Jammu and Kashmir CJ: Adding ‘secular’ in Preamble reduced spiritual image of India

Jammu and Kashmir CJ: Adding ‘secular’ in Preamble reduced spiritual image of India

NOTING that Bharat from time immemorial had been a spiritual country, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, the Chief Justice of the High Court, Pankaj Mithal, said on Sunday adding “socialist” and “secular” to the aforementioned “sovereign republic and democratic “in the Preamble to the 1976 Constitution reduced the immensity of its spiritual image.

Delivering a keynote address on ‘The Dharma and Constitution of India: The Interaction’ at a function hosted here by Adhivakta Parishad of J&K and Ladakh, he said that India is capable of caring for all its citizens and that the socialist nature was inherent in it. Pandavas to Maurya, Guptas, Mughals and British ruled it, but India was never defined on the basis of religion as a Muslim, Christian or Hindu nation, because it was accepted as a spiritual country, he said. “By adding the word ‘secular’, we have reduced the very vastness of the spiritual appearance …” he said, adding that “this can be said as a narrow-minded approach.” Otherwise, Bharat from time immemorial had been a spiritual country and its name should have been “Spiritual Republic of India,” he added.

Referring to amendments, he said that it is good to have amendments as they are useful, but those that are not in the national interest are useless. “Sometimes we bring amendments because of our inflexibility,” he said. In this context, he referred to two amendments made to the Constitution in 1976, one adding Fundamental Duties in Chapter 14 and, along with it, adding ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ to the Preamble. “Very good words, but we have to see if these amendments were necessary or if they have been added in the right place,” he said.

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