Christian missionaries, ‘conversion’

Why does a preacher propagate religion (“Christian missionaries have legal right to promote their religion, Tamil Nadu tells Supreme Court”)? Because he considers his religion superior. It is not acceptable. Every faith is above board. None has right to criticise religion. Respect all religions. – Brijesh Barthwal


Article 25 clearly says that individuals can freely choose the religion. But the Constitution did not talk about “group of persons under an umbrella or missionaries or more than one individual”. So this argument does not hold water and there is always a hidden agenda, which is why it is resisted. – Sekar Subramanian


In one state, the prime minister talks to Christian church authorities and assured his full support to their community in the country and in another state Christians are harassed by some groups and police arrested the Christians for organising prayers (“Alleging religious conversion, mob vandalises Christian prayer service in Chhattisgarh”). Why the double standard? – Narendra Agarwal

50 years of Kesavananda Bharati

The article by CK Faisal (“50 years ago, the SC ruled on the Constitution’s basic structure. What went on behind the scenes?”) enlightened us on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the basic structure of the Constitution. It traced what all happened in open forums and behind the scenes at the time of the landmark ruling and what has happened since then. The epic clash between the Supreme Court and the Parliament, or, perhaps more precisely, the “government of the day” described in the article in a lucid style read like a gripping story.

Justice Joseph’s observation that “even constitutional amendments brought with an absolute majority cannot take away the basic structure” affirms the inherent strength of the Constitution to be the land’s Law for many more years and decades and even centuries to come. It is also a tribute to the genius and wisdom of the founding fathers and Dr BR Ambedkar in particular.

The article was informative; from it we learnt that “the question of whether fundamental rights are included in the basic structure of the Constitution remains unanswered even today”. Given the fact that the notions of equality and liberty underpin the fundamental rights, one wishes that they are deemed to be an intrinsic part of the basic structure of the Constitution. If at all they are to be amended, it should be for further strengthening them commensurate with the ideals of freedom and democracy.

The power to decide on it should be vested in the country’s top court by virtue of the role it plays and is to play as the “custodian of the Constitution”. While the paramountcy of the will of the people is beyond question, it should be distinct from the “tyranny of the majority”. It is important to keep the powers of the Parliament and the Supreme Court in balance to secure the best out of both. It falls on both to uphold the Constitution and translate its true inwardness into action to benefit the mass of Indian humanity. Paying obeisance to it as the “holy book” alone won’t do. – G David Milton