the Spirit of Mahatma Gandhi lives through every nonviolent action
Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav
Senior Gandhian Scholar
Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India
Contact No. – 09404955338, 09415777229
Mailing Address- C- 29, Swaraj Nagar, Panki, Kanpur- 208020, Uttar Pradesh, India
Resolution on Fundamental Rights and Economic Changes
This Congress is of opinion that to enable the masses to appreciate what swaraj, as conceived by the Congress, will mean to them, it is desirable to state the position of the Congress in a manner easily understood by them. In order to end the exploitation of the masses, political freedom must include real economic freedom of the starving millions. The Congress, therefore, declare that any constitution which may be agreed to on its behalf should provide, or enable the Swaraj Government to provide, for the following:
1. Fundamental rights of the people, including:
(a) Freedom of association and combination;
(b) Freedom of speech and of the Press;
(c) Freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion, subject to public order and morality;
(d) Protection of the culture, language and scripts of the minorities;
(e) Equal rights and obligations of all citizens, without any bar on account of sex;
(f) no disability to attach to any citizen by reason of his or her religions, caste or creed or sex in regard to public employment, office of power or honour and in the exercise of any trade or calling;
(g) Equal rights to all citizens in regard to public roads, wells, schools and other places of public resort;
(h) Right to keep and bear arms in accordance with regulations and reservations made in that behalf;
(i) No person shall be deprived of his liberty nor shall his dwelling or property be entered, sequestered or confiscated, save in accordane with law.
2. Religious neutrality on the part of the State.
3. Adult suffrage.
4. Free primary education.
5. A living wage for industrial workers, limited hours of labour, healthy conditions of work, protection against the economic consequences of old age, sickness and unemployment.
6. Labour to be freed from serfdom or conditions bordering on serfdom.
7. Protection of women workers, and especially adequate provisions for leave during maternity period.
8. Prohibition against employment of children of school going age in factories.
9. Rights of labour to form unions to protect their interests with suitable machinery for settlement of disputes by arbitration.
10. Substantial reduction in agricultural rent or revenue paid by the peasantry, and in case of uneconomic holdings exemption from rent for such period as may be necessary, relief being given to small zamindars wherever necessary by reason of such reduction.
11. Imposition of a progressive income tax on agricultural incomes above a fixed minimum.
12. A graduated inheritance tax.
13. Military expenditure to be reduced by at least one half of the present scale.
14. Expenditure and salaries in civil departments to be largely reduced. No servant of the State, other than specially employed experts and the like, to be paid above a certain fixed figure which should not ordinarily exceed Rs. 500 per month.
15. Protection of indigenous cloth by exclusion of foreign cloth and foreign yarn from the country.
16. Total prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs.
17. No duty on salt manufactured in India.
18. Control over exchange and currency policy so as to help Indian industries and bring relief to the masses.
19. Control by the State of key industries and ownership of mineral resources.
20. Control of usury direct or indirect. It shall be open to the A.I.C.C. to revise, amend or add to the foregoing so far as such revision, amendment or addition is not inconsistent with the policy and principles thereof.
RESOLUTION ON FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND ECONOMIC CHANGES, March 31, 1931