2. Comment upon the moral and ethical dimensions of India’s Constitution.
भारत के संविधान के नैतिक आयामों पर टिप्पणी करें।
The constitution of India apart from being the fundamental law of the land is also liberating in nature and a source of ethical guidance. Constitution has incorporated our historic values, societal ethics and has upheld constitutional morality.
Moral and ethical dimensions:
The constitutional provisions and parts have been a source of ethical and moral guidance to citizens, policy makers and various other stakeholders.
- The constitution upholds the principles of “Sarva dharma samabhava” through the secular provisions under various articles and preamble.
- the preamble has been a source of ethical values that defines our society and nation which has to be incorporated by every citizen, government entity which includes India being a socialist, secular, democratic nation upholding justice, equality, fraternity.
- Compassion: Constitution preaches equality, fraternity, compassion for weak and vulnerable through affirmative action. (E.g. Articles 15 &16).
- Virtue ethics: Justice being the fundamental virtue for any nation is being upheld by the constitution. All form of justice – social, economic, political have been mentioned. This implicitly inspires for ‘distributive justice’.
- The constitution provides for equity principle through the provisions of reservations, affirmative directives under DPSPs, special provisions like the 5th and 6th schedule and so on.
- The constitution has provisions of utilitarianism upholding democratic principles but at the same time follows the John Rawls theory of justice with putting the last first which also protects minority rights.
- Duty based ethics: Article 51A of Constitution provides fundamental duties to give way to duty-based ethics for the citizens.
- Gandhian ethics: the principles of Ahimsa, Sarvodaya, Swarajya and so on is being promoted though DPSPs, local self-government and so on.
- Environmental ethics: is found in the constitution under Article 48A, 51A(g) promoting environmental conservation in accordance with the principle that “We don’t inherit the environment from our ancestors, but we borrow from future generations”.
The provisions of the constitution have enabled over the years to fulfil our philosophical aspects whether providing refuge to persecuted communities like Tibets upholding ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’ or upholding ‘satyameva jayate’ defeating the authoritarian emergency imposed through democracy. It has empowered the citizens to take ethics and moral decisions eventually.
The constitution is based on Indian philosophical principles whether it is of Ashoka’s Dhamma or the gita’s Dharma paripalana. Indian constitution has also borrowed the modern philosophy evolved through the western revolutions of France, America and so on. Thus, it is a fountain of moral and ethical principles.
Indian constitution is, as Ambedkar envisaged has cultivate a constitutional morality guiding the government to run the country not only administratively but also ethically and morally. Even after seven decades of making, the Indian sacred document has been proved successful because of its strong ethical foundations and continues to guide the state and its subjects in an ethical direction.