During the leadership of the former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, the constitution was amended to describe India as a “… Socialist, Secular …” country. The word “socialist” remains in the constitution, though the country has not followed socialism for at least the last 20 years. Thus there is no need to retain this word in the constitution.
Amendments to the constitution become frequent, even if not necessary, when the ruling party has two-thirds majority in parliament. This is one of the reasons as to why the central government should preferably be a coalition of many parties. Big majority for a single party could lead to dictatorial tendencies on the part of its party leader.
Of course, the constitution is not sacrosanct and in fact, it needs to be amended for purposes such as the following:
- To divide states into smaller ones for administrative efficiencies
- To include languages such as Gond, Kurukh and Bhil in the 8th schedule with a view to preserve and promote these languages spoken by substantial numbers of people
- To transfer some subjects from the central and concurrent lists to the state list
- To prescribe the number of times one can hold the high offices of the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Chief Minister
- To restrict the government from putting money in cash or in kind directly into the pockets of individuals, by way of imposing a ceiling or some other way, in order that the ruling party does not resort to such welfare schemes with a view to win future elections
- Opening branch courts of Supreme Court and High Courts to minimize the inconvenience to litigants
- Making regional languages as High Court languages
- Raising the age for voting to 25 as at the age of 18, one is not in a position to to decide on the merits of different ideologies, or the suitability of different contestants (the original age was 21)