the Constitutional crap that can hold the government responsible for anything. The opposition, therefore, keeps blackmailing on moral grounds, for, it can't do anything better.

In other words, the government can do whatever it pleases. The Supreme Court, the highest court of appeal in India, will keep expressing discontent, but they can't do anything either. Their hands are tied. They are just supposed to interpret the constitution -- not act as per righteousness. In such a scenario, I feel that the government is actually very very moral whenever it does anything. What else, if not morality, stops it from modifying the constitution to make amendments that ensure that the same party keeps winning every time? What else, if not morality, stops them from framing laws making their rule permanent? Nothing. Pure morality. All strong words like sovereignty, democracy, liberty, et al, combined don't have enough power to stop this -- and yet, we have the government performing at least some degree (+ve or -ve).
G B Shaw mused:
Democracy is a device which ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.
What recently happened in my home-state, Bihar, raised similar demands for moral ownership. A "constitutionally elected" assembly was dissolved because the governor did not deem the majority party deserving enough. That was on 23rd May. Four months later, the Supreme Court wakes up (why??) to announce that the governor was wrong. It was constitutionally wrong, but nothing can be undone. Who owns the constitutional responsibility in this case? Oh, I see -- The can-always-be-blamed Mr Nobody. The opposition, unfailingly, has again renewed its demands for the government to own moral responsibility! And the prime minister, it seems, has agreed that he cannot disown moral responsibility. Oh, how cute. I love you. Please go to hell (on your own money).

So hopeless is the nature of the holy constitution of the largest democracy of the world (yeah, it's India) that I wonder -- Isn't this collection of 395 articles no more than a huge and perfect crap-book? What's the use? I tried to reason out some possible uses of the bulky constitution.
  • Use as Toilet paper

Given the bulk of the constitution, each member of the Lok Sabha can get one paper each for toilet-paper usage. Assuming that all the MPs go to the toilet daily (I doubt it, though), it won't last more than a few days, however. Besides, a majority of them won't like using toilet-paper. But those who would, perhaps they can use both the sides of the paper, one side each day.
  • Use for literature study

I confess, I learned a whole set of new words when I first chanced with the constitution. The only knowledge I have of heavy-weight words like sovereign, secular, democratic, republic, fraternity are derived from my school civics book describing the constitution. Besides, the composition is enticingly poetic. I still remember:
"Article 32 confers upon the citizens of India the right to constitutional remedies. ...."
Ah, don't worry what this right is -- 'tis too impractical. This is the only place in my 22 years of life that I have seen the "confers upon" phrase being used, and I find it sweetly poetic. Perhaps the makers of the constitution mistook this exercise as an endeavor towards the Nobel Prize for Literature. They didn't get it -- and they died of shock. "We, the people of India, having solemnly ....." is another favorite and by-heart.
  • Use as a flare

There still are several parts of the country that suffer from freezing cold. The pages of the constitution can burn for quite a while to provide some warmth. I'm told the pages are good, and hence, they should sustain fire for quite some time.
  • Making Kites

This is a perfect usage. Use the pages as kites. Boring holes in the pages will give additional delight and attaching a tail would suit the page's content to a T.

That's it. No more practical uses of the crap called the Constitution of India. Sorry founding fathers. None that I can think of presently. And no -- it does not deserve the Literature Nobel, either!
Post a Comment