Tuesday, December 18, 2012

the Ph.D thesis of Innaiah Narisetti submitted in Osmania University created history due to the role of the guide and devotee of Cult hindu guru Aurobindo. Mr M V Ramamurthy ( 1918-1999) studied the case and presented it;

Philosophical consequences of Modern science-Thesis Antithesis

The facts relating to this Thesis constitute interesting reading. The zigzag turns, the twists all give a touch of drama to the course of the Thesis. Its chequered career is influenced and shaped by acts of well meaning and honest persons as well as by the sly and subtle ways of some others.
Mr. N. Innaiah enrolled himself as a research scholar for Ph.D. degree course of Osmania University in the Department of Philosophy in October, 1965. The topic of research was "The Philosophical Consequences of Modern Science with special reference to the problem of Determinism." (Appendix-1) He had passed the preliminary Ph.D. test held in September, 1966 (Appendix - 2). Mr. Innaiah was then one of the Lecturers in the Philosophy Department of Osmania University. As such, he submitted some research papers. They were commended by his supervisor for publication as articles (Appendix-3). He submitted his Thesis on 3rd October, 1969. He was not informed about the fate of his Thesis even by 22nd June, 1973. Then the scholar wrote a letter to the Vice Chancellor of Osmania University requesting him, for the information (Appendix-4). On 17th December, 1974 he was asked by the Controller of Examinations to revise his Thesis
(Appendix-5). He was furnished with extracts from the ,reports of the Examiners. (Appendix - 6). He submitted his revised Thesis on 30th March, 1976 (Appendix. 7).
It is not out of place to refer to something that 'happened prior to March 1976. There was a move to get an Aurobindo University established, by Prof. Madhusudhana Reddy. He is an Aurobindite. It was felt in many circles that he was making strenuous efforts to get an Aurobindo University established, This gave rise to a tirade against the said move 'by the rationalists and radical humanists in the form of a press statement (Appendix-8). They wrote a 'Letter to the Editor' in a local English Daily (Appendix-9). This seems to have irked the Aurobindites of Hyderabad. In the meanwhile, a One-man Commission headed by a retired Judge of Andhra Pradesh High Court, Mr. V. Parthasarathi, was appointed to go into the affairs of the University. Naturally, the way the Thesis of Mr N. Innaiah was dealt with, figured as one of the matters enquired into by the commission. The report of the Commission in respect of the manner in which the Thesis was handled is revealing. It spoke of the entire episode as one of 'wrecked hope' and 'a blasted career. It stated that one could not part with the case "without being shaken to the core of one's being." Elsewhere in the report it is observed that "it is frustration that grows out of weary years of waiting that enhances or Deepens the pathos of the tragedy." The Com­mission commented that the matter was "muddled through for several months with the incept handling repeating itself in an incredible manner.'' This evidently referred to the University's delay in taking the necessary action just prior to its directing the candidate on 17th December, 1974 to revise his Thesis. The Commission did not leave the matter without indicating the examination branch of the University by saying "that no one associated with the matter is free from blame."              It seems that the report of the Commission was sent to Dr. V Madhusudhana Reddy for comment. Events followed fast. Mr. Innaiah's supervisor and guide Dr. Madhusudhana Reddy tendered his resignation to the post of Professor and Head of Department of Philosophy. The news of this event was reported in the press with the date line of 25th April, 1976. Even this incident created problems for Mr. Innaiah for he was asked to submit the revised Thesis with the certificate from his supervisor. Under the circumstances then prevailing, it was impossible.
Several factors till then unknown to the candidate became known, thanks to the enquiry by the One-man Commission. It seems that at first three examiners were appointed to evaluate the Thesis. They are :
1.          Prof. Leo Gabriel of Austria.
2.          Dr. Daya Krishna, Jaipur.
3.          Dr. V. Madhusudhana Reddy, Supervisor.
While Prof. Leo Gabriel and Dr. V Madhusudhana Reddy had recommended the award of Ph.D degree, Dr. Daya Krishna had recommended its rejection. The University Syndi­cate at its 143rd meeting, held on 17th April, 1971, had resolved that the Thesis of Mr.lnnaiah be referred to the fourth examiner. The offer was made to three foreign examiners in succession and ultimately it was sent ro Prof. Richard Hecking of USA, on 6th July, 1972. Since the report of Prof. Hecking was not received for a long time, Dr. Milick Gapek of Boston University was appointed as examiner. He sent the report in February 1974, stating that the Thesis should be thoroughly revised and resubmitted. The case was submitted to the University Syndicate on 10th June, 1974. It seems that the syndicate has resolved to call upon the candidate to revise the Thesis. The communication of the Syndicate's direction was made on 17th December 1974. Thus it can be seen that it took nearly two years from 17th April, 1971 onwards, for selecting an examiner who could be expected to agree to do the evaluation. Thereafter it took nearly four months for submitting the matter to the Syndicate i.e., from February, 1974 to June, 1974 . Yet another six months were allowed to lapse from 10th June, 1974 to 17th December, 1974 to communicate the syndicate's resolution to the candidate. It is this delay that was the subject of adverse comment by the One-man commission headed by Mr. Parthasarathy,
