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Finally came the minister's unavoidable resignation

Finally came the ministers unavoidable resignation

Saji Cherian (file photo)

The remarks made during a speech delivered by Kerala's Minister of Culture and Fisheries Saji Cherian at a party event in Mallapally, Pathanamthitta on July 3 about Indian Constitution went along like this: "We all say that India has written a beautiful constitution. I am saying that the constitution has been written to rob the people of India the most. The Indian wrote the constitution that the British had said and prepared. As a result of its implementation in this country for 75 years, I will not agree with anyone who preaches in the country, the most beautiful constitution that has been looted that can be used for looting the country the most. . Secularism, democracy, are all written onits side,.. but it is exploitation precisely where there can be looting". The speech came to media and political attention two days ago. Since then, Kerala's political horizon has been rife with the ructions and wranglings surrounding the issue. Finally, Saji Cherian called a press conference on Wednesday evening and announced his resignation. Though taken under compulsion, he can be said to have taken an appropriate decision.

India's constitution is widely acknowledged as the most progressive and democratic in existence in the world today. Of course, there is the negative view that the constitution is not properly implemented. Even about the constitution itself, there are valid and detailed criticisms. The Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar himself had advanced such criticisms. Ours is a country where criticism of the constitution itself is constitutionally permitted. Further, it is a model document that gives constitutional rights even to those who do not accept the constitution. The Constitution is the most important thread that holds together India, a country full of diversities and contradictions. There is no need to convince any one of its pre-eminence and glory.

The most important objection leveled by democrats and progressives against the present union government is that it subverts the Constitution. The current union government is known for its approaches that undermine our basic values like democracy, secularism and federalism. Any fight against this approach is a fight upholding the Constitution. In other words, it is at a time when the Constitution should be the most important weapon to unify the country that the leader of a party which stoutly resists the central government's stances has made a speech which amounts to scorning and insulting at the Constitution. The ruling establishment of the sangh parivar is made up of those who want to somehow wreck the constitution and make way for a constitution in tune with the Hindutva project. And Saji Cherian's words virtually gave them a weapon.

Democracy and freedom form the essence of our Constitution. Communists are ideologically opposed to modern democracy. Their dream is not democracy, but called proletariat totalitarianism, a byword for party supremacy. Wherever they have come to power, this totalitarianism has been enforced with an iron fist. The constitution of the CPM has also incorporated proletariat totalitarianism as its goal. All the same, they have not publicly disowned the Indian Constitution. Not only that, the party plays a serious role in the current movement to protect the Constitution. Given this situation, Saji Cherian's speech puts the party itself in crisis. Saji Cheriani and his party had made an attempt to defend themselves by raising the argument that his speech was distorted and that his criticism was directed at the government and not the constitution. However, the reactions from the political and legal circles were not in favour of their wishes to keep him in power. As for the Kerala government, already embroiled in various controversies, it could hardly afford to tackle another issue. The party and the Chief Minister realized that Saji Cherian had no choice but to resign.

As mentioned earlier, the Constitution is not beyond criticism. But everyone should be able to distinguish between criticism and insult. Recently, the whole country has experienced the consequence of two national leaders of BJP insulting Prophet Muhammad, who is considered sacred by Muslims all over the world. Everyone should be well aware of the words one uses, more so for those who work in public. Otherwise, it will lead to major conflicts and a quagmire.

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TAGS:Saji CherianCPIM ministerresigns over remarks about Constitutionsecular democratic constitutionHindutva agenda
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