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Re: Constitution Review Committee



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A Presidential form of government was examined by the founding fathers of the 
Constitution and rejected as being unsuitable for India, as anyone who has
done 
even the most elementary course in Political Science will know.

A Presidential form of government will effectively prepare the way for a 
dictatorship and dismantle the elements which have preserved democracy in
India 
(the only one of the former British, French, Spanish, Italian or Portuguese 
Two-Thirds World colonies in which democracy has lasted this long).

A Presidential form of government will no doubt be extremely convenient for 
whichever party happens to be in power, as it makes it easier to do
whatever the
party wants without bothering too much about parties or people who disagree
with
any proposed action(s).

But a Presidential form of government will do nothing to tackle the real 
problems of India, such as we have been debating at IPI.

At best Presidentialism is an irrelevance to the real issues plaguing the 
country.  At worst it will lead to the demise of whatever little democracy we 
have left in India.

I urge IPI to take a stand against irrelevancies such as this and use the 
formation of the Constitutional Review Committee to focus the debate on the
key 
issues facing the country.

Prabhu Guptara

______________________________ Reply Separator
_________________________________
Subject: Constitution Review Committee
Author:  sanand (sanand@writemail.com) at unix,mime
Date:    22.01.2000 20:09


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Please read the following article. I think this is excellent news.
     
Government plans to set up Constitution review committee on Republic Day 
Law Minister Ram Jethmalani said that though the founding fathers of the 
Constitution must be lauded for giving India one of the finest principal 
laws, certain gaps need to be filled.
     
http://www.rediff.com/news/2000/jan/20akd.htm
     
In my view, this is excellent news.
     
I do hope the Committee will invite comments from all interested parties. I 
hope IPI will play a major role.
What  would like to see is Presidential form of Government emerging from 
this review. I hope IPI can have a discussion on this issue.
     
Full article reproduced below.
     
suresh
     
Government plans to set up Constitution review committee on Republic Day
     
     
Amberish K Diwanji in Delhi
     
The National Democratic Alliance government is all set to draft a panel to 
review the Constitution, a move that has not been welcomed by the other 
political parties. It is believed the government will announce the names of 
the panel members on January 26, the 50th anniversary of the Indian Republic. 
Speaking at a seminar yesterday, Law Minister Ram Jethmalani said though 
the founding fathers of the Constitution must be lauded for giving India 
one of the finest principal laws to guide the nation, the fact was that 
there were certain gaps that needed to be filled.
Jethmalani said though the basic structure of the Constitution had remained 
intact, there was scope for further review and hence the government would 
appoint a committee to review the Constitution.
However, the government is not defining any period for setting up the 
Committee.
"No such committee has been announced as yet and the picture is still not 
clear," Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley told rediff.com 
He added that there was no specific timeframe yet on setting up the
committee. 
The I&B minister refused to divulge names that were being considered as 
members of the panel.
However, reports indicate that the government will, in all likelihood, ask 
former President Ramaswamy Venkataraman to head the committee. The former 
President refused to confirm or deny whether he had been approached in this 
matter.
Venkataraman also served the nation as Union finance and defence minister 
and though he was a Congressman before becoming President, of late he has 
been seen as moving away from the Congress party. Venkataraman, who was one 
of the trustees of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, recently 
resigned his post. The IGNCA, headed by Sonia Gandhi, is in the midst of a 
legal battle against the government that is objecting to certain changes 
made in the governing clauses.
Appointing Venkataraman will be seen as being above partisan politics since 
he has or had little links to the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Rashtriya 
Swayamsevak Sangh. As a former President, his stature is above mere 
politics, and as a former Congressman the BJP can hardly be accused of 
promoting its agenda.
But the hurdle ahead is the disagreement of the other political parties. 
The Congress, the Communists, the Socialists and the Dalit parties are 
strongly opposed to any review of the Constitution.
The Congress, Communists and Socialists fear that the BJP wants to review 
the Constitution to promote its agenda. The Dalit parties are opposed to 
the review, interpreting any review as an insult to Dr B R Ambedkar, the 
chief architect of the Constitution who is revered by the Dalits of India 
as their greatest leader.
These parties have declared their intention of opposing any panel set up to 
review the Constitution.
"A Constitution review committee does not make sense," Congress spokesman 
and constitutional lawyer Kapil Sibal told rediff.com
Sibal also challenged the notion that the Constitution could be reviewed by 
a mere panel or committee, no matter howsoever qualified. "Reviewing the 
Constitution by just a committee is most inappropriate. It can only be done 
through a consensus of all political parties and through a much larger body 
representing more people," he stated.
He claimed the BJP's motive in seeking to review the Constitution was 
simply to perpetuate itself in power and to bring forth its "hidden agenda." 
Asked if a Constitution review needed a constituent assembly rather than a 
review panel, Sibal replied, "I won't say specifically a constituent 
assembly, but it needs a body that the people of India can have faith in. 
The present set up of a few people manning it is not acceptable," he added. 
Thus, given the opposition from the other political parties, both to the 
idea of a review and also to the kind of panel being set up, the government 
will have to tread cautiously, even as it prepares to announce the panel to 
coincide with Republic Day.
     