The English daily press reported the news of the report by the Commission and the consequent resignation of the guide. As per Rule 26(b) of Ph.D. rules of Osmania Uni­versity, the revised Thesis shall, as tar as possible, be referred to the same examiners for their opinion. But this rule was not brought to the notice of the Vice-Chancellor who appoint­ed on 18th May, 1976, the following three teachers as examiners :—
l. Prof. K Satchitananda Murthy, Tirupathi
2. Prof. N K Devraj, Varanasi
3. Dr, Barlingay, Poona
The Thesis was sent to the said examiners who sub­mitted the reports. While Dr. K. Satchitananda Murthy recom­mended the award of Ph.D. degree, Prof. N. K. Devraj and Dr. Barlingay, have suggested the revision of the Thesis. On 11th January, 1977 the syndicate passed a resolution to call upon the candidate to revise and resubmit his Thesis in the light of the remarks made by examiners (2) and (3). All these facts are adverted to in the note before the syndicate at its meeting on 4th June, 1977 (Appendix-10). The Dean, Faculty of Arts was requested on 1st  March, 1977 to communicate to the candidate that he should revise the Thesis. He was suggested that the reports of the three examin'rs be communicated to the candidate. Accordingly, on 10th Marh, 1977, the University sent a note to the candidate calling upon him to revise the thesis (Appendix-11 ). The extracts from the reports of the examiners were supplied to himn (Appendix-12). On 21st May, 1977 he wrote a letter to the University protesting against the procedure and requesting that he be awarded with the degree of Ph.D (Appendix-13). The University seemed to have been perplexed by the very irregu­larities it had been committing and so it was considered by the syndicate at its meeting on 4th June, 1977. It decided to cancel the communication dated 10th  March, 1977, directing revision. It further directed the Controller of Examinations to send the revised Thesis of 30th March, 1976 to Dr. Mitlic Gaspek of USA, Dr V. Madhusudhana Reddy and Prof. Leo Gabriel. In June 1977, two copies of the Thesis were sent to Prof. Leo Gabriel and Prof. Gaspek. Prof. Gaspek sent it to his colleague Prof. N. Bhattacharya and the University later acquiesced in it. Prof. Bhattacharya sent his report on 30th March, 1978. to Prof. K J Shah, who was appointed in the place of Prof. Madhusudhana Reddy, who did not reply to the University's communication, he being out of service then, Prof. Shah sent his report on 18th September, 1978. Both the examiners rejected the thesis. All these facts became known when the University filed a counter to the  W.P. 476 of 1979, on the file of the Andhra Pradesh High Court (Appendix-14).
On 15th June, 1977, Mr. Innaiah was informed that his representation was under consideration (Appendix-15). Evi­dently the University did not choose to inform the candidate about the revised Thesis being sent to the original examiners. As time was running fast, as nearly 10 years have elapsed after the candidate's submission of the Thesis on 3rd October, 1969, he became courageous enough to file a Writ Petition No. 476 of 1979 in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh on 19th January 1979, praying for the issue of a writ of mandamus directing the University to constitute a Board of Examiners to conduct the Viva-voce for him in relation to his Thesis (Appendix-16). The University filed the counter earlier referred to as Appendix No-14. The position stood thus — The original Thesis was read by four examiners out of which two have recommended award of the degree; one recom­mended rejection and one opted for directing revision. The revised Thesis was perused by five examiners out of which one has recommended acceptance, two for rejection and two opined that it needed revision. Thus out of nine Scholars who had the privilege of examining the Thesis either in the original form or in the revised form, opinions were expressed as follows. Three examiners recommended acceptance, while another three examiners rejected its worthiness and the remaining three chose to direct revision. Thus it is evident that the matter was not free from doubt. Moreover, one fact became evident that there was a wide difference of opinion between the Austrian school and the American School in respect of the subject itself. This can be inferred from the communication of Dr. Gaspek to the University as referred to the counter to WP. 476 of 1979 (Appendix-14). Prejudices seemed to have played a vital part in the decision of the examiners who ought to be above these considerations. Apart from that, the University cannot be expected to direct the candidate to revise the Thesis twice, as rules do not permit the same. What all happened after the reports of the original examiners i.e., what happened after 1971 is null and void as being contrary to law and he rules. At any rate, as two out of the three examiners of the First Board recommended acceptance of the candidate's Thesis, it should have been accepted for award of the degree.
Then Mr. Justice Alladi Kuppuswami, dierected the University on 6th February, 1980, to consider the position as it obtained in 1971 after the receipt of the reports of the examiners viz. Prof. V. Madhusudhana Reddy, Prof. Leo Gabriel of Austria and Prof. Daya Krishna. The Vice-Chancellor was directed to decide within one month whether he should direct the viva-voce examination to be conducted, or the Thesis should be revised or rejected.(Appendix-17). The Court was also pleased to direct that viva-voce should be conducted within two months if the Vice-Chancellor chose to do so.
