Gauging Future Of Indian Democracy
Can Indian politicians or bureaucrats of 2016 redeem the pledges, as did the framers of our Constitution 66 years ago? Have we achieved targets as per theme of our Constitutional preamble doctrine of having equality of social, religious economic ,political and equality before law of the land?
Preamble the soul of our constitution records the aims and aspirations of the Nation. All it revolves around providing, justice, freedom, equality to all citizens to have fraternity in Sovereign, socialistic, Secular, Democratic , Republic of India. But alas in the last 66 years we have moved but little towards our set National goals.
Why we have allowed persisting old religious prejudices including hate values among our countrymen despite having framed appropriate rules to check these? When we shall be known only as Indians instead of carrying our caste tags which count more than 6743 for Hindus, besides many more for other religious, regional Communities and categories? Are not we behaving as individuals, within the webs of different castes and religious faiths, not treading towards a common road leading us to become one Nation? Is the unity in diversity really working or it is mere slogan for the politicians and religious peers, we have pondered over these ills seriously. Are we worried for Indian divide into two segments as prosperous India and poverty ridden India? Who is responsible for ever increasing Nonperforming Assets (NPA) in Financing Institution which was as high as 10.20% of total Banking credits? I am sure majority Indians comprising of SC’s, ST’s and OBC’s are not a cause of this gigantic figure of NPA’s. the Are we as nation worried for foreign debit of over $ 455.9 billions ( sep,2014) on us making us to rank 22nd among the indebted nation world wide? How we are repaying the market borrowing of over Rs 6.07Lakh Crors ? Is India worried to tame poverty monster forcing estimated 363 million in 2011-12 living BPL on revised daily income of Rupees 32 /- and Rs 47/- respectively for Rural when single Roti costs over Rs 8.00 each with out dal ? India does boost of having progressed in many fields but its benefits have not trickled down to poverty ridden section of our country population. The pictures of our national achievements as projected by rich and influential segment are that the poor are themselves cause of their miseries. There cannot be any bigger lie than this. Real progress should be measured with how many sleep empty bellies and not by daily increase in Sensex. The economic, social and political advances are being enjoyed by small segment, who are in minority, leaving majority of population to lick their ill luck wounds in isolation. Are the bottled water drinkers worried about the food, water, education, social, economic crises being faced by poor and neglected segment of society? Are poor born in India only to vote for the elites, who forget them after every election? Has any election so far been fought on economics and social agenda? Why religious matters like construction of a particular structure or demolishing another are taking priority over poverty eradication matters? Many Religiously dressed persons taken as Swamis, Peers etc are openly spreading religious hatred but going Scot free. Flaring up of small matters for pretty personnel gains unwanted hartalas, Bunds, closers create big law and order problems where commoners and daily bread earners suffer the most. Such things have become an order of the day and creating doubts in the minds of the common masses, whether India is moving in the right direction to wards set National goals by framers of Indian Constitution.
From the general definition of Democratic governance “It is the Government of People, by the people & for the people”. But the democracy in India in the last over six decades, looks more to be - the Government of the vested interests, by the vested interests & for the vested interests. Democracy in India has failed to sow the seeds of brotherhood, fellow feeling & community welfare, so as to cement fraternity on the National level which was set as national goal. But what has so far been perused has largely failed to cement our Nation Hood. The elite and rich who had to shed away their knowledge & wealth voluntarily for the deprived Indians, are showing least concerns. Dr Ambedkar the Father of Indian Constitution while writing on Egalitarian (Classless, Equalitarian) Revolution in May, 1956 wrote “A Democracy is more than a form of Government. It is primarily a mode of associated living. The roots of Democracy are to be searched in the social relationship, in the terms of associated life between the people who form the society” He further explained the Society’s qualities & nature as “The qualities which accompany this unity are praise worthy, community of purpose and desire for welfare, loyalty to public, mutuality of sympathy and co-operation” He continued by asking “Are these ideals to be found in the Indian Society?. The Indian society does not consist of individuals. It consists of an innumerable collection of castes which are exclusive in their life and have no common experience to share and have no bond of sympathy------------. The strengthening of the Caste System is a standing denial of the existence of the ideas of society and therefore of Democracy” Dr Ambedkar the Father of Indian Constitution himself a deeply religious soul described democratic and fundamentalist dyed religious mindsets as diagonally opposite to each other. Many unbiased minds paint the Indian progress or equality scenario as under.
