Democracy is not run by Dictation – Thomas Carlyle

Democracy is not run by Dictation – Proper checks and balances that constitution provides, if made more effective then most of the issues of Governance can be solved.

India is the largest democracy in the world. It is to the great achievement of the country of such size and such diversity to become a democratic country. Election of Obama as the president of USA showed that Democracy offers a possibility of change in the leadership. Same can be said about the leaders from marginalised section of the society.  But democracy made it possible for Obama in USA and Mayawati in India to come to power. This is the power of democracy. There is no other way out for depressed and outcaste people of the world. 

Democracy offers such a way out to more freedom and more power to people. It shifts the power in favour of people who would otherwise remain at the mercy of the elites and rich. Democracy cannot stand of its own, and it has pillars and most importantly solid foundation. The foundation of democracy
is society which is nearly equal and minimum gap between the rich and poor, and haves and have nots, knows and know nots. The democracy can work in true sense if there is social democracy; which is an attitude of respect for a fellow human being. In fact democracy starts from the grassroots and rise above to give rise governments and states. American democracy could rise as it was based on the strong foundation of local democracies. 

However, every state and government is different as they have different problems and different societies to respond to. India is a different society. The age old enemy of democracy (and its most deeper form social democracy) is alive and kicking. This is caste system. Not only caste system is alive, but its ugly manifestation “untouchability” is alive and affecting people to a greater extent. Caste system is a major stumbling block in the democratic India in the true sense. Besides caste system the communalism is posing a major threat to democratic foundation of India. The people who feel left out are resorting to violent ideologies. India is at the present point of time has become a very interesting place where there are thousands of social movements are proliferating leading to unprecedented changes and not to say complex problems. Communalism is often attributed to Muslims in India. But there is also a saffron side to it. This side is much more dangerous than Muslims. This is evident by the information collected by Hemant Karkare, who effectively brought out the linkages between Hindu terror and public offices and their political connections. The Hindu nationalism is very dangerous as it makes the oppressed majority in India forget their suffering and target straw man, that is, Muslims. India is a nation of slaves, according to Hindu scriptures itself. The majority of Indians belong to the middle classes, who are traditionally Shudras. They constitute over 54 percent of India’s population. They are laggards in public institutions. Their percentage share in the public sphere is far less than their population. Only dominant castes among them have benefitted due to political power, even then, those dominant castes are far lagging in public services and businesses. Over 16 percent of India’s population is Scheduled Caste. They are being targeted as people without merit by educated elites in India. Then there is 9 percent of Scheduled Tribes, and hundreds of millions of people are denationalised as
they are never brought within the process of census. They are termed as nomads (Tribes). 
In a sense, reality of India differs from people to people, and there is no unified vision of what India as a country should be. This is a big problem. As Dewey said, every state is an experiment, and every nation is a nation in making. The idea or concept of India that people have in their minds affects the society at large.

If we look at the ideas of India, there are some remarkable ideas which come into open. There is an idea that India is Hindustan. This idea further leads to concepts like India for Hindus. Hindu India is a myth which like all other myths affect public life. However there is a big problem with Hindu India. The word “Hindu” itself is of persian origin and have bad connotations. None of the so called sacred scriptures of Hindus do not include this word. The concept of “Holy land” and “father land” advocated by Hindu nationalists doesn’