Q. Discuss the relevance of Gandhian DPSPs in today’s context.
A. Gandhian principles in the DPSPs are based on Gandhian ideology. They represent the programme of reconstruction enunciated by Gandhi during the national movement.
They are as follows:
i. Art 40 – to organize village panchayats and enable them to function as units of selfgovernance a. This has been enshrined in the Constitution via the 73rd Amendment Act, and has now become an integral part of the very conception of democratic polity in our country b. Finance Commissions and other reform commissions suggest measures to make panchayats financially and administratively independent
ii. Art 43 – to promote cottage industries on an individual or cooperative level a. This is essential to increase livelihood opportunities at the grassroots, to promote self-reliance and to make people economically independent
iii. Art 43B – to promote formation and autonomy of co-operative societies a. This has been made a part of the Fundamental Rights wide the 97th Constitution Amendment Act, 2011
iv. Art 46 – to promote the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the society and protect them social injustice a. This has been one of the biggest agendas of post-independence India b. GoI has come up with several Fundamental Rights, schemes, programmes and acts, to ensure upliftment of the weaker sections of the society c. Even today, when a vast majority of the SCs and STs suffer from educational and economic backwardness and are unable to compete with the rest of the society, it is imperative that the State takes up the matter on a mission mode, keeping the Gandhian principle hugely relevant.
v. Art 47 – prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs
a. This has been the case with Gujarat and other states have tried it infrequently
b. This remains relevant in a country like India wherein a considerable number of people end up in poverty due to indiscriminate consumption of intoxicants. c. Also, this disturbs the social fabric of the country
vi. Art 48 – to prohibit the slaughter of milch and cows and improve their breed
a. This is one of the most emotive issues we face as a society, today
b. This essentially instructs us to protect our animals as we are predominantly an agricultural economy in terms of the number of people dependent on it
c. Also, improving the breed of cattle on modern, scientific lines has been taken up on a priority basis in India
All these go on to show that the Gandhian principles enshrined in the DPSPs are not just as relevant but Probably more relevant today than they were at the time they were constituted.
The state needs to actively take measures to fulfil the ambitions and promises made under the Gandhian ideals of the directive principles.