There is a concerted effort to change the basic secular character of the Indian Constitution: Justice PB Sawant, former SC Judge
November 10, 2014
Justice PB Sawant in conversation with Teesta Setalvad (Hindi)
Sawant was on the supreme court bench that upheld secularism as one of
the pillars of the Indian Constitution as also Chairperson Press
Council of India
conversation with Teesta Setalvad, Justice Sawant shared thoughts
about secularism, ethical behaviour, Indian democracy and the
integrity necessary to be a judge.
He spoke to
Teesta about secularism being part of the basic structure of the
Constitution of India and how it was simply brought into the Preamble
through a Constitutional Amendment to emphaise this fact. As the very
nature of the secular state in India, based on its Constitution comes
under threat and attack, Justice Sawant said that there would be a "strong
contestation" if there were any attempts at changing "even a word in
the Indian Constitution as far as secularism is concerned." The
attempts at the conversion of India into a theocratic state where
Hindus enjoy superior rights was afoot but would be resisted and
challenged, he declared.
Sawant also pointed out that religious texts of every Faith display
guidelines to ethical behaviour that can inspire societies and
lawmakers. and that those in high office should never forget that they
represent the Constitution of a secular state based on diversity and
equal rights for all.
While talking about his book The Grammar of Democracy, Justice Sawant highlighted that "as long as we do not ensure (every person's right to contest an election), we cannot say that we have a truly representative democracy."
Watch Justice Sawant in conversation with Teesta Setalvad on...
The Grammar of Democracy, by Justice SawantCrimes Against Humanity, The Concerned Citizens Tribunal (CCT) Gujarat 2002