Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Preamble Gamble

The Constitution of India proudly declares through its preamble that India is a “Sovereign”, “Socialist”, “Secular” and a “Democratic” republic. 62 years have gone past and today all that India has done is au contraire with the objectives of the preamble and is nothing but a sham and a farce. Sovereignty for every Indian seemed so dear when we were bound by the clutches of the British. 200 years of constant internal and external disturbances coupled with a divide and rule policy was the price we had to pay. The question today is, has the independence which we sought after so much of hardships and undertaking truly worth it? And are we doing any justice at all to the law of our land, The Constitution? Well, the answer is a reluctant ‘no’!

Maneka Gandhi had quoted in beautiful words, the India of her dreams where the poorest shall feel that it is their country in whose making they have an effective voice; …an India in which all communities shall live with perfect harmony. Where there can be no room in for the curse of un-touchability or the curse of Intoxicating drinks and drugs and where a woman will enjoy as the same rights as man." If seen through a perspective, these words spoken by her can in fact bring us back to the very provisions of the Preamble of the constitution which serves as a cleanser and a key to all of those who chose to interpret it. Today it is with great disappointment that we come to observe that nothing in the country is the way it is actually meant to be. The basic features of the Constitution have been manipulated shamelessly for the enjoyment and pleasures of a few thousands of people completely overlooking the majority of our population. The basic objective of our Constitution to portray to the rest of the world a “Sovereign”, “Socialist” and “Democratic” image is being made a mockery.

SOVEREIGNITY IN TODAY’S INDIA: Sovereignty if defined keeping in mind the words of Thomas Hobbes in his master piece, “Leviathan”, “Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided.” In simpler words, it was expressed by R.P. Wolff, “Sovereignty is the right to command and correlatively obey.” When I came across such definitions it took a few moments for me to find a bridge to connect the same with the Indian scenario and then it struck to me that India’s sovereignty is about upholding the latter from R.P. Wolff’s definition of merely obeying the words of country’s it feels is stronger than herself inter alia. When India agrees to offer refuge to the Tibetan’s its sovereignty is automatically brought under the scanner by the Chinese. Constant border territory infringements along with various war threats have always been laid across to India by the Chinese as a result of India’s decision to grant refuge to the Tibetan’s. Again, India’s sovereignty is jeopardized with the fear of being subjugated to war by the Chinese. On the other hand, India has constantly been putting up with various cross border violations being caused to her by Pakistan. Besides the infringement of India’s border territories the amount of violence she has been subjected to due to terrorism which finds its roots in Pakistan is extremely disheartening. Again, India’s sovereignty is being taken away from being exercised because of the involvement of the United States of America. Such is the mockery that is being made of our so called “Sovereign” status.

Internally speaking, India has never been a sovereign country. Sovereignty as a concept refers to a single pervasive authority. In the Indian scenario, every day, this concept of sovereignty is becoming brittle because of the number of people and entities claiming to be authoritative and sovereign. India is a country which is federal in nature with a very strong centralizing tendency; this feature completely fails to work in the Indian system of governance. Every single day minority rights are being spoken about and the majority is being ignored. People who have dire financial constraints are not even being looked upon whereas classifications on the grounds of caste and religion are being made every single day. India is getting further divided on the basis of language and every single day we have people crying out loud for their own SOVEREIGNITY. Therefore, when we speak of sovereignty in the Indian Constitution, we are in fact speaking about an allegiance of loyalty we make completely endangering or rather scorning the essence of what sovereignty actually implies.

SOCIALISM IN TODAY’S INDIA: The Socialism which Karl Marx viewed as a way to eradicate the capitalism which existed at a large scale in the society where wealth was available only to a certain section is precisely what Indian’s have interpreted of the Preamble. Mayavati’s grand 5 Crore garland along with a 200 crore “celebration” itself speaks volumes in this regard. Uttar Pradesh has statistically been viewed to be one among the poorest of the states in India and when the premier of the state itself chooses to hurt the wound of poverty further by rubbing salt against it by holding such extravagant ceremonies, where is the socialism, where is the dictatorship of the proletariat, where is the classless society, all essential components of socialism found? Marble statues of elephants are given paramount important with absolutely no concern shown towards the “aam aadmi”. The government in India instead of upholding the Constitution in fact seems to be playing the roles of Capitalists. The austerity drive apparently saved the Government a whopping 2000 Crores and the day the government declared that the economy has improved the ministers gave up this drive to remain austere and chose to go back to super luxury hotels and business class aircrafts. When the members of any governmental body are in fact, the people’s representatives why are they treated differently? The definition of socialism does not mean taking people and the taxes we pay for granted. Would continuing to remain austere and travel economy class cause any damage to their ego? And then again, if that is the answer, it is pretty obvious at the face of it that these “People’s Representatives” consider themselves superior in some way or the other and hence, they are nothing but capitalists. Thus, yet again, Socialism as portrayed in India is completely in contradiction with its very essence.

DEMOCRACY IN TODAY’S INDIA: The infamous words of Abraham Lincoln when he said “Democracy is the government, of the people, by the people, for the people” is perhaps always been laid down as the foundation for any state before it chooses to accept democracy as a form of governance. Perhaps, the framers of our Constitution also chose to tread in the path of the Americans while choosing a democratic system of representation for the Indian Citizens. The Indian system of democracy in today’s scenario is in a total state of confusion. Where on one hand we have various political parties claiming to be true representatives of the Indian citizens, the very concept of democracy doesn’t seem to have been well understood. Democracy involves a direct representation of the people however, in India when we vote during elections, we do not vote for a person, but we vote for a “party”. The idea of voting for a party lacks sensibility because, it is hard to judge a persons capability by looking at the party he comes from. This in a way leads to a tainted vision before exercising our fundamental right of choosing a representative, WE WANT.

Therefore, in conclusion, what can be drawn from the entire situation in the country today is that, India is being very ignorant about something as important as the Constitution. People are not aware of their rights, of their laws. The Constitution seems to be made so that people can follow everything, but the principles laid down there under. A solution needs to be implemented as soon as possible and the Constitution requires more understanding by every citizen. When we do not pay much attention to the very fundamental law of the land, we are in a way coming close to days of severe anarchy and public unrest.


will said...

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour..............................................

teza jose said...

i love it!! :-) i wish i'd read this before my first round at the debate! brilliant thought!

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