Criticism of Directive Principles of State policy

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B.N. Rau opines, The Directive Principles of state policy are like moral guidelines for the State authorities and are open to the facile critique that the Constitution isn’t the place for moral precepts. The inclusion of provisions that is legally not enforceable is, of no practical use to the Indian masses. Dr. Jennings holds that the Directive Principles like Fundamental Rights aren’t based upon consistent philosophy. They’re vague. Dr. Wheare describes these principles as generalities. They’re neither correctly arranged nor logically classified. Distinctively, the unimportant issues like protection of monuments have been mixed up with fundamental economic and social questions.

In the words of Prof. Srinivasan, the Directive Principles combines rather inappropriately the modern with the old and provisions suggested by science and reason with regulations based exclusively on sentiment and prejudice. The ambiguity of many of those principles becomes self-evident whenever we critically analyze them. A superior government might lay down such instructions for an inferior government, but there’s hardly any necessity of such guidelines or directives for a sovereign nation. Why should a country give direction to itself? Furthermore, how can these principles be followed and accepted in all times and climes? These principles constitute merely a political philosophy. Therefore they’re construed as a parade of high sounding sentiments expressed in vainglorious verbiage.

Some critics have challenged their practicability and their solidity. The directive principle concerning prohibition, for example, is very sharply criticized by the economists of our country. The so-called moralistic reform is a drain on the national exchequer. Money raised through excise duty on liquor or other intoxicants is sizable and may efficiently be utilized for the advantage of the masses. Furthermore, it’s contended that prohibition can hardly turn drunkards into moralists. Morality can’t be enforced. Instead, where ever practiced, it’s given a fillip to crimes of illicit distillation and illegal gratification of corrupt officials who keep their eyes closed to the continuance of this illegal trade when their palms are greased.

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