One would expect smooth sailing thereafter, but alas,  it was not so. Mr.Innaiah as called upon by the University by its communication dated 16th April, 1980 to appear for the viva-voce examination on 27th April, 1980. (Appendix-18). He complied with the direction. There, to his dismay and consternation, he found only two examiners, one who rejected his Thesis viz. Prof. Daya Krishna and the other his erstwhile supervisor Prof, V. Madhusudhan Reddy who by that time rejoined service in the University. What happened at the interview was far from being happy. The viva-voce examination was riot utilised for the purpose for which it was intended i.e. to determine whether after all the scholar has written the Thesis or somebody else did it for him with the connivance of the supervisor. The two examiners did not have the advantage of reading the Thesis again for they did not have copies of the same with them. The last time they read it was in 1970 or so i.e., nearly a decade ago. The copy of the scholar was borrowed by them and questions poured forth. What transpired at the interview was referred by the candidate in his letters to the Vice-Chancellor dated 27th April, 1980 (Appendix-19) i.e., the very day of the examination and dated 6th May, 1980 (Appendix-20). On 16th June, 1980 the Vice-Chancellor of the University chose to reject the Thesis submitted by Mr. Innaiah (Appendix-21). This was unexpected for the supervisor and          guide commended the Thesis as early as 1970. Presumably he must have changed his stand. Consistent with his earlier stand, Prof. Daya Krishna might have rejected the Thesis as unworthy for acceptance. Eyebrows were raised as it is probably the first time in the University that a Thesis was rejected in viva-voce and probably first occasion in the academic history of India when a guide and supervisor went back on his earlier recom­mendation. Mr. Innaiah filed the Writ Petition No. 3452 of 1980, praying that the Andhra Pradesh High Court might be pleased to direct the University to award the degree of Ph.D. to him (Appendix-21). The University filed a counter (Appendix-22). Ms. Justice Amareswari by her judgement dated 14th April, 1981, accepted the contention of the scholar that viva-voce conducted on 27th April, 1980, was against the rules framed by the University as only two examiners were present then. The Hon'ble judge set aside the viva-voce. She opined that there was neither logic nor justification in appointing Dr. Daya Krishna as an examiner for the viva-voce as he had earlier rejected the thesis outright and denounced it in the harshest terms. Prof. Madhusudhana Reddy was found to have written on 27th April, 1980 to the Vice-Chancellor. His letter reads as follows ;- "In the context of the disturbing controversy into which my name got involved, I request you kindly to keep me out of any panel of adjudica­tors that you may contemplate for the purpose," This attitude of Prof. Madhusudhana Reddy was quite appropriate and befitting the membership of the academic community had the matter stood there. Moreover              Mr. Parthasarathy as the One-man Commission, opined that one of the contribu­tory factors for the delay in respect of the Thesis was “remissness" on the part of the internal examiner, thereby meaning Dr. Madhusudhana Reddy. It was unfortunate that he should have decided to sit as an examiner for viva-voce. The Court thought that Dr. Madhusudhana Reddy's presence at the viva-voce examination, should be dispensed with, in the circumstances of the case, It opined that the University has power under Rule 32 to dispense with the viva-voce in certain cases. It directed the University to adjudicate upon the Thesis in the light of its observations without any further delay (Appendex-23). To a call attention of an M.L.A., the Hon'ble Minister for Education stated in the A.P. Legislative Assembly that the University has decided to award the degree of Ph.D to Mr. Innaiah in the Convocation to be held on 14 th May, 1981. Ultimately, he was awarded with the degree. Thus, Mr. !nnaiah became Dr. Innaiah,
The price paid by Mr. Innaiah was heavy. For want of Ph.D. degree he had to lose the opportunities of continuing in the University. He became a freelance journalist and ulti­mately ended up by now as a working journalist. It took him nearly 12 years after the submission of his Thesis to get the degree. It involved two legal battles in the High Court. The University took nearly eleven years to reject the Thesis at the first instance. Such an inordinate delay engendering horrible mental agony to the scholar is unheard of in the annals of the academic life.
Mr. N K Acharya the present president of the Hyderabad Rationalist Association and editor of the 'Indian Rationalist' during 1967-1971 stood the ground and argued Mr. Innaiah's case with ability and steadfastness of purpose.
I The success of Mr. Innaiah is the tale of victory of the cause of 'Justice to the Scholars.' It may appear to be the lone fight of a single person; yet it partakes of the chara­cter of a fight for the vindication of rights of scholars to have their dessertations treated with consideration and sympathy in keeping with the highest principles of the academic life. It is neither a craving for charity nor is a praying for mercy. It is a reminder to the Academies to keep flying the banner of intellectualism in the country. It is a beaconlight beckoning the academic community to develop spirit of enquiry, respect for knowledge and attitude of detachment. All kudos to Dr. Innaiah who braved the hardship and suffering to raise the standard of revolt for a just and noble cause.