=======================
Suresh Anand
Chief, Shipping Policy (Nautical)
Hong Kong Government
Marine Department
Harbour Building 21/F
38 Pier Road, Central
Hong Kong
     
Tel No. 852-2852 4603
Fax      852-2542 4841
======================= 
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Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii"
     
<html>
Please read the following article. I think this is excellent news.<br> 
<br>
<font size=3>Government plans to set up Constitution review committee on 
Republic Day<br>
Law Minister Ram Jethmalani said that though the founding fathers of the 
<br>
Constitution must be lauded for giving India one of the finest principal 
<br>
laws, certain gaps need to be filled. <br> 
</font><font size=3 color="#0000FF"><u><a 
href="http://www.rediff.com/news/2000/jan/20akd.htm"
eudora="autourl">http://www.rediff.com/news/2000/jan/20akd.htm<br> 
<br>
<br>
<br>
</a></font></u>In my view, this is excellent news.<br> 
<br>
I do hope the Committee will invite comments from all interested parties. 
I hope IPI will play a major role.<br>
What&nbsp; would like to see is Presidential form of Government emerging 
from this review. I hope IPI can have a discussion on this issue.<br> 
<br>
Full article reproduced below.<br>
<br>
suresh<br>
<br>
<font size=4><b>Government plans to set up Constitution review committee 
on Republic Day<br>
<br>
</font></b></b><br>
<br>
</b><font size=3><i>Amberish K Diwanji</i> in Delhi <br>
The National Democratic Alliance government is all set to draft a panel 
to review the Constitution, a move that has not been welcomed by the 
other political parties. It is believed the government will announce the 
names of the panel members on January 26, the 50th anniversary of the 
Indian Republic. <br>
Speaking at a seminar yesterday, Law Minister Ram Jethmalani said though 
the founding fathers of the Constitution must be lauded for giving India 
one of the finest principal laws to guide the nation, the fact was that 
there were certain gaps that needed to be filled. <br>
Jethmalani said though the basic structure of the Constitution had 
remained intact, there was scope for further review and hence the 
government would appoint a committee to review the Constitution. <br> 
However, the government is not defining any period for setting up the 
Committee. <br>
&quot;No such committee has been announced as yet and the picture is 
still not clear,&quot; Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley 
told <i>rediff.com</i> He added that there was no specific timeframe yet 
on setting up the committee. <br>
The I&amp;B minister refused to divulge names that were being considered 
as members of the panel. <br>
However, reports indicate that the government will, in all likelihood, 
ask former President Ramaswamy Venkataraman to head the committee. The 
former President refused to confirm or deny whether he had been 
approached in this matter. <br>
Venkataraman also served the nation as Union finance and defence minister 
and though he was a Congressman before becoming President, of late he has 
been seen as moving away from the Congress party. Venkataraman, who was 
one of the trustees of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, 
recently resigned his post. The IGNCA, headed by Sonia Gandhi, is in the 
midst of a legal battle against the government that is objecting to 
certain changes made in the governing clauses. <br>
Appointing Venkataraman will be seen as being above partisan politics 
since he has or had little links to the Bharatiya Janata Party or the 
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. As a former President, his stature is above 
mere politics, and as a former Congressman the BJP can hardly be accused 
of promoting its agenda. <br>
But the hurdle ahead is the disagreement of the other political parties. 
The Congress, the Communists, the Socialists and the Dalit parties are 
strongly opposed to any review of the Constitution. <br>
The Congress, Communists and Socialists fear that the BJP wants to review 
the Constitution to promote its agenda. The Dalit parties are opposed to 
the review, interpreting any review as an insult to Dr B R Ambedkar, the 
chief architect of the Constitution who is revered by the Dalits of India 
as their greatest leader. <br>
These parties have declared their intention of opposing any panel set up 
to review the Constitution. <br>
&quot;A Constitution review committee does not make sense,&quot; Congress 
spokesman and constitutional lawyer Kapil Sibal told <i>rediff.com</i> 
<br>
Sibal also challenged the notion that the Constitution could be reviewed 
by a mere panel or committee, no matter howsoever qualified. 
&quot;Reviewing the Constitution by just a committee is most 
inappropriate. It can only be done through a consensus of all political 
parties and through a much larger body representing more people,&quot; he 
stated. <br>
He claimed the BJP's motive in seeking to review the Constitution was 
simply to perpetuate itself in power and to bring forth its &quot;hidden 
agenda.&quot; <br>
Asked if a Constitution review needed a constituent assembly rather than 
a review panel, Sibal replied, &quot;I won't say specifically a 
constituent assembly, but it needs a body that the people of India can 
have faith in. The present set up of a few people manning it is not 
acceptable,&quot; he added. <br>
Thus, given the opposition from the other political parties, both to the 
idea of a review and also to the kind of panel being set up, the 
government will have to tread cautiously, even as it prepares to announce 
the panel to coincide with Republic Day. <br>
</font><br>
<div>=======================</div>
<div>Suresh Anand</div>
<div>Chief, Shipping Policy (Nautical)</div> 
<div>Hong Kong Government</div>
<div>Marine Department</div>
<div>Harbour Building 21/F</div>
<div>38 Pier Road, Central</div>
<div>Hong Kong</div>
<br>
<div>Tel No. 852-2852 4603</div>
<div>Fax&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 852-2542 4841</div> 
=======================
</html>
     
--=====================_39754991==_.ALT--
     
     
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This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
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