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Author Name: C. Kashyap Subhash
Publication Year: 2012
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This is not yet another book on the Constitution of India. It represents the results of thorough churning of the Constitution at work by some of the finest brains from the Executive, Legislative and Judicial fields, Public administration and the academia. Gathered here as contributions to this volume by some of the most distinguished persons from elite of the former Chief Justices of India, Union Cabinet Ministers, and activists from all over India beside three reputed scholars from abroad. The appointment of the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution was a unique example of effective civil society pressure on public policy. Whether it is mentioned or not, several of its recommendations have been taken seriously and have impacted governmental and parliamentary action agenda e.g. (1) making universal education for children between 614 (instead of upto 14), a fundamental right, (2) guaranteed rural employment for 100 days (instead of 80 days) in a year, (3) limiting the size of Ministries to 15% (instead of 10%) of the strenght of the lower House of the Legislature, (4) disqualifying defectors for occupying public offices, (5) extending disqualification to groups of defectors earlier protected under the split provision, etc. The Report of the Commission should be a compulsory reading for all those interested in the Constitution and the future of India. Those with no axe to grind or benefit to derive from the corrupt system must build pressure for implementing the agenda for reforms. It is necessary to generate greater interest in the need for a followup. The position is best summed up in the words of the former AttorneyGeneral and eminent jurist Shri Soli Sorabjee: "If Government does not do it, let us mobilise public opinion." The present volume is a modest attempt to continue the debate and advocacy for better understanding, reviewing and reassessing the Constitution. It should be widely read with interest and make some humble contribution to the national debate.
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