The republic’s strength is a steady Constitution
We the people abide by a ‘living document’ that’s open to change as society evolves. Yet, its basic structure must constrain legislative and executive authority in India’s larger interests
This Republic Day, as on every, we the people must devote thought to the Constitution of India. Especially so in the context of a major concern of the freedom struggle that gave it birth: justice. It is the Preamble’s first mention of what we have collectively resolved to secure for all citizens. The context this year, as it happens, is wracked by a standoff between the judiciary and government over the latter’s demand of a formal say in appointing judges, done currently by a collegium of the former headed by the Chief Justice of India. Unfortunate though it is for individual names to be dragged into the fray, this has already happened. Willy-nilly, the candidacy of senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal has become a talking point. Proposed for the post of a Delhi high court judge by the collegium in 2021, his name reportedly ran into Central qualms over his sexual orientation, with heteronormative queries raised over potential biases on its account. Only recently did the country legalize consensual same-sex intimacy for adults, after the Supreme Court struck down an old law and endorsed the need for justice to move with the times. For the spirit of that reform to be upheld at every level, sexuality must not disqualify anyone. It’s plainly unjust.
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