-          M. V. RAMA MURTHY

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bio data of Innaiah Narisetti

BIO-DATA of                                                                            


DATE OF BIRTH : October 31, 1937
Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India.)
ACADEMIC :High school-Suryadevara Narasaiah High school, Chebrolu
 B.A.-A.C.College, Guntur, AP India
M.A., (Philosophy), Osmania University,
Ph.D., (Philosophical Consequences of
Modern Science), Osmania University.
from 1982
POSITIONS : " CO- EDITOR "Prasarita" - A Telugu
Quarterly in Social Sciences 1972-75.
CORRESPONDENT - to Andhra Jyothi,
Telugu Daily 1975-81.
PRESIDENT - A.P. Chapter of Indian
Academy of Social Sciences, Hyderabad
PRESIDENT - A.P. Rationalist Association,
SECRETARY - Indian Radical Humanist
Association, Andhra Pradesh, 1992-94.
Rationalist Association, 1994-96.
VICE PRESIDENT - Rationalist Association
of India from 1996.
CO-ORDINATOR - FARA, AP - Federation
of Atheist, Rationalist, Humanist Associations,
A.P. 2003-2005.
Humanist Association, 2005-2007.
CHAIRMAN : Center for Inquiry- India,until
NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UNBELIEF (2008) (one article on unbelief in India).
CHILDREN, (Prometheus Books, USA, 2009.)
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UNBELIEF (Six Articles) Prometheus Books, USA,
M.N. ROY - RADICAL HUMANIST,( Prometheus Books, USA, 2005.)
M.N.ROY- PHOTO ALBUM, Rationalist Voice Publications, 2003.
(Rationalist Voice Publication!, Hyderabad, 2002.)
(Booklinks Corporation, 1996.)
(Booklinks Corporation Hyderabad 1995.)
Andhra Politics,( Booklinks Corporation, Hyderabad, 1984.)
Booklinks Corporation, Hyderabad, 1982.
(Booklinks Corporation, Hyderabad, 1982.)
POLITICS FOR POWER - A Study of Contemporary Andhra Pradesh
Politics,( Scientific Services, Hyderabad, 1982.)
STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - A study of A.P. Politics 1885-1985,
(Scientific Services, Hyderabad.)
INSIDE ANDHRA PRADESH - (Booklinks Corporation Hyderabad, 1980.)
DEPRESSED GROUP STUDENTS - (Co-author Dr. C. Lakshmanna),
9 College Book House, Trivendrum, 1977.)
(Co-Editor Dr. Alam Khundmiri), 1969.
LIE HUNTING LEADING TO TRUTH : Collection of Essays, 2005.
LIFE OF M.N. ROY, 2001 (Serialised in Vaartha - Telugu Daily)
(Encounter with Literary and Journalist Friends 2008)
(Co-author Prof. M.Venkatarangaiah) 1972.


GOD DELUSION - Richard Dawkins.
GOD IS NOT GREAT - Christopher Hitchens.
BLASPHEMY - Justice Raghavendra Jahagirdar - (R.V. Publications)
SECULARISM - Justice Raghavendra Jahangirdar - (R.V. Publications)
AFFIRMATIONS - Paul Kurtz - CFI India.
LIVING WITHOUT RELIGION - Paul Kurtz (RV Publications)
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GEETA - V.R. Narla (Hema Publications)
WHY I AM NOT A MUSLIM - Ibn Warraq (Hema Publications)
(Indian Council of Historical Research-yet to be published)
ARTICLES - A.B. Shah (Anupama, Vijayawada)
(Serialised in Golkonda Patrika)
Telugu Daily - 1963) Ph.D. Thesis on Aesthetics.
(Hema Publications)
OCHRE ROBE - Agehananda Bharati.
IN FREEDOM'S QUEST - M.N. Roy's Life Part 1, 2- Sibnarayan Ray
(Telugu University).
HAMD DALWAI - Muslim Politics
LAXMAN SASTRI JOSHI - Critique of Hinduism


Agehananda Bharathi.



American Atheist, Free Inquiry, Washline, American Rationalist, Indian
Rationalist, Radical Humanist, Secularist, Rationalist Voice, Indian Skeptic.


Andhra Patrika, Andhra Prabha, Andhra Jyothi, Golconda Patrika, Eenadu,
Udayam, Vaartha,Surya


Prajavani, Vahini, Telugu Vidyarthi, Prajatantra, Sameeksha, Radical
Humanist, Vikasam, Hetuvadi, Suprabhatam, Prasarita, Manava Vikasam,
Swetchalochana, Misimi, New Humanist


Produced Documentaries and moderated discussions on
Humanist-Rationalist themes through All India Radio, Doordarshan, TV9,
ETV-2, Free Radio, TV-USA, TVS.


ATA -American Telugu association-Siromani Award (USA) 1992.
TANA -(Telugu association of America)Humanist-Journalist Award (USA) 1997
Greater Washington Telugu Association, 1999
Delaware ValleyTelugu Association, 1998
New York Telugu Association 1998
Malayasri Award, Karimnagar

Library of Congress, USA Listed 25 Books of Innaiah.

Participation in Humanist and Rationalist Activities In USA,
Europe 1992-2008
Officiated Secular Marriages
V.R. Narla dedicated his last Telugu play
Narakam Lo Harischandra (Harischandra in Hell).

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bill of Rights” in the Constitution of India -critical outlook

“Bill of Rights” in the Constitution of India


By: G. B. Singh


any admirers of India often go

out of the way to depict India as the "world's largest
a "secular" state, which through its constitution guar
human rights to all Indians -- the implication being t
in practice as a matter of routine. Yet, dismaying as
never come across any piece of written information a
Constitution itself, let alone all those enshrined fund
guarantees to its citizens. Coupled with aggressive S
measures" channeled by the Indian government, sev
outside India have fallen prey to the media hype. In
members of US Department of State who upon my in
years ago hadn’t even seen what the Constitution of
alone read it! Our academia-based “India Watchers”
specialists have also dismally failed to undertake this
independently the contents of the Indian constitution
noticed is this: they just parrot out what they pick fr
obviously without checking the facts.
Before analyzing the rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution, a few words
on the constitution would be helpful to readers. The Indian Constitution
(promulgated in 1950) is the longest constitution ever written. As of
December 2007, the Constitution of India comprised 395 Articles, 12
Schedules, 2 Appendices, and constitutional amendments totaling no less
than ninety-four in number. Include to this list are amendments of previous
amendments -- often each amendment encompassing multiple smaller
amendments within its charter. India's constitution can safely be
characterized as one of the most complicated of all modern political
documents available.

