Paper v/s Proper - Right To Equality

Right to Equality

Equality is a tricky concept in itself. If enforced in the absolute sense, might give a feeling of not so equal to everyone. Equality instead of a forced concept shall be made to evolve as a belief. Talking from India’s point of view, here the state which is defined as “the State’’ includes the Government and Parliament of India; the Government and the Legislature of each of the States and all local or other authorities within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India.

Analysing the various policies and articles of the Constitution of India, one would realise that this constitution focuses on the equality of outcome instead of equality of opportunities. Here the very question arrives, does a democratically elected government try to enforce equality of outcome? The only answer a learned person will give will be NO. The government shall only strive hard to provide everyone with equality of opportunities. 

Indian constitution at many places uses very vague terms to define very important concepts, which give authorities immense power to curb the liberties of the common man. For instance, the right to equality section of the Indian constitution comes with a lot of exceptions, which makes a mockery out of the real sense of right to equality. It is astonishing to see how the courts of India including the Honorable Supreme Court of India have played their role with mastery in this.

Article 15(3) provides that, nothing in the right to equality section shall prohibit the government from making any laws for the protection of children and women. It is most certainly an established fact that children need special care and more security than an adult, but in a world that is striving hard to create a balance between genders, the Constitution of India in itself allows the institutional misandry, which is visible in many discriminatory and draconian laws made by the Indian parliament.

Article 14 states that the state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. The Indian ‘VIP culture’ which the present government has claimed to abolish, still runs in the veins of Indian politicians and powerful people. Contrarily, blocking a commoner’s movement, thrashing them if they move and blocking roads for VIP movement is a very common practice in India till date.

Reservation has been the talk of the town for very long and is still on the list of favourite topics for political parties to garner attention and brainwash people to vote for them. In recent times, the Government of Maharashtra has promised to give reservations on a religious basis, which even goes against the exceptions provided by the Constitution of India. Earlier, the reservation was based on social caste but very recently the present government started giving reservations to the economically poor section, which attracted high criticism from the self-appointed guardians of the constitution.

In a recent order, the Honorable Supreme Court of India said that the decision to give reservations depends on the states and that courts cannot force them to give reservations if they do not want to. This case was regarding the reservation in promotions of officers. The court established that reservation in promotion or reservation in job opportunities is not a fundamental right and it depends on the states if they want to give reservations or not.

After clubbing together all the exceptions, one can see that the parliament is simply allowed to override the fundamental rights, to make laws in several scenarios which have impacted the citizens adversely. Fundamental Rights were made to protect the citizens from persecution, while the state has made them a tool to dehumanise and harm the psychology of a common man.

‘Paper vs Proper’ is a series of analysis. Stay tuned and read with us, the upcoming parts of the Analysis series.

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