During our interaction several years ago, Acharya Kripalani had said that India achieved Independence after suffering 700 years slavery hence the people do not understand the meaning of real democracy and their duties and rights in an Independent democratic India. This mindset has perpetuated dynastic rule in the country, which is a travesty of democracy. In a true democracy, there is a constant analysis of mistakes to reach perfection, which is systematically suppressed in other political systems, as happens in Pakistan. Kripalaniji suggested that there should be a serious debate on democracy in media, colleges and Parliament but unfortunately no Government has been interested in it due to reasons best known to them, resulting in the gradual distortion of democracy.
In order to start this debate, I had announced in the past an award on the best book and article on ‘democracy’ with the blessing and a letter from Jayaprakash Narayanji. I sent a letter on this subject to the then I&B Minister at the Centre Shri LK Advani also who promptly replied that he would see what can be done in this respect. But after some time Smt. Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister who imposed an anti-democracy Emergency on the country to protect her dynastic rule and thus the debate could not materialise.
Democracy is not compatible with police or military dictatorship. In a democracy, the desire of the people is supreme, there is complete freedom of expression and there is no barrier of cast, creed, community, religion and language in a true democracy. Democracy is not possible without the full participation of every section of the people where a village will be the basic unit. We should remember here, as said by Morarji Desai, that democracy is India’s gift to the world.
Today everywhere in the world, there is a demand for justice by removing the age-old injustices with the aim to impart social justice and equal opportunities to every section of human society which is possible only through democracy. Though in a democracy the progress is slow yet it is self-generating, self-sustaining and peaceful, giving stability to prosperity. But today throughout India political parties are becoming family owned private enterprises grabbing all cream opportunities leaving only crumbles to the public in absence of real democracy, needless to say that transparency and equal rights for every citizen including Rahul Gandhi and a commoner is the first requisite of a successfull democracy.
In Indian context, democracy is Bahujanhitaya, bahujansukhaya i.e. Government for the welfare and happiness of the majority. This ensures the participation of the maximum number of people in the Government, which, according to Jayaprakash Narayan, becomes a participatory democracy. Only a country, which takes care of its majority in democratic, political, social and religious field can progress fast, taking minorities along with it, there by promoting communal harmony. ‘This has happened in all big powerful countries of the world like America and Europe. But in India it has degenerated in to ‘Alpajan hitaya, Alpajan sukhaya’ i.e. working for the welfare and happiness of only the minorities even at the cost of majority and the nation, a distortion of democracy no where to be seen in the world except in the so called secular India.
Today a party tries to capture the cheap votes of minorities through their emotional exploitation and conspiracy like, four marriages, so-called Babri Masjid, etc. But no party tries to permanently remove the poverty and backwardness of the minorities by imparting them modern education bringing them into the mainstream of the nation. Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister Uttar Pradesh, has released many hard core terrorists from jail in order to garner Muslim votes, a very dangerous, anti-national act indeed which now has been stopped by the High Court. Nationalist Muslims should also oppose Akhilesh Yadav so that all Muslims are not seen as supporters of terrorists.
Caste considerations have spoiled Indian democracy. People are sending even criminal persons of their caste to Parliament and Vidhansabhas. This is ending up in the criminalisation of democracy. Those who should be in jail are enjoying political power and aggravating crime in the country.
In elections, poor people are flooded with freebies, loan wavers, subsidised food, like food security bill, cash money, laptop, garments, etc. to get their votes, squandering taxpayers money, which should be used in providing water, electricity, education, infrastructure, industry, hospitals, defence, etc. solving poverty from its roots. This discourages the people to work hard and progress in life. It is a conspiracy to create a permanent vote bank of the people thriving on the crumbles thrown by the Government and turning India into a country of beggars. This is a betrayal of democracy. Such things do not happen in free prosperous democracies like America and Europe. They do not cheat the masses for votes. Instead they try to make them hard working, self-reliant and self-confident.
But in India ruling parties are luring Jain, Sikh and Buddhists to disassociate themselves from Hindu society making India a land of minorities through ‘Divide and rule policy.
Today political leaders, industrialists and bureaucracy are collectively looting the people sending lakhs of crores of rupees to Swiss banks increasing poverty, unemployment, and suicide by the farmers, dearness and economic depression by leaps and bounds because corruption has become ram pant in every section of the society.
In the Constitution direction has been given to minimise the gulf between the rich and the poor to also establish economic democracy. But unfortunately the poor have not been able to gain a share in the economic prosperity after independence giving rise to many anomalies like Naxalism.
Today, there is only dynastic democracy in India with Nehru dynasty in Centre and ten other mini dynasties like Mulayam Singh (with the exception of BJP) ruling in their provinces. It is their destiny to accept a foreign leader as their saviour, with the result that India is degenerating into a fake secular dynastic democracy, where citizens have no sense of duty towards their country.
The result is that dons, criminals, naxalies, Bodos, Ulfas etc are dominating one third of the country and forcefully collecting money from the helpless people. This is a rape of democracy. Can such Indian democracy confront China, Pakistan and the terrorists? Can Rahul Gandhi solve all these problems. Hence, people should be educated in their rights and obligations and for it there should be a great national debate on democracy as advised by Acharya Kripalani, which hopefully will eradicate communal hatred, riots, caste war and corruption from this great country. Our ultimate hope lies in the Supreme Court, which can establish justice and democracy in India.
(The writer can be contacted at [email protected])