Poverty ridden India’s President takes home monthly Rs 1.5 lakh However, almost everything that the President does or wants to do is taken care of by the annual Rs2250/- Lacs budget that the Government allots for his or her upkeep. An MP draws Rs3.50 Lakh monthly salary with allowances. Still Months and months are lost in Indian Parliament with out transaction of any fruitful business. For the success of Democracy healthy debates the Parliament and state Legislative Houses on subject matters of common interests leading to consensus or voting and finally churning out Laws requiring steadfast adherence by our bureaucracy. Large number of bills are pending in the Parliament and state Assemblies, because of lack of political will and welfare mindsets of our majority Law makers. The laws made years back are seen waiting to be freed from the procedural delays. It seems we have become a nation of Law avoidance. It is being observed that the Democratic system is being Challenged even with in the Indian Parliament & State Assemblies, where hardly any common interest problem is being debated , as either many of the elected representatives are absent from the respective. Houses or busy in most uncivilised acts of making unwanted noises, disrupting house proceedings on non- issues. Breaking of mikes, house furniture, hurling most un-civilised abuses and shoe beating are now the common scenes in the Law making Houses which were created for debating day to day house business and make rules for the common community interests. Calling of the Marshals in the Law Framing Houses to remove their members to restore order is nothing but shame on both the oppositions & Ruling parties’ .The First Lok Sabha utilised maximum allotted time for debates which is said to have been reduced by 26% in 14th Lok Sabha, and the situation is worsening with every passing day. Our elected representatives are unmindful of our Lok Sabha costing Rs20,089 per minute (2007-08) and losing of Rs17, 22, 94,000/- in house disruptions. With this loss amount about 120 primary schools buildings can be constructed. Majority of Indian politicians both from ruling and opposition dispensation are nose deep in corruption and law breaking. A large number of members of State Assemblies & Parliament are of tainted character carrying criminal cases on their heads. Has this not polluted the sacred Houses atmosphere created as model of morality, character, efficiency and political ethics? Trading in votes, selling of questions by MLA’s & MP’s to self centred outsiders has become very common these days. Sycophancy prevailing in politics is very dangerous instrument. Political Parties whips have made the elected representatives as bonded labourers of deaf & dumb to the Party Bosses. Division of voters on religious and other than political thinking is showing dangerous trends for the working of healthy Democratic system. Large number MPs have very poor track records in utilising funds meant for public welfare (CDF). In the past three years, many MPs have not cared to utilise the Rs10 million granted to each of them for development in their constituency. Many MPs also refused to pay back the interest-free car loans they have secured from the government and occupy illegally government accommodations, so forcing the government to hire accommodations for legible persons, putting unwanted burden on government exchequer. Voters are harassed, not allowed to vote as per their free will. A political party won 2/3 majority in Lok Sabha, when less than 20% of valid votes were polled by it. Was such majority rule dreamed by our Constitution framers, who burnt midnight oil to give the world wide best Constitution?.
The past 66 years experience of Indian democracy has proved that those who were running the show with the patronage of British Government before 1947 continue to sit firmly in the saddle of Politics, Administration, Judiciary and media. They are in total control of the things with a few hand picked from the deprived sections to show the world over that things were moving fast in all right directions for achieving welfare goals for the Indian society. In majority political parties are under the control of the High Caste bosses with representation of Lower Castes spineless leaders. Majority of Minorities leaders have failed to safeguard the rights and aspirations of their communities, because their political standing and survival is based on intimate interests of their upper caste bosses. This right of the Dalit masses to have control over their Elected Representatives working for their rights was granted by Communal Award of 17th August 1932 but subsequently snatched away by the Poona Pact of 26 th Sept.1932, due to the Fast unto death of Mahatma Gandhi. The emerging facts & circumstances cemented the saying of Dr Ambedkar
That he committed mistake by signing Poona Pact under duress. -------------
Where as a microscopic section of Indians feel proud of having 90 Indians as billionaires out of the top 1826 world over billionaires. But we do not show necessary concern for the largest world population of poorest. The number of poor and deprived persons is ever increasing in India. Over 29.5% of the India population lives below the poverty line as defined by the Rangarajan committee Rupees Rs 32/- daily wage and some others in the private sector draw daily salary of several Lakhs. A private Industry CEO draws nearly $17.7millions (Rupees 85 crors) annually salary and another one $9millions besides $223millions tax free dividend income. How much India will have to travel to effect equality among its people is no man’s guess. For the success of Democracy as advocated by Baba Sahib Dr. Ambedkar, Caste System is a big challenge, and the biggest road block to maintain the status quo. Till this Caste monster is not tamed practical Democracy may remain allusive. We observe many government offices are flooded with photographs and images of deities, Avatars, gods, goddesses, religious Gurus; saints, peers putting our working as
democratic government limbs & organs in doubt. Religion should be confined to personal life and should be disallow to be demonstrated in working places particularly in offices.