Highly placed Indians with some insight into their constitution will often take
delight in saying that it is based on sound fundamental principles derived
from the constitutions of no less than five great Western democracies:

Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, and of course, the United States. It all
sounds great. Even more impressive is when we hear that the Bill of Rights
of the U.S. Constitution has made its way into the Indian Constitution.
This is always followed by a note of special thanks to the framers of India's
constitution, with particular tribute paid to the likes of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
(well-known leader of India’s Untouchable community), who chaired the
drafting committee that devised the Indian Constitution. Justifiably, a
question begs to be asked: Are all things mentioned above true?

To answer that question, one must at least procure the most recent copy of
the Indian Constitution, read it, understand it, and then present the facts as
they stand. I did exactly that, which is why I am writing this article.

I hope the reader is familiar with the first ten amendments (commonly
called "The Bill of Rights") of the U.S. Constitution, which were ratified in
1791. This information is important since these rights were purportedly
imported into the Indian Constitution. For the purpose of this article, it will
be worth the effort to reproduce the First Amendment of U.S. Constitution,
which states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,
or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to
petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Substance

Part III of the Indian Constitution (Articles 12 through 35) constitutes the
entire minutia on fundamental rights. Of these total of twenty-four articles,
Articles 19 and 25 are the only ones that truly correspond to the First
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Allow me to reproduce Article 19 in its

Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc.

(1) All citizens shall have the

(a) to freedom of speech and

(b) to assemble peaceably and
without arms;
(c) to form associations or unions;
(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;
(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; [and]
(f) deleted
(g) to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or

(2) Nothing in sub-clause (a) of the clause (1) shall affect the
operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any
law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the
exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause in the interests
of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of State, friendly
relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in
relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

(3) Nothing in sub-clause (b) of the said clause shall affect the
operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the
State from making any law imposing, in the interest of the sovereignty
and integrity of India or public order, reasonable restrictions on the
exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause.

(4) Nothing in sub-clause (c) of the said clause shall affect the
operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the
State from making any law imposing, in the interest of the sovereignty
and integrity of India or public order or morality, reasonable
restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-

(5) Nothing in sub-clause (d) and (e) of the said clause shall affect
the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent
the State from making any law imposing, reasonable restrictions on
the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clauses either in the
interests of the general public or for the protection of the interests of
any Scheduled Tribe.

(6) Nothing in sub-clause (g) of the said clause shall affect the
operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the
State from making any law imposing, in the interest of the general
public, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by

the said sub-clause, and, in particular, nothing in the said sub-clause
shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it relates to,
or prevent the State from making any law relating to -

(i) the professional or technical qualifications necessary for practising
any profession or carrying on any occupation, trade or business, or
(ii) the carrying on by the State, or by a corporation owned or
controlled by the State, of any trade, business, industry or service,
whether to the exclusion, complete or partial, of citizens or otherwise.

Granted much of the above narrative is redundant; nobody doubts the
clarity of Clause 1 of Article 19. However, given what is written in Clause 2
and onwards, everything changes. The fundamental rights given in Clause
1 have been for all practical purposes nibbled away one by one, thanks
to Clauses 2 to 6. The reader must have noticed that Clause 1f, which
had been "to acquire, hold and dispose of property," is missing. The 44th
Amendment expunged that portion in 1978, most likely enacted to usher
political India in tune with Communism, former USSR being at the time
India’s close ally. Things get even more complicated when you encounter
Articles 352 through 360 of the Indian Constitution, which essentially deliver
the emergency provisions. Since numerous geographical areas of India
frequently have fallen under these emergency provisions, the reality of the
fundamental rights supposedly guaranteed under Article 19 and others is
revealed, as citizens have been forced to live under the enacted draconian

What makes the fundamental rights problem even more tendentious is
that according to the 40th Amendment, the draconian laws may not be
challenged before any court on the ground of violation of fundamental rights.
If one or more groups of people have suffered terribly from the repressive
hands of the State, the 41st Amendment nails a potential litigant right back
to his/her proper place. This amendment has provided that the President,
Prime Minister and State Governors are immune from criminal prosecution
for life and from civil prosecution during their term of office. What about
the Press in India? The exuberant Indian Press exercises its freedom of
speech freely, as the apologists reminds us with regularity. But the facts are
otherwise. Indian journalists have learned too well how to kowtow to the
ruling Indian leaders.

Now, let us take a look at Article 25:

Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and
propagation of religion --

(1) Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other
provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of
conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate

(2) Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing
law or prevent the State from making any law -

(a) regulating or restricting any economic, political or other secular
activity which may be associated with religious practice;
(b) providing for social welfare and reform or the throwing open
of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and
sections of Hindus.

