I am more likely to think as a common man rather than come out with a scholarly and pedantic analysis. I shall not go in to the nitty gritty of figures or make a presentation through graphs to exhibit gains and losses because these have only confounded the common man. I leave that to a Narendra Modi or a Nirmala Seetharaman. I shall be more interested in talking about where India stands when it comes to the people of India and their rights as human beings.
For every Indian it was a bliss to be alive on 26th January 1950 when the Constitution of Secular India came in to being. For him it was a day when he was promised certain fundamental rights. Readers may please look into the Preamble to the Constitution of India. It is a day when every Indian felt he was going to see a new sunrise. It is a day that promised every single man, woman and child in India end of inequality and exploitation. It is a day that held the prospect of end to bigotry. It is the day that spoke of end of illiteracy. It is a day our leaders described as the day of a new awakening. It is a day of new life of liberty and freedom-the most cherished goals of every human being anywhere in the world. Indians bowed their heads in gratitude before the framers of the Constitution, led by the brilliant Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar. They felt they were just about to enter the Promised Land.
Behind the veil of all external growth, all seeming progress, there is decadence in India. To the common people, equality is a word in Dr. Ambedkar’s Constitution of India, not the practice. How can one claim there is equality in India when the majority still is caught in the grinding machine of illiteracy, ignorance and poverty? How can one feel proud of the growing economic stature of the country (India will be a 5 Trillion economy by 2024 and an economic super power by 2050 or even earlier) when one does not get two square meals, is without a home and has neither a present nor a future?
70 years of Republic and we still have not been able to ensure justice to our people. “Might is Right” holds true in the land of the Buddha, Nanak and Gandhi. From far flung hamlets to the city, it is the might that rules. Even the politicians who are supposed to act as the custodians of the Constitution subscribe to the dictum. Dalits and minorities are at the receiving end. A case in point is the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and elsewhere in India. Ten thousand Sikh men, women and children were butchered in cold blood then. Thousands of Sikh women became widows. Thousands of children became orphans.
And, imagine, 36 years after the horrendous crime was committed against humanity, the perpetrators of crime have managed to go scot free and move freely. The prosecutors have turned in to defense lawyers. I am referring to CBI that gave a “clean chit” to Jagdish Tytler, the prime accused in 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi. On top of it, the accused like Jagdish Tytler enjoy the comfort and power of ministerial gaddis. “Might is right”.
Another case in point is detention of hundreds in various jails in India who were picked up during the dark days of militancy in Punjab. They have been held prisoners for years together without a trial. One never knows whether they will ever experience freedom from the frightening four walls of the prisons hey have been put in to.
Look at all the cases being reported every day of rape of dalit women, the police brutality, the gangsters’ reign, the highhandedness of government officials, the loot the politicians engage in day in and day out. Law seems to have taken leave of the country.
The Non-resident Indians have been voicing similar concern at the lawlessness in the country when many pointed out that their property in India was being grabbed by unscrupulous elements and many had been framed in false criminal cases. They pointed accusing finger at the police and civil officials who connived with criminals to rob the NRI’s of their legitimate property. How can government of India expect the NRI’s to come forward to invest in the country when they feel insecure? Law is on leave, probably a long leave?
Where is Equality promised in the Constitution of the Republic of India? Where is Freedom? Where is Justice?
Let us on this Republic Day ask ourselves these questions, for the sake of the Republic of India.