If we are to believe some “intellectuals”, “journalists” and members of the MSM, the BJP led Government of India has found a unique method of “amending” the constitution: Simply “remove” or “photoshop” pictures of the preamble of the constitution:
From a CPI(ML) leader:
Pl sign petition – Shocking Govt ad on R-Day that cut ‘secular’ & ‘socialist’ from Preamble of Constitution of India http://t.co/RM7nhwLsZD
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) January 27, 2015
From a Times of India Journalist:
From a Stand-Up Comedian:
Wow. Is this real? IB Ministry photoshopping the constitution for 26th January ad? http://t.co/myTlhnPetr
— MrMrRajneesh (@MrMrRajneesh) January 27, 2015
Reddit Tweet, Retweeted by Journalist Kunal Majumder
Even a news article by The Indian Express carried a report on this. According to this piece, even Congress Leader Manish Tewari believed the Indian Government had “removed” the words “Secular and Socialist republic” from the constitution, in the Advertisement that it had released.
The truth however, is something different.
The image used by the Government, in the advertisement is in fact of the Original, Un-Amended, Un-Edited preamble to the constitution. A copy of the same is easily available online.
The words “secular” and “socialist” were inserted into the preamble of the constitution through the 42nd amendment during the Emergency. In fact, this act of amendment was one of the black periods of our democracy and an attack on the spirit of the constitution.
However, our armchair activists are calling this advertisement an attack on the spirit of the constitution when the real crime was committed by Indira Gandhi during the Emergency.
This advertisement doesn’t amend the constitution. The only intention of the Government in using this original picture in the advertisement was most probably to highlight the original untampered document, and not its content. It is like showcasing a piece of history.
But our over-enthusiastic journalists were quick to use this half-cooked knowledge to claim that the Modi Government willfully and mischievously altered the image. In fact, it’s them, who want the image to be altered, thanks to their paranoia.
The image, which is barely used in the background of the advertisement, basically celebrates an old copy of the constitution’s preamble. It is like showcasing a historical souvenir.
Tomorrow if a government advertisement carries an old newspaper clipping that shows Goa not a part of India (as was the case till 1961), will these people start outraging and demanding that the map in old paper clipping be “amended”?
Let us be clear – if the government issues a written text that deliberately removes the words “socialist” (we at OpIndia.com believe it was a tragedy to add this term) and “secular”, it indeed should be a cause for concern, but it is silly to outrage at a picture that shows an old copy, which celebrates our constitutional heritage.