Explanation I - The wearing and carrying of kirpans shall
be deemed to be included in the profession of the Sikh

Explanation II - In sub-Clause (b) of clause (2), the reference
to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons
professing the Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religion, and the reference to
Hindu religious institutions shall be construed accordingly.

In a historical sense, Article 25 is unique. Even though Hindu hands wrote
it following the British departure in 1947, future Hindu hands have spared
it thus far from additional amendment. Those responsible for writing Article
25 were no less cunning and deceptive -- they knew how to shelter it behind
the barrage of words that only a few could understand. I have attempted to
unravel the mystery of Article 25 to the best of my abilities.

Teachings such as peaceful co-existence, high morals, high ethical values,
and respect for fellow humans are integral to any true religion. Given that,
why is religious freedom contingent upon factors of public order, morality,
and health with respect to religion in India as in Clause 1? Is there such a
religion that violates the norms of decent human morality? If indeed there
is any such religion, one would think the framers of the Indian Constitution
would have alerted us or perhaps would have "banned" that particular

immoral religion. Would Hinduism, Islam or for that matter any other
religion fall under that category?

With Hindu leaders in charge of Hindu India, the name of the game is
unchecked fundamentalist Hinduism, however undesirable it might be
to a reasonable mind. But during British-India, this unchecked Hindu
fundamentalism came very close to being curbed as recorded in a superbly
written book, Mother India by Katherine Mayo (Greenwood Press Publishers,
1927), which states:

It is true that, to conform to the International Convention for the
Suppression of the Circulation of and Traffic in Obscene Publications,
signed in Geneva on September 12, 1923, the Indian Legislature duly
amended the Indian Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure; and
that this amendment duly prescribes set penalties for "whoever sells,
lets to hire, distributes, publicly exhibits ... conveys ... or receives
profit from any obscene object, book, representation or figure." But
its enactment unqualified, although welcome to the Muhammadans,
would have wrought havoc with the religious belongings, the ancient
traditions and customs and the priestly prerogatives dear to the Hindu
majority. Therefore the Indian Legislature, preponderantly Hindu,
saddled the amendment with an exception, which reads:

This section does not extend to any book, pamphlet, writing, drawing
or painting kept or used bona fide for religious purposes or any
represented sculptured, engraved, painted or otherwise represented
on or in any temple, or on any car used for the conveyance of idols, or
kept or used for any religious purpose.

To conclude, in India, the freedom to practice religion is conditional at best.
The power to interpret and exercise the conditional requirements is in the
hands of Hindu leaders and nobody else. This is radically different from what
is in the United States where the practice of religion is free, unconditional
right. Conversely, in modern India, the practice of religion is a "politician-
sanctioned" unreliable right.

Clause 2a of Article 25 is muddy at best. Considering the constitutional
write-up, it seems religion is composed of economic, political, and worship
activities. Anything other than worship activity is termed "secular."
Therefore, in accordance with the constitution, the Indian State has the right
to interfere with those activities of the church it considers "secular." The

church, structure included, is after all an economic venture. In a socialist
country like India: Organized religions (Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, etc.)
with large groups of people interacting among themselves and others
amounts to nothing less than political activity. Any propagation of religion
will require a number of "secular" tasks: financial, organizational, and
personnel activities (just to name a few).

The Indian State can constitutionally restrict any one or all of these "secular"
endeavors, thereby effectively hampering genuine propagation of any
religion it desires. This has already happened, as illustrated in another
fine book - Soft State: A Newspaperman's Chronicle of India by Bernard
D. Nossiter (Harper & Row Publishers, 1970). I suppose one way to be
safeguarded from State incursion is for an individual to worship in the open
air (which will insure no economic activity) or alone within the confines
of a house (which will insure no political activity). How anyone worships
individually in these conditions may be beyond the Indian State's intrusive
nature! That's my hope!

Now, consider Clause 2b. What does freedom of religion have to do with
social welfare and reform? This sub-clause contains a statement with strange
wordings that need some scrutiny. First, are Hindu religious institutions of a
public character? This term is ambiguous and could mean literally anything
or absolutely nothing. My gut feeling is that it pertains to Hindu schools, the
temples, and ashrams. Second, is a reference to the “classes” of Hindus?
This is an inappropriate western terminology in reference to the Hindu
society. Nonetheless, if the term has to be used, the majority of the Hindu
population falls into the low class while the minority belongs to the middle
and upper classes. Third, what are the “sections” of Hindus? At the lowest
common denominator, the bulk of Hindu sections comprise the Vaishnava,
Saiva, and Sakti.

The State can regulate the opening of Hindu temples, schools, and/or
ashrams to all high, middle or low Hindu classes irrespective of whether one
is Vaishnava, Saiva, Saktia, or what have you. This interpretation may be
off the mark if I am reading incorrectly because of the use of terms that are
vague. Unfortunately, the framers of the constitution missed the crux of the

The Hindu society is governed by caste (or varna), and not just necessarily
by the classes and sections. And certainly the caste is not the same thing
as class and section. If you feel that the framers of the constitution were

themselves not sure of what they wrote or its underlying meaning, they
perhaps hoped that the reader would be reassured in the offering of
Explanation I and II. At this juncture I am reminded of how abrupt the
change is in the narrative of Article 25. Hardly a surprise here however,
but it triggers any thinking person well-read into Hinduism to chart the
similarities that one encounters after careful reading of the Hindu scriptures.
For example in the Bhagavad-Gita, it is not uncommon to see that a
transition from one topic to another is often disconcertingly abrupt. I am
afraid this is clearly the case here at this juncture in Article 25.