The Indian Democratic system is based upon three important but distinctive limbs viz. Parliament with State Assemblies, Executive & Judiciary respectively for framing the Laws & Procedures, implement these in the field & to serve as eyes and ears of Law to see if Executive is working as per the Rules & procedures laid down by the Elected Representatives. Of late the media has attained importance as to point out the merits, demerits effecting the Indian democratic functioning. Many scans, frauds, sex rackets, dowry deaths, adulteration in daily consumer’s articles have been unearthed by the media persons and vigilance organisations. Working of all these in unison with National interest as prime interest was envisaged by our Constitution makers. The working of the Executive so far is putting a very sorry state of affairs. The system have got corrupted to the core with every day surfacing of scams, frauds, in- efficiency, non implementation of the Government schemes & enacted Laws. Still over 60 million Indian Children suffer malnutrition, with 75% are anaemic, over 65 millions in India live in slums. This figure is estimated to rise to 104 million in 2017. A survey reveals that majority of slum dwellers are belonging to Scheduled caste. As per UNESCO’s rating 2006, India is having 35%( 296 millions) of world’s illiterates, infant morality is hovering at 57.92 deaths/1000 live born children, 15 million child bonded labour, nearly 33% of the government School teachers were found absent on the day of verification by PROBE ( Public Report on Basic Education) and only 25% teachers were found busy with teaching job. During the last over decades India has succeeded in distributing only53 lacs Acres of surplus land out of total 500 Lakhs acres of surplus land available for allotment to land less persons. As many as 26 crore Indian are mentally depressed , 40% of India's population is infected with the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. As many as 9.6 % working fit Indians are unemployed. To add to the woes of common Indians, the problems of Militancy, Naxilits, and Religious fundamentalist are adding fuel to the fire. Problems of Delhi riots of 1984, Demolishing of Babri Masjid, Gujarat massacre of innocents and many such open sours are weeping with out application of human balms. Law and order is posing serious threats. The old Indian saying is getting practical shape “ Saian bhaye Kotwal, ab dar kahe ka, means when your husband is Station House Officer , why be afraid”.
The picture of the Indian Judiciary system working is also not above mark. In April,2015 nearly 30 million ( 3 crores) cases of different natures and periods are pending in Indian courts ( 58906 in SC, 31 Dec.2015 and 2,00,60,998 in lower Courts with cases pending over 10 years account for 10.83%). Corruption, favouritism, nepotism, inefficiency, delays tactics, undue pressure exertions find daily reporting in news papers. As per Global Corruption watch 2007 as many as 77% of Indians say there is corruption in judiciary and 36% have confessed to have paid bribes for judiciary matters. The total bribe paid is reported to be Rs 3630 crores. Corruption is rampant in all departments with estimated 20% judges are also said to corrupt by CJI. Records show that some cases lingered on for five decades making only a lucky appellant or convict to personally hear court verdict. Here again sufferers are poor and deprived section people.
