Shiv Sena – a key constituent in the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) – on Wednesday sought to retain the “mistake” of omission of two vital words – “secular” and “socialist” – from the preamble to the Indian Constitution.
Even as the government defended the act as it came under attack on Tuesday over a Republic Day advertisement, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, “If printing old preamble is by mistake then it should happen regularly. India is never a secular country. It is a Hindu rashtra.”
“These words were never there in the preamble. Government should remove these words from the preamble now,” the senior parliamentarian demanded in Mumbai.
Following a severe attack from various opposition parties, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had defended the ministry’s ad saying it had only used an “original” picture of the preamble as it appeared before the amendment to “honour” it.
In the advertisement, a picture of preamble to the Constitution was carried as it appeared before the 42nd amendment, without the words “secular” and “socialist”.
“Let me assure you, we are celebrating the 66th Republic Day, that is, we are celebrating an anniversary of the Preamble that was made way back then. The photograph that we have put is of the first Preamble that our great leaders had made at that point of time,” Rathore had said adding that the two words – socialist and secular – were included after the 42nd amendment in 1976.