Explanation I and II are not even remotely connected with Clause 2b. The
fact is that Explanation I and Explanation II urgently call for explanations
of their own. Explanation I acknowledge the existence of the Sikh religion.
However, since the issue is the individual religious rights (in Sikhism), the
proper word ought to be "kirpan," and not "kirpans." Moreover, Explanation
II is notoriously flawed. Its intent is obvious: the individual members of
Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist religions will be referred to as Hindus, and thus
retroactively Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism are to be considered merely
inseparable sects of Hinduism. Therefore, the State can interfere with their
religious institutions as it sees fit, under the guise of procuring "social

Since the constitution refuses to delve further, one might ask: Is there a
definition or an explanation of what constitute Hinduism? And who really
is a Hindu? Answering these questions has been anything but easy and
clear in part because both these terms--Hindu and Hinduism—are absent
entirely from their varied scriptures and had been sponsored by their
colonial masters, both Islamic and British respectively. Scholars over the
years have tried their best but failed to address these terms adequately.
Of lately the Supreme Court of India has pitched in. For example in 1965,
the Court observed that the term “Hindu” referred to “the orthodox Hindu
religion which recognizes castes and contains injunctions bases on caste
distinctions.” By 1966, the Court stepped in further. Rather than defining the
issue, it issued broad guidelines--to be precise three different “standpoints”-
- which require an art and gift of application to the circumstances. They are
worth reading:

First Standpoint: “We find it difficult, if not impossible, to define Hindu
religion or even adequately describe it. Unlike other religions in the world,
the Hindu religion does not claim any one prophet; it does not worship any
one God; it does not subscribe to any one dogma; it does not believe in any

one philosophic concept; it does not follow any one set of religious rites or
performances; in fact, it does not appear to satisfy the narrow traditional
[for traditional, read Western] features of any religion or creed. It may
broadly be described as a way of life and nothing more.”

This “guideline” confusing as it can be fails to ascertain whether one is a
Hindu or not. To clarify further, the Court introduced the second guideline.

Second Standpoint: Beneath the diversity of Hindu philosophy, the Court
found, “lie certain broad concepts which are treated as basic.”

Those broad concepts are: (a) Acceptance of the Vedas as the highest
authority in religious and philosophic matters. (b) The great world rhythms.
(c) Rebirth and pre-existence. Having pinpointed the “unity” of the creed
here, then the Court proceeded to address the final guideline.

Third Standpoint: Addressing the often asked insidious philosophic question
as to what is the “ultimate goal of humanity,” the Court answered, “It is
release and freedom from the unceasing cycle of births and rebirths….”

Religious literature would call this goal as: SALVATION. But salvation as
understood is something pointing to an individual person and not necessarily
addressing the collective sense of humanity. Perhaps after recognizing that
the Court potentially might open a can of worms, it left the burgeoning issue
unanswered by agreeing “there is a great divergence of views ….”

Rather than adequately resolving the given problem of “Hindu”
and “Hinduism,” the Court’s interjection actually complicated the matter and
therefore it needed a quick rescue. In searching for the “working formula,”
they found in the person of B.G. Tilak (1856-1920), a fiery politically-
drenched fundamentalist Hindu, who apparently had once prescribed: “the
acceptance of the Vedas with reverence, recognition, of the fact that the
means or ways of salvation are diverse; realization of the truth that the
number of gods to be worshipped is large.” In the end, thanks to the Court,
when all is said and done, it boils down to this: “Hindu” and “Hinduism”
are false terms bounded by the foundational hierarchy-arranged caste,
aided by the doctrines of karma and reincarnation as its supporting outer
boundaries. Inside this rather large hierarchical triangular entity, the
framework is supported by myriad hosts of pillars that tighten and cement
the construction from inside out: These include worshipping an army of
gods and goddesses, incredible loads of superstitions and rituals, yoga,

ayurveda, corruption, immoralities, inflicting human-rights abuses, self-
inflicted psychology guaranteeing brain washing, totalitarian mode of life,
real-politics, and war. The list actually is a long one. It’s not too difficult
to imagine that separating oneself from Hindu conditioning is next to
impossible. If you think you have been let down by India’s Supreme Court
to resolving this matter, then you may be even heading further for a shock:
Hindu politicians and their followers continue to be willfully negligent in their
refusals to add any needed clarity.

Only recently in 2011, there has surfaced a further insight into Hinduism-
-this time the Punjab and Haryana High Court pronounced its verdict on a
case filed by two Sikh petitioners against the misuse of the word “Hindu”
applying on the very personal identity of Sikh people portrayed within the
charter of four named Hindu Code Bills, later enacted as laws: (1) Hindu
Succession Act, 1956; (2) Hindu Marriage Act, 1955; (3) Hindu Adoption
and Maintenance Act, 1956; and (4) Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act.
1956. While denying the petitioners their case, the Court defined Hinduism
as: “Hinduism, as we have been made to understand by scholars and sages
at different times and different ages is not a strait jacket religion; it is a way
of life. It is a ‘Dharma’. Hindus are not one people but many. Therein lies the
beauty of India.” One can see how insufficient and pathetic this definition of
Hinduism is apart from being irrational and illogical.

