The article “The case that saved Indian democracy” (April 24) by Arvind P. Datar was brilliant. But for the “basic structure” judgment in the Kesavananda Bharati case, the Minerva Mills case (in which the Supreme Court provided clarifications on the interpretation of the basic structure doctrine) and the Waman Rao case (on the Ninth Schedule), our democracy would have been hijacked by vested interests long ago. The Hindu can think of educating its readers on the Constitution through a weekly column. People should have knowledge of the provisions of this great document and the part it plays it in everyone’s life.
One wonders what would have befallen the nation had Indira Gandhi had her way and got a committed judiciary, pliable bureaucracy and totalitarian state. But it is also true that even after over 60 years of freedom, we have not evolved healthy democratic practices. Unscrupulous elements enjoy power, misuse democratic institutions and plunder the country’s wealth. Only an alert judiciary can protect India from state tyranny.
I agree that the Kesavananda Bharati case was instrumental in preventing an authoritarian rule by a single party. But where are we now? Political parties launched with the sole intention of grabbing as many seats as possible blackmail the governments of the day to corner posts and perks for themselves. Most of these parties do not have any ideology or a nationalistic viewpoint. Should anything not be done about this?
A. Radha Krishna,