On the surface, it might appear to be paradoxical that while Prime Minister Narendra Modi once declared that the Constitution is a “holy book”, his government has presided over the weakening of several important institutions: the Council of Ministers is now fully subordinate to the PMO, and once relatively independent RBI, Central Information Commission and Election Commission have been weakened, not to mention the further deterioration of the CBI and CVC.
Furthermore, in many cases — for instance during the formation of the government in Goa and Karnataka — what governors did was quite different from what the Constitution required them to do. How is it that on the one hand we say the Constitution is our holy book, and on the other hand increasingly violate its letter and spirit?
Because, first of all, it is wrong to declare the Constitution of India a “holy book”. Second, the idea of a “holy book” is foreign to India’s largely Hindu culture. Finally, in India, symbolism is frequently used as a substitute for the substantial.