Directive Principles Concluding Remarks

“The directive principles are, indeed, important, though some like Ivor Jennings may say that they do not matter. “They are really significant though they may have been haphazardly and unwieldy put together—determinate fundamental rights being equated with indeterminate directive principles, as Pratap Bhanu Mehta says—vaguely stated and illogically arranged.

Indeed, there are, among the directive principles of Part IV, the least important and the most important principles: some (like promotion of cottage industry and animal husbandry, protection of monuments of national importance, separation of judiciary from executive, assistance to be given to the weaker sections of society and the like) principles, without mentioning anywhere in the Constitution, what would have been done by any government worth the name while there were others (just and humane conditions of work, protection and improvement of environments, promotion of international peace and security, raising the standard of living, ensuring an economic system to work for common good and the like) which no government, in India, can ever aspire to attain even in any remote future. And yet, it would be unfair to throw the directive principles in the dust-hole. “The directive principles of state policy have their own utility.

“They did manage to mould the property relations by changing the contents of the right to property. If we look at such amendments done in the Constitution, they did bring a balance, in fact a working balance, with the fundamental rights: if seen in the right perspective, the two—fundamental rights and the directive principles—do not run contrary to each other, and in fact, function properly and effectively, in their separate and distinct domain independently. “The fact of the matter is that no government can ignore these directive principles and cannot make laws opposing to them. If it does so, that would go against the Constitution and thus may invite invalidity by the Supreme Court.

“The directive principles act as the national manifesto for any political party that rules India, for if it ignores them, it would have to answer and explain itself to the electorate. “These principles are the signposts which indicate as to what has been achieved and what still has to be achieved “moral precepts for the authorities of the State”, as B.N. Rau, advisor to the Constituent Assembly had remarked. “The fathers of our Constitution were wise insofar as they wanted the future governments to get busy with their home work (of making India a welfare state) and to bring a social and economic revolution. It may be said in the words of Justice Gajendera gadkar (The Constitution of India): “A ruling party, irrespective of political ideology, has to recognise the fact that these principles are intended to be its guide, philosopher, and friend in its legislative and executive activities.”


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