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Indian Constitution Is A Feminist Document As It Provided Right To Vote To Women: DY Chandrachud

New Delhi: On Friday, 2nd of December, 2022, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said that the Indian Constitution is a feminist document. He further called it an egalitarian and socially revolutionary document.

He said it’s because the Constitution introduced universal adult franchises to the disadvantaged and impoverished sections of the population right from the beginning. It further marks a stark deviation from the colonial and post-colonial heritage.

When Did This Happen?

CJI Chandrachud said all this during the 8th Dr. LM Singhvi Memorial Lecture on “Universal Adult Franchise: Translating India’s Political Transformation into a Social Transformation.” He stated how it was a shift from the imperial and pre-colonial past and the bravest action undertaken by the Constitution.

According to the Chief Justice of India, the Constitution’s authors knew that achieving political equality alone would not alleviate social inequality. He added that they knew that the universal adult franchise (UAF) helped foster a sense of community and confidence in democracy.

What Points Did CJI Chandrachud Make?

The CJI emphasized that historically authority was centered in the hands of a small number of people. He also claimed that those who had previously been denied rights and power had now become a deciding factor in choosing the makeup of parliament.

As a result, the CJI claimed, Universal Adult Franchise had led to social transition and had given rights to social communities whose right to trust in themselves had also been taken away.

He claimed that the concept of a universal adult franchise was unassailable, quoting Dr. BR Ambedkar. He continued by saying that it is essential to consider the electoral participation of people who were not allowed to cast their votes. But now, the constitution has given the right to vote to those people as well. He also emphasized how the role of the UAF was crucial for the Dalits.

Reservation Of Seats For Women Gave Them Power: DY Chandrachud

CJI Chandrachud said that women now can control their destinies thanks to the panchayat seat reservations for women and other socially excluded groups. He further stated that those who were historically marginalized, subjugated, and deprived of the rights and authority that were rightly theirs have now emerged as crucial players in the democratic process.

According to the CJI, this is why the Indian Constitution is a feminist document. He added that it is the power of the universal adult franchise to reshape society. He further commented that this is how political reform brought about by the universal adult franchise sparked a revolution in Indian culture.

Inclusion Of Panchayati Raj Organizations: The Biggest Accomplishment

CJI Chandrachud said the countless incidents of outstanding work carried out by women sarpanches or all-female panchayats in various regions of India showed the bottom-up approach to government.

The CJI praised DR LM Singhvi’s contribution to Panchayati Raj organizations in India. He further stated that the LM Singhvi Committee’s most notable accomplishment was that it helped to secure the constitutional inclusion of Panchayati Raj organizations in Part IX of the Constitution in 1992 through the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts.

The chief justice of India said that these changes provided the idea of democratic decentralization of power to India’s rural population with a new meaning. And highlighting the right to vote and reservation provided to women by the Constitution, CJI Chandrachud said that the Indian Constitution is a feminist document.


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