Like the Sikhs, the Jain community too has been vocal in their denunciation
of Article 25. Recently it has come to my attention that apparently the Jains
sought an understanding from the then Prime Minister JawaharLal Nehru.
In response, Nehru’s Principal Private Secretary, A.V. Pai, (writing for his
boss) penned the followings words for the benefit of Jains, dated January 31,

“This Article [25] merely makes a definition. This definition by
enforcing a specific constitutional arrangement circumscribes that
rule. Likewise you will note that this mentions not only Jains but
also Buddhists and Sikhs. It is clear that Buddhists are not Hindus
and therefore there need to be no apprehension that the Jains are
designated as Hindus. There is no doubt that the Jains are a different
religious community and this accepted position is in no way affected by
the constitution.”

Again and hardly a surprise here to see how illogical and evasive the above
clarification is! Why the educated Hindus placed high in political positions

speak from both sides of their mouths? Why can’t they simply amend the
controversial Article 25 to reflect the religious rights truly? Why would they
continue to exercise deceptive means to declare non-Hindus as Hindus, and
yet never define for us as to what Hinduism is in the first place?

In August 2005, continuing with the ongoing issue of personal religious
identities affecting the Jains per se, the India Supreme Court refused to
grant any relief to religious minority communities (in this case Sikhs and
Jains) from being bracketed under the label of Hindu.

The word "secularism" is often invoked diligently by the caste Hindus when
describing the Indian State in a spirit of nationalistic Hinduism, with an
underlying implication of the Hindu expansionist quest to absorb other
religions. The western definition of "secularism" is when the State and public
policies take precedence over religious considerations. In other words, in the
West, there is a separation of church and state. But most Indians, including
their leaders, have their own self-serving bizarre definitions. One often cited
goes like this: "equal treatment of all the religions by the State." Is that a
desirable goal? If it is then how can any State achieve such a goal?

In the Indian context, I suppose the easiest way for the State to treat all
religions "equally" would be to intrude into every religion equally and if need
be, somehow proclaim all religions are one and inseparable part of Hinduism
-- therefore making everyone in India a Hindu. This is precisely what is
happening in India. Since everyone is a Hindu, the leadership expects a
response in kind. It usually shows in an intellectually flawed population
which has stamped itself with a bogus notion echoed in the buzzword called
sameness. This is an expression erroneously viewed as synonymous with

Under this framed scenario, the very thought of discrimination or even
persecution of one religion by another need not arise since we are all the
same, that is, Hindus. Obviously, this kind of an argument carries a heavy
price tag. When told that India's sacred constitution exudes an egalitarian
system, years of Hindu conditioning have transfixed the populace to
acquiesce to any communiqué coming down from the top. Few will ever
fathom that India's egalitarianism is not the same sort we know in a Western
sense, but is of an entirely different substance. It is rooted in the infamous
caste system, or in a more precise language, the Hindu Apartheid. While the
caste system is alive, thriving, and functional, India’s Hindu leaders boast
of an Indian democracy, ignoring its pervasive underlying segregation and

inequality. This sounds magnificently absurd. Many Indian leaders on one
hand enjoy the fruits of being born into an elite caste (while the majority of
the population rots at the lowest levels of caste), while on the other hand
mindlessly they sing the gospel of equality.

The caste being a substructure of Hindu society, the talk
of "equality," "democracy," and "secularism" reverberates only to mislead
the masses. Not surprisingly, this kind of tactical maneuvering to deceive
is clearly evident in the Indian Constitution and conspicuous in the State's
public policy and internal propaganda. While Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists
have already been "secularized" constitutionally, Christians and Muslims are
now also in the process of being "secularized" through state-orchestrated
propaganda. A number of Indian leaders now call Indian Christians and
Muslims as "Christi Hindus" and "Mohammadiya Hindus," respectively.
In addition, some provincial state governments inside India have already
enacted anti-conversion laws while others are contemplating ensuring the
Hindu population doesn’t slide away into something else.


Other amendments of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution guarantee
the American people numerous other fundamental rights. These include
right to bear arms (Amendment II); protection against government officials
who might invade their homes and seize property without legal permission
(Amendment IV); protection against being "a witness against himself" in
any criminal case or being "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due
process of law" (Amendment V); the right of a person accused of a crime "to
a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury" (Amendment VI); and
protection against "cruel and unusual punishments" (Amendment VIII). Can
the Constitution of India match word-for-word the U.S. Bill of Rights? And,
if it cannot, can its intentions at least match those of the U.S. Bill of Rights?
If reading Articles 19 and 25 has left anyone with a cause for concern, then
the remaining portions of Part III of the Indian Constitution should not
come as a surprise. After due consideration, it remains unclear if the Indian
Constitution guarantees fundamental rights as is generally claimed, despite
the endless rhetoric from India’s leaders, its intelligentsia, and its apologists.

P.S.: The above article is an updated version from two articles originally
published in:

1. August 2009 issue of New English Review, an online magazine.

2. March 11, 2112 issue of Eurasia Review under the web address:


G. B. Singh is the author of Gandhi: Behind the Mask of Divinity
(Prometheus 2004) and Gandhi Under Cross Examination (Sovereign Star