Status of President of India was very considerately enshrined as protector of COI under Art-60

President takes oath to Protect COI but 42nd& 44rth amendments of COI are not fair to President


The very typical and unique feature of the constitution of India that was drafted by the Constituent Assembly of India and was adopted on26-11-1949 had been that though The President of India for general legislative purposes / governance appeared like a nominal head of ‘State’ but he/she was given the responsibility under oath to Protect the Constitution of India { Art-60 of COI ).India had earned freedom after great struggle , sacrifices and hence the prime objective before the Constituent Assembly was to incorporate the best out of the available governing systems& principles like the human rights having reflections in the fundamental rights of a citizen so as to give the people of India a democratic republic through a constitution with incorporated there in also safeguards to protect the Constitution even from the peoples representatives elected for a particular term.Art-394 of Constitution of India says :Art-394 Commencement. This article and articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392 and 393 shall come into force at once, and the remaining provisions of this Constitution shall come into force on the twenty-sixth day of January, which day is referred to in this Constitution as the commencement of this Constitution.::.Hence India celebrates Republic day on 26th January every year. To have the background requirements of India going through a very exhaustive exercise for drafting the COI let us have atleast a very brief ( due to space limitations ) look at the socio- political affairs in India of British rule times.

During 1857 “1st Swatantrata Sangram” which was lead by some of the Indian Princes like Maharani Lakshmi Bhai of Jansi there were many Indian Princes ( outside British India but part of British Indian Empire ) who did not support the revolting princes, not only that ,there were also some Princes / Maharajas who instead supported the East India Company ( British Forces) by even sending their armed forces / generals to fight along with British forces against revolting Indian Princes and also gave monetary help to British. Hence The 1st war of Indian Independence did not succeed to ultimate but the British got alarmed so the British Parliament got enacted Government of India Act 1958 and took direct control of India from East India Company as a ‘colony’ of United Kingdom. British had in a way divided the people of British Indian Empire into British India and Indian Princely States and hence the British was not sensing that serious demands for total Independence for the people of India from the side of Indian princes. Common people’s mass movement for “Swaraj’/ independence from British had started in India in late 1880s.
With the pressure mounting from the people of India The British government had started thinking that some way out for atleast involvement of the Indian people in governance cannot be that easily delayed and hence the British Parliament had enacted Government of India Act 1909 and Government of India Act 2019.The demands for greater peoples’ direct involvement in country affairs had started showing recognisable pressures from ‘British India” area people after Mohan Das Karamchandh Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) returned to India from South Africa. Following the 1919 Amritsar Massacre, there was considerable public outrage against British rule.
Some half proposals for simply granting Dominion Status to ” British India” were initiated in late 1920s which were not acceptable to the then Congress leadership like Jawahar Lal Nehru and Subash Chander Bose ( ofcourse Gandhi was the driving spirit ) who were for complete independence ( Pooran Swaraj). It was on 31-12-1929 that in Lahore Session of Congress party ( Jawahar Lal Nehru as President ) a resolution was adopted for “Pooran Swaraj”/ Total independence from British by ’26 Jan 1930′ and that is why India observes the republic day on 26th Jan every year in view of 31-12-1929 Lahore resolution only although 26 Nov is considered as Constitution day (Constituent Assembly on twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, adopted, enacted and gave to theirselves Constitution of Democratic Republic of India ).
The Government of India Act 1919 had introduced the ‘Diarchy’ system of administration, which meant power would be shared between the British and Indians at the local level. After 10 years of the implementation of the act, there would be a commission to inquire whether further reforms would be needed. So It was on the advice of Lord Irwin ( Edward Frederick Lindley Wood ) , the then Viceroy of India ( 3 April 1926 – 18 April 1931 ) that the Sir John Simon was constituted in 1927 ( consisted of only the Foreigners and no Indian representative which outraged Indian leaders ).There were even incidents of violence between the British police and the freedom fighters during which Lala Lajpat Rai lost his life.
To be brief , had then in October 1929 announced (without giving any time line ) that the Crown may givea ‘dominion status’ for British-occupied India and suggested for a Round Table Conferencein London to discuss the matter including a future ‘constitution’.Congress & Mahatma Gandhi had by then launched non- co operation movement and were not satisfied with British Intentions so did not participate in the 1st session of the RTC in London. ( 1st Nov. 12, 1930-Jan. 19, 1931).OnLord Irwin’s invitation eight meetings were held over about and the Gandhi-Irwin Pact was signed on 5 March 1931 and Gandhi ji attended the 2nd session of RTC in London but that too was not of any satisfaction to Gandhiji who once again did not attend the 3rd session of RTC since Gandhi ji did not receive any positive signals like for Puran Swaraj from the British during the proceedings of the conference. The three sessions of Round Table Conference ( 1st Nov. 12, 1930-Jan. 19, 1931, 2ndSeptember-December 1931 when Lord Irwin had been replaced by Lord Willingdon as Viceroy in India, 3rd Nov. 17-Dec. 24, 1932 ) were held in London called by the British Government of Labour Party to consider the future constitution of India in view of a review of the Government of India Act of 1919 .The three sessions of Roundtable conference were attended by over 70 Princes of British Indian Empire including Maharaja of J&K, some other Indians, Muslim League , Mohd Ali Jinha and Bhim Rao Ambedkar (representing depressed classes) but Mahatma Gandhi / Congress attended only 2nd RTC. Except Gandhi ji all other participants did not have broad based views for placement in the conference .
Anyhow somewhere in March 1933 the recommendations of the RTC were discussed in the British Parliament , a bill was presented in British Parliament in February 1935 and that was passed as Government of India Act 1935 in July 1935 for establishing something like provincial autonomy in British India areas and also a federal system eyeing on Princely states (that was never implemented) with India still remaining a Colony of the British.
To be continued
(The author is a Sr Journalist &
analyst of J&K Affairs.

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