Politicians can't feign ignorance
Indian politicians have a responsibility to shoulder which they can't escape from
SCENEARIO BY PROFESSOR RATTAN LAL HANGLOO
While delivering Maulana Azad lecturer in1959 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru repeatedly emphasized “Tomorrows India will be what we make it …. I want the narrow conflicts of today in the name of religion or caste, language or province, to cease, and a classless and caste less society to be built up where every individual has full opportunity to grow according to his/her worth and ability”
The Indian State during the Nehru and post Nehruvian era enjoyed unlimited legitimacy by invoking the role of national liberation struggle. The significant development that stemmed from this effort was that it strengthened Indian secularism which no political force, however, powerful it may be can undermine. The plan for reconstruction of India was totally characterized by capitalism because it did not question the fundamental rational of capitalism as a result it could not show required enthusiasm in tackling the major challenges necessary for radical transformation of structures that India inherited from colonialism. India made substantial progress in various fields leaving a legacy but despite the success achieved under Congress and other political parties India has not fully overcome the problems of her backwardness.
Because every time with the approaching of parliamentary/assembly elections the Indian political parties issue an extra-ordinary appeal to people asking them to set aside the strong feelings they have about genuine issues concerning their life and country and be receptive to their respective parties obscure and divisive ideas about caste, communalism, regionalism and false promises of removing dreadful unemployment and increasing poverty. Knowing it fully well that they do not ensure the disappearance of these hated institutions because they constitute the part of their political infrastructure and invoking them on every such occasion drives away all their political impurities of scams and scandals.
The national and one time broad based Congress party patented slogan of Garibi hatao (eliminate poverty) in its every election manifesto, and branched out from Indian National Congress to Indira Congress to Rajiv Congress, to Trinamul Congress, National congress party and this time perhaps to Rahul congress. Today its policies and practices recklessly place party on the brink of crisis. Be it the question of Kashmir’s autonomy or corresponding to most genuine demands of Team Anna, the decision makers in the party are avoiding real political issues, necessary for any meaningful ideological frame work. To keep party top brass in good humour,, no one can afford to be so vulgar as to suggest revamping the party with increasingly young talent so that it effectively corresponds to the requirements of contemporary politics.
While some parties only reflect upon their gains in the last parliamentary/assembly elections forgetting that progress does not always follow a smooth upward trajectory and the classic case is of BJP which got systematically dismantled by its false shining India campaign. Be it rabid communalization of India by Bartiya Janta Party or linguistic isolationism of Assam by Ahom Gana Parishad or Yadvisation by Rastriya Janta Dal or Samajwadi party, or the fickleness of political character by parties such as DMK, AIADMK, PMK, Akali Dal, Janta Dal, they all have facilitated the reasons for fear that Indians cannot afford to put aside while participating in democratic processes. Today the political ideologies of the parties have been torn to shreds in the world’s most powerful democracy. India’s succession to position of great modernized power is not possible without thorough social transformation where a major proportion of its population realizes the dream of coming out from poverty stricken condition. The fear is of participating into and benefiting from the inescapable developmental processes in 21st century.
Unfortunately most of the states except Andhra Pradesh and perhaps Gujarat have been going through frustratingly slow application of computer technology and infrastructure. The condition of roads, and transport facilities, public healthcare, public distribution system, ever growing ill equipped educational institutions (both private and public) obsolete policing procedures, law and order problems, human rights violations, corruption, violence being exercised at popular level, and traditionally autocratic public service institutions are increasingly failing to rescue people from severe internal catastrophes.
The measures currently used to control, structure and restructure public opinion in India often arouse bitter memories. Be it the caste or communal politics, corruption or ignoring of regional discontent, the politicians are little realizing the hostility towards liberal secular state will find deliverance in crisis that can prove fatal for India’s growing dreams at all levels. It takes willful blindness not to see how India is undergoing economic and social transformation on one hand and how that impels the need for politicians to seek answers for lowest level of wages for labour among the world’s industrialized nations.
When Somnath Chatterji, was delivering his Ambedkar memorial lecture in Delhi on 14th of April 2008 he was seriously amplifying his agony after having seen the lowest levels, to which the Indian parliamentary democracy has degenerated in the very recent past. He cautioned the practioners of Indian politics of the impending disaster. With all seriousness at his command he emphasized, “While institutions in general were facing a crisis of credibility before the people, in legislatures the quality and content of discussions that took place inside the chambers, the quality of laws they enact and their effectiveness in addressing the people’s problems and the traditions of tolerance, discipline and decorum that they display are all important in sustaining the people’s faith in system.”
The coming years will further see the strong radicalization of social struggles at the hands of varied discontented people who are reawakening the revolutionary awareness among the peasants and workers and shall invent new forms of struggles. No amount of states organized and brute force can contain the spread of these radical ideologies at grassroots level unless negotiation and dialogue with sincerity of purpose and dedicated engagement is initiated to address the basic issues concerning the people.
The regional political parties particularly in trouble torn regions like Kashmir should broaden their respective political ideologies by examining multi-faceted problems that people are facing and adopt long term and short term goals to address them.
Controlling the general population has always been a dominant concern of political parties but those in power should also recognize the barriers that stand in their way in democratic societies are more subtle and it is the responsibility of people to ensure that the government is in best hands who safeguard the system.
Professor Rattan Lal Hangloo, originally from Hangalgund Kashmir, heads Chair of Indian Studies Tbilisi State University Georgia)
Lastupdate on : Thu, 12 Jan 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 12 Jan 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 13 Jan 2012 00:00:00 IST
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