This Article is From Oct 31, 2015

Modi Government May Amend Constitution After Rajya Sabha Majority: Nayantara Sahgal

Modi Government May Amend Constitution After Rajya Sabha Majority: Nayantara Sahgal

The violence is putting the government on the defensive now, said Nayantara Sahgal. (File photo)

Mumbai: Noted writer Nayantara Sahgal, who returned her Sahitya Akademi award to protest "growing intolerance", a move which prompted many other personalities to follow suit, said that the Modi government may amend the Constitution once it gets a majority in Rajya Sabha.

"The violence is costing them (Government). It's putting them on the defensive now," said the niece of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

She was speaking at a panel discussion on 'No time for silence: why writers feel the need to speak up', organised as part of the ongoing Tata Literature Live literary festival in Mumbai on Friday evening.

After Ms Sahgal, several other writers and creative personalities returned their respective awards to protest the "growing" tide of intolerance in the country under the present government.

These intellectuals and public figures have alleged the BJP-led government was not acting against right-wing activists who were attacking minorities and secular-minded people.

"They don't have a majority in Rajya Sabha now but will have it in a couple of years. That will enable them to make some moves on amending the Constitution," Ms Sahgal said.

"Indira Gandhi needed two-third majority to amend the Constitution and that's what 1971 (post-Bangladesh war polls) gave her. So in the same way if they (Modi Government) get it, then they can proceed (to amend the Constitution)," she said.

The BJP on its own has comfortable majority in Lok Sabha, but it lacks the same in Rajya Sabha, leading to key Bills getting stuck in the Upper House of Parliament.

Talking to the media after the panel discussion, the 88-year-old litterateur said, "I feel that the Government will proceed to implement its real agenda only after getting a full majority in Rajya Sabha."

"The country is anguished about what is happening to defenceless people who are being gunned down, who are having ink thrown on their faces, who are being brutally threatened," Ms Sehgal had said at a panel discussion on Thursday at the same festival.