Rule of law imperative in a  democracy

Editor,

On November 26,1949, the Constituent Assembly  under the chairmanship of Dr BR Ambedkar adopted the Constitution of India. Later this day was celebrated as “Law Day.” It was the day when the people of the India gave themselves a valuable manuscript, namely the Constitution of India to govern their national life. The framers of the Constitution have drafted it in such a way that makes India a “Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic,” as mentioned in the Preamble or the introduction to the Constitution. . The fundamental aim of the Constitution is to give power to the people. “WE, THE PEOPLE” in the Preamble, permeates all other provisions in the Indian Constitution and is the guiding spirit of the Constitution.

In India, the Constitution vests all power on the people and not on the elected representatives. Dr Ambedkar said that the Preamble embodies the desire of every member of the House that the Constitution should draw its authority and sovereignty from the people. The fundamental objective behind this celebration is that we submit ourselves to the rule of law. The Constitution mandates India to be governed by the rule of law, which is the basic feature of the Constitution. Henry de Bracton, an English jurist said, “The King is under no man but under God and the law”.  The dictum, “Be you ever so high, the law is above you” is applicable to all. No person is above the law irrespective of his authority, status, culture, caste, creed and religion. Article 13(2) states that no law should be enacted which runs contrary to the fundamental rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution.

The rule of law is not merely public order but social justice based on public order. The law exists in a society to ensure proper social life. However, social life is not a goal in itself but a means to allow the individual to live with dignity. Indian Democracy stands on the three pillars of legislature, executive and the judiciary, of which the last is the guiding pillar. The Supreme Court is the custodian of the Indian Constitution and exercises its powers of judicial activism and judicial review over the acts of the legislature and the executive. The Supreme Court and High Courts are the defenders of the Constitution, the guardians of human rights, promoters of peace, cordiality and balance between the different organs of the government. However, the concept of justice does not rest on the judiciary alone. Other organs of democracy also play their part in justice delivery. The press and media are great influencing factors as they help in shaping public opinion. In the 178th Report of the Law Commission, there are a number of simple non-controversial changes suggested in several civil and criminal laws (called miscellaneous). These relate to CPC, CrPC, Transfer of Property Act, Specific Relief Act, Motor Vehicles Act, etc. and can bring about significant changes to speed up the justice delivery system of the country. Let us understand that the Constitution is not just a lawyer’s Bible but a sheet anchor of the country’s democracy and the charter of the basic rights and responsibilities of its citizens.

Yours etc.,

Melamshwa Allya Pakma

Law Student, 5th Semester,

NEHU

No hatred for the killers

Editor,

An unforgettable terror attack happened on 13 November 2015 in Paris. France has just witnessed another  terrorist attack on October 1. Now  France has become a stage to manifest hatred versus compassion. While terrorists have shown supreme hatred for human values, marked by an almost cannibalistic pleasure in killing as many people as possible, the taxi drivers in Paris personify compassion against the backdrop of hatred as they silently rescue victims from the danger zone to a safer area or to a hospital without charge.  The stage looks like a battlefield. However, it is not a battle between nations or religions but between cultures, specifically between the progressive, secular, liberal variety on the one hand and the dogmatic, fanatical, and medieval at another. It is a battle, so to speak, between Malala Yousufzai and the Taliban.

Society cannot advance without cooperation and tolerance. They are the keys for mutual existence. Our body cannot function if there is a dissonance among  its parts. Simple common sense tells us that coordination among all of its parts is a must for smooth running of a machine. Unfortunately, inhumanity is not a Taliban monopoly. Cut throat competition is the hallmark of modern society. Market economy foments consumerism and as often as not provokes cruelty. Popular video games like “Vice City” and sports like WWF can twist the human spirit for adventure into sadism. These virtual and cruel games and footloose hedonism that preach, “shop till you drop,” way of life  are destroying human sensitivity which is the essence of humanity. The limit of one’s freedom is before another’s nose. But the market players want to stretch it further and break the nose of human values.

It is reported that among the ISIS recruits are teenagers who are keen to get a real feel of the virtual games. Therefore the bridge between these two forces can clearly be seen. The greed for power, be it political or economic, drives the rabid Taliban and business tycoons alike. Those at an impressionable age are easy prey of these greedy monsters. Hence this battle is not to be fought only at the boundaries but in every sphere of the globe. In fact this needs to be waged even within our minds. The terrorists want to spread hatred and fear. It is heartening to see, France being resilient in the face of the menace. This itself is a great victory against terrorism. The need of the hour is to cleanse the greed for pleasure at the cost of others and to take concrete safety measures to thwart such attacks in future.

Now, we will again hear what a Frenchman whose wife has sacrificed her life in the Paris massacre to save their only child, is saying to the terrorists, “On Friday night you stole away the life of an exceptional being, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hatred. I do not know who you are and I don’t want to know. You are dead souls. If the God for whom you kill so blindly made us in His image, each bullet in my wife’s body would have been a wound in His heart. I will not give you the gift of hating you. You have obviously sought it but responding to hatred with anger would be to give in to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. We are only two, my son and I, but every day of his life this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom. Because you don’t have his hatred either! “

His words convey a hint of a better tomorrow. There is every reason to be optimistic.

Yours etc.,

Sujit De,