Sunday, August 27, 2006

56 years after......

The Sovereign, Socialist, Secular Democratic Republic of India is once again celebrating the Republic Day. The Constitution had promised social, economic and political justice to the people who make the Republic. The Constitution also assured equality of status and opportunity.

Despite over 100 amendments in the Indian Constitution, it appears we have failed in fulfilling the assurances and promises made through our Constitution. The liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship guaranteed through the Constitution had come under strains several times, be it the imposition of Emergency in 1975 or the December 6, 1992 demolition of Babri structure or stary incidents of attacks on the religious places in different parts of the country, Meenakshipuram conversions or Bhoj temple controversies.

The vast majority of the citizens are still below poverty line making mockery of the assurance of economic justice to the people. The tribals of Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are still fighting for the compensation of the land and property acquired 50 years back for the different steel plants. Benefits of Plans have not reached them. In Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, farmers are committing suicide as they are in heavy debt and poor crops crippling the agro economy. Still, thousands of villages are still without power though numerous rural electrification programmes are on. The Prime Minister rural road construction scheme has not touched populated villages in many blocks.

Social justice assured in the Indian Constitution is visible only through the reservation of jobs. Stories appear in the newspapers and electronic media on the discrimination on grounds of caste and creed in the villages. The reservations made in the panchayati raj system have helped create a new class of rural rulers of socially deprived groups. But, these groups also constitute the agriculturally rich people in the rural areas.

Equality of status and opportunities are missing. Though, telecommunications and road communications are reaching the villages, still the benefits are concentrated among a few selected landlords, businessmen and traders. Crores of educated youths are unemployed and how the employment guarantee schemes would bring them benefits, remains to be seen. The manifesto and programmes -common minimum programme or common agenda of governance remains on paper.

The voting age was reduced by Rajiv Gandhi creating a big force of young voters. At Hyderabad plenary of the Cognress, Rahul Gandhi declared' leadership can not be created, but has to be built brick by brick". Rahul or Varun Gandhis are the leaders by birth, they are neither created nor built bricks by bricks. This is the basic problem. If the young leadership is diverting elsewhere, it is because of the leadership crisis. If the youth in 12 states of the country is diverting towards Left Maoisim or in North East, it is because of this leadership crisis. These kind of frustrated youth, taking to militancy to bring in social and economic justice, are more dangerous than external enemies to India.

The planners and politicians will have to look into the profile of the youths who are engaged in "brick by brick" leadership to ensure the honest functioning of the Republic of India.


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