Hero worship and Sycophancy is rampant in India. Dr. Ambedkar warned against hero-worship, as it encourages them to subvert institutions. There is no harm is honouring those who have rendered life long service to the society. But there is a limit. Bhakti in religion may be a road to salvation but Bhakti or hero worship in politics is sure road to degradation and eventual dictatorship. He proved correct when India earned the curse of Emergency in from 1975 to1977. In February 2012, the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation said that Indians have
As per CBI investigation arch 2012 Indian have over $500 billion of illegal funds( Black money) in foreign tax havens, more than any other country. But past government projected it has no money for transportation of rotting food grains to distribute it in poorest as ordered by the Supreme Court India . Out of estimated Indian gold reserves of 60, 000 tons (valued at Rupees18.x1011) major portion is lying buried in religious places and in bank lockers, beyond reach for the welfare measures for the surging millions poverty ridden of Indians. This figure is daily inflating with new disclosers and opening of religious strong velvets.
India has shown an increase of over 252.4% in crime rate since 1953.( Indian crime bureau report), with many fold increase in the law enforcing personnel But the Indian average rate of convictions is hovering around 45% (2013), a point to worry. Japan has conviction rate of 99%.India has pendency of court cases of over three crors despite having a battery of judges, judicial officers, courts, lawyers etc being maintained by spending crors from the National exchequer... Dr. Ambedkar while winding up debate on the Constitution becoming Statue Book said that India knew parliamentary system before too. The Bhudha Bhikshu Sanghas were nothing but Parliaments -----------This system was lost. Will she loose it second time? Dr Ambedkar further said the real danger to Democracy is dictatorship. He advocated the method of Revolutions to solve the problems in rare of the rarest circumstances. Only when there is no way left to Constitutional methods for achieving economic & social objectives, there was a great deal for the unconstitutional methods, which leads to Anarchy, and sooner we abandon them the better it would be. Baba Sahib BR Ambedkar believed that without economic & social justice, political independence will not give national integration and social homogeneity. He advocated liberty, equality and fraternity a must ingredients for achieving national integration.
For long Caste status used to decide social, education & economic needs of Hindus. For them distribution of opportunities with peoples of the different status & category were different. This was in theory done away with by adopting Constitution for Free India on 26 th January 1950. But majority of elite wants to keep the things linger on till the time it starts slipping out of hands .The sense of accommodation is nowhere to be seen. The government funds are utilized more for the advanced section than on left over lot ignoring their first claim on these funds.
As also bureaucracy the Indian press and media is in the hands of multi millinery bosses and common man in India is devoid of this important facility too. Due to prevailing mistrust already the Centre has received demands for creation of at least 11 new states, Voices are also being forcefully raised to give Ladakh at UT status & Jammu separate state in J&K, special status for Gulbarga,Bidar,Raichur,Koppal and Yadagir districts areas in Karnataka as their progress is lacking behind as compared with their parent states more advanced regions .
The worst suffers of these lapses, delays, corruptions and all prevailing ills are non other than, Minorities, S/C’s, S/T’s OBC’s and rural India.
For the success or failure of the Indian Constitution hence the Indian Democratic system Dr Ambedkar while delivering his speech in the Constituent Assembly said “ However good a Constitution may be, it is sure to be turn out bad because those who are called to work it, happens to be bad lot. However bad a Constitution may be, it may turn out be good if those who are called to work it, happen to be a good lot”. So far the four pillars of Democracy in India are being controlled by persons, from privileged sections claiming to be intelligent lot belonging to the Higher Upper Castes coupled with owing all Economic, Religious, Social resources producing results as per their wishes & whims, caring less for the established rules & procedures.
In view of the prevailing large scale illiteracy, hunger, malnutrition, militancy rebellion with in country is strong signals that Indian Democracy is missing its targets. For success of the Democracy in India, the common man will have to be cared. He should find place in all developmental activities. Express Poverty eradication, improving health, education, social systems, proving quick relief to the victims of excesses shall have to be ensured for the healthy substance of Democratic system in India. Hence deprived sections need urgent means for breads earning with dignity. Educated, healthy, dignified and equal Indians shall only ensure success of democracy from which we are still miles away. Indians will have to come out of the web of favouritism, distinction between Indians on the basis of caste, creed, sex or place of birth. Let us strive to achieve what Shri Guru Ravidas Ji has wished over six centuries ago “Ravidas shall feel happy only if all are fed well”.
Er. H.R.Phonsa Words:-3374
Retd Executive Engineer