After a tumultous 2011 for politics and corruption in India we should go back to the fundamentals concepts on which our Nation was created. So here is how our Constitution opens :
THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
Just look at the words highlighted (by me) in the opening preamble of the Indian Constitution. Each word in this preamble was discussed, argued, fought over, and after much debate was included in this, arguably one of the best Constitutions ever written for any Democracy. Should we not at some time ask after 65 Years of Independence ( I do not use the word Freedom deliberately as there is so much more work and conflict we will have to go through to achieve that beautiful word), ask if any fundamental words have been achieved ? And if not, is it not time, after 65 years, to stop blaming individuals or Governments. But blame the system that has usurped Indian Democracy into self serving, power hungry groups and organizations in complete defiance of, and in a way prostituting the very concepts that allowed the system into power in the first place.
Lets talk SECULAR. please read the following in Section 123(3) in The Representation Of The People Act, 1951 – which lists a number of corrupt practices for which a Candidate will be barred from the electoral process :
(3) 1[ The appeal by a candidate or his agent or by any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent to vote or refrain from voting for any person on the ground of his religion, race, caste, community or language or the use of, or appeal to religious symbols …
Yet all elections today Regional and National elections are fought on exactly the issues forbidden by the very Constitution under who’s guise the candidates fight for power. Whether they are regional parties or national parties. Secularism is just a word to be touted in India that means nothing. Certainly not in the electoral, and therefore the democratic process. Whats worse is that we, and under the influence of our Media accept that as a fact of life and actually laud Rahul Gandhi’s political acumen when he tries to ‘divide the Muslim Votes to the advantage of the Congress in UP”. Not my words. But the words in every Newspaper and so called Political analyst in India.
What has happened to us ? Why are we not only standing by and accepting this, but arguing and analysing the whole process as if there is nothing fundamentally corrupt in it ?
Is the Constitution just a word that means nothing anymore ? How can that be ? If it means nothing then India’s electoral process means nothing, the Parliament has not legal standing. The system has becomes a Pandora’s Box that has taken over it’s reason to be. The existence of corruption has become the system’s reason to be. It serves neither the Constitution nor Democracy. In which case what gives it the right to exist expect Intertia of the people caught in a trap of ignorance ?
Which is why the Anna movement, Lok Pal or not, was so fundamental to our re evaluation of ourselves. Which is why I supported it. And continue to do so.
The Sytem has become an animal that has run amock and is loose without the reigns of the Constitution to hold it in check. Its individuals knowingly flout the fundamental charters written in the key words of the Constitution even as they take an oath of allegience to uphold the Constitution in Parliamnent. Surely that is a treasonable act ?? And those ignorant MP’s that kept repeating that stupid phrase ” To stand against Parliament is to stand against Democracy. Parliament is Democracy. Threatening legal action against anyone that said otherwise.
Our Parliament is not Democracy. Anything but, as recent events have proven. But lets look at more fundamental concepts so dear to our founding fathers of the Constitution :
Justice, Equality and Dignity of the Individual
After 65 yeas of the parliamentary system of course there is Justice, Equality and Dignity of the Individual. But only for those that are in a position to demand it. Are in postition to force it. There is no dignity for the world’s largest number of poor in the world that live in India, who barely manage to survive or die of malnutrition. There is no justice system where for a mass of people for whom being drawn into a court case means a lifetime of harassment unless you can buy your way out.
And Freedom of Expression ? Its what we all talk about all the time when we compare ourselves to (say) China. But what the use of raising your, voice, pleading or shouting when there is no one to listen to 90% of Indians ? When I did Bandit Queen we wrote a dialog which translates as ” If you kill, don’t kill just one, kill many for then they will write about you, make you famous. Let you surrender for political gains, and even give you a pension”.
It’s metaphoric. Do ordinary Indians need to ‘kill many’ for their voice to be be heard ?
In 2012, please think. Lets debate. We need to go back to the original concepts of our Constitution. Of true Freedom. It cannot be Democracy and Freedom of the few for the few.