image caption: Gurmukh Singh OBE

Indian Republic Day: No Change in Colonial Style Rule

  • When power shifted from London to Delhi

  • The fate of Indian minorities continues to be uncertain.

In an open letter of 21 October, 1928 to Sir John Simon, Prof Puran Singh wrote, &ldquoSelf Government in India means Government by the very few cunning and aggressive people who, once put in possession of the authority, would twist all letters of law and constitutions to their individual wills and make them work on the communal or the so called religious bias.&rdquo

On Republic Day 26 January 1950, the Constitution of India came into effect and the Indian nation, came into being following the partition of the sub-continent on 15 August 1947. The Indian Constitution replaced the colonial Government of India Act (1935). India was now a Republic.

However, the only change felt by the ordinary people following much blood-shed in 1947, was that the brown sahibs had replaced white sahibs. The true colour of the new rulers would be revealed as also the &ldquofalse glitter of an artificial middle class in India, of Government servants and parasites.&rdquo

The Constitution did not prevent domination by the majority Hindutva fanaticism within the majority community. To quote Prof Puran Singh, &ldquoAny Constitution coming in here like this essentially means the domination of one community over all others&hellip.. All progress under such Constitution shall be one-communal and not multi-communal. It would be no more a dyarchy but it would be a form of civil anarchy in administration run by an autocratic and communal majority.&rdquo

Of grave concern to the Sikhs was device of Article 25 of the Constitution which lumped all classes and sections, the Sikh, Jain and Buddhist religion together as Hindu:

Explanation 2. In sub clause (b) of clause 2 reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious institutions shall be construed accordingly. 

This was an intentional move to include Sikhs and others in Hinduism. In 2002, the Constitution Review Commission recommended, &ldquoAmend this legislation. Reword clause[]]b] like this, &ldquo(b) providing for social welfare and reform or the throwing open of Hindu, Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of  respective religions.&rdquo   And  Explanation 2&rdquo Only then can the Sikhs, Jains, and Bhudhists be regarded as independent Indian citizens. (see link to report below)

This serpentine embrace impacted on later legislation like, Hindu marriage act 1955 Hindu Adoption act  1956 Hindu Minority and Guardianship act 1956 and, Hindu succession act 1956. Clearly, Sikhs, Jains and Budhists are citizens of India only if they regard themselves as &ldquoHindu&rdquo sects or classes.

To conclude with another quote from Prof. Puran Singh: &ldquoThe truly Democratic Constitution should not allow one community to get into power and work mischief through the democratic institutions to crush the other&hellip.The Nehru Committee has drafted a Compromise Constitution on the crater of an active volcano.&rdquo

The shift of power from London to Delhi and the change from gora sahibs to brown sahibs has not been for the better. India continues to move from one crisis to another, including the current attempt to change the independent way of life of millions of Indian farmers.

(** Constitution Commission report: )

Gurmukh Singh