Sunday, July 31, 2016

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.
Text Box:  By:-Er. H.R.Phonsa
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? Indian public sector banks (PSBs) will require a capital infusion of Rs 1.2 lakh crore by 2020, in view of the heavy losses reflected in their balance sheets in 2015-16, global credit rating agency Moody's Investors Services. The government has in total planned a capital infusion of Rs 70,000 crore till 2018-19, out of which it has already spent Rs 25,000 by March 2016. Apart from the Rs 25,000 crore in the current fiscal, it has planned to spend Rs 10,000 crore each in 2017-18 and 2018-19(Indo Asian News Service or IANS , Jun 10, 2016). 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 neither cause of this gigantic figure of NPA’s nor benefiter of writing off of bad banking loans of Rs 1.14 Lac crore during last three years. In 2014-15 there was increase of 53% in bad loans over previous year with figures as Rs 52550 crore as on 31st March,2015. Who have eaten up this money at least not anybody from BPL who form majority. 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  to live BPL.   Anybody whose daily earning is between Rupees 32 /- and      Rs 47/- respectively for Rural  and unban India is  defined to fall in BPL, 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 upper caste 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. Failure of prosecution in getting punished the wrong doers does not mean crime was not committed. 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. Hartals and Bands have been declared as illegal and unconstitutional by the Kerala High Court in 1997.
         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 lacking bonds 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  a deeply religious soul described democratic and religious fundamentalist as diagonally opposite to each other. The needs of the weak shall be  the first charge of the Government  spending is yet a distant dream in Indian democracy.
        Many unbiased minds may 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 within 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 Parliament( RS) utilised maximum ( 90.5%)allotted time  1952-61 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 Parliament costing Rs 2.5 Lacs per minute of running (PTI,17-9-2012) Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters in New Delhi. He said 77 percent of the session's business time in Lok Sabha and 72 percent in Rajya Sabha was lost due to disruptions in this session and asked the Opposition to realise that "enough is enough". 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. In parliament 34% of MP’s in (2016),30%( 2009) and 24%(2004) carry  criminal cases on their heads. Has this not polluted the sacred Houses atmosphere created as model of morality, character, efficiency and political ethics? Also 82% (2016),58%( 2009) and 30%(2004) Indian  Mp’s are worth over 1 crore each and the richest MP claims to have worth over Rs.683Crore.   Still they claim to work for the poor Indians who earn not more than Rs 32 per day (BPL Scale)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 (MPLADF). In the past three years, many MPs have not cared to utilise the Rs 5 crore granted to each of them for development in their constituency. As per a report published in “The Hindu” dated June,2015 only 5.4% of the MPLADF were utilised during 2014-15. 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. The ruling party BJP won 282 seats ( LS) when only 20.809% Indian supported it in 2014.  It got 31.34% of the valid votes out of the 66.4% casted by voters in the election. Such  a majority ( actually minority as it  being less than even half of desired 50% of the population backing the ruling party) Government rule must never have been  dreamed by our Constitution framers. They burnt midnight oil to give the world wide best Constitution? Major thrust of our political parties is seen on Religious means than Democratic means to win the elections. It starts from selection  to voting patterns of the candidates .Common people still cannot vote in many Rural areas as per their wishes. But in a span of 66 years, article 356 has been used to impose 132 times President’s Rule, many a times the judgement was struck down by SC and HC’s for lack of right application of mind exposing vindictive mind of the ruling parties.
        The past 66 years experience of Indian democracy has proved that those who were running the government  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 handpicked 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 interests 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 100 Indians as billionaires out of the top 1810 (March,2016) 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 long India will have to wait to see 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 dismantle the status quo pro Indian mind. 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. It is said  Dr. Rajindra Prasad after becoming First President of India attended a yagna in Varanasi and gave Brahambhoj to 1000 Bhudevas , he washed feet of Pujaris  collected this water in a Golden plate and drank it ( Charna-Amrit ) besides sprinkling it on his wife. He said he attained  seat with the blessing of Brahmins only. His Excellency K. R. Narayanan the 10th President of India created an example not to visit any religious place during his term as President. This is an example till date.

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. A teacher Shri. Hashim  of Karnah Kashmir(J&K)  struggled for 18 years to prove that he was alive not dead.  In Haryana Jat Reservation stir 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. Literacy, as defined in Census operations, is the ability to read and write with understanding in any language.  Any formal education or minimum educational standard is not necessary to be considered literate. When these standards shall be revised and 100% literacy is achieved in India is no body’s guess. 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 only 53 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 without application of human balms.  The influential’s  can bend the things as per their wishes.  The British time 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 Law and order problem is posing serious threats. Kashmir Problem is not finding any plausible solution. Where as in  last  50 years the Naxalite  menace  has spread over194 Districts( Total 686) effecting 18 states out of 29 states and 7 union territories.  China and Pakistan are always ready to prick  our nerves on borders. Majority of our Law and order problems are cursy to our attitude of  lingering on control mechanism till  it starts slipping out of our hands. The Bureaucracy and politicians want to solve all problems by using force not timely mind power.  From 1991-2016 there were 30crore job seekers in India but only 14 crore fortunate’s were able to found jobs. Only 60.5% job seeke’s find job year around (UNDP). Medical Council Of India(MCI) has miserably failed on all fronts so was declared by SC.( The Tribune May 3,2016)

                   The picture of the Indian Judiciary system working is also not above mark.   In April,2016 nearly 33.8 million ( 3.38 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%). This speaks volumes when Chief Justice Of India  explains in a television interview “ Judiciary intervenes only when executive fails in its Constitutional duty, If there is neglect and failure  on part of government agencies, judiciary will definitely play it part”.(The Tribune 25-6-2016) 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 an ealier 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 as per CBI investigation 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 crore 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 as  long as Caste status remain factor to decide social, education & economic needs of Hindus, discrimination with untouchables( SC’s,ST’s,OBC’s) cannot be rooted out.. 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  the upper caste elite want to keep the things linger on till the time it starts slipping out of hands .The sense of accommodation is nowhere to be seen. Pope John Paul II apologized to JewsGalileowomen, people convicted by  the InquisitionMuslims killed by the Crusaders and almost everyone who had allegedly suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church over the years. Has our Indian religious or political leaders courage to do so for Gujarat communal riots (1969), Anti-Sikh Riots (1984),Ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus, Religious involvement in North-East India Militancy, Anti-Muslim violence, Anti-Christian violence, Anti-Hindu violence and other such like so called religious man made tragedies. From 2005 to 2009 period, an average of 130 people died every year from communal riots, and 2,200 were injured. In pre-partitioned India, over the 1920–1940 period, numerous communal violence incidents were recorded, an average of 381 people died per year during religious violence, and thousands were injured. If religious people preach One  God  of all then where is the point of disrimination on religious basis.                                 

       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 sustenance 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. The criminalization of politics, executive & judiciary which has reached zenith will have to arrested . The  present spread of corruption from womb to tomb, from maternity hospital to grave yard needs to uprooted with iron hands  . The effected poor are crying that  the injustices mated out to them coupled with, the atrocities perpetrated by public servants have bye passed even British times .
 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:-4423
  Retd Executive Engineer
      Jammu (J&K)
Dated 31-07-2016

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