Ramachandra Guha brings out several valid points to debate in larger perspective for better
"When the politician-social worker Nanaji Deshmukh died last month, none of the obituaries mentioned what may have been his finest moment. This occurred during a debate in the Rajya Sabha in the first week of May 2002. The subject being discussed was the recent
The most remarkable appointment to that first Cabinet, however, was that of B.R. Ambedkar. Through the 1930s and 1940s, Ambedkar had been a bitter opponent of the Congress, and had attacked Mahatma Gandhi in particular in very sharp language. Yet, as Rajmohan Gandhi tells us, when
In January 1977, the Emergency was lifted and fresh elections called. On the eve of the polls, the Opposition politician Morarji Desai, told an interviewer that if his Janata Party came to power, it would ‘work for the removal of fear which has enveloped the people’. One of its first tasks would be ‘to rectify the Constitution’ to rid it of the Emergency-era amendments which had reduced the powers of the Supreme Court and the legislature, while greatly magnifying the powers of the Prime Minister. ‘We will have to ensure’, said Morarji Desai, ‘that [an] Emergency like this can never be imposed [again]. No Government should be able to do so’.
When the Janata Party came to power and Morarji became Prime Minister, he kept his word. His outstanding Law Minister, Shanti Bhushan, supervised the drafting of amendments to the Constitution which would restore the position of the courts, make the functioning of legislatures more transparent, reduce the arbitrary powers of the Centre, and so on. These amendments required a two-thirds majority in Parliament. By now, however, even the Congress Party was embarrassed by the Emergency and its excesses. Thus, when these amendments were discussed in Parliament on December 7, 1978, both Morarji Desai and Indira Gandhi voted in favour, along with their respective party members.
These need not necessarily be in constitutional matters alone. In the wake of the
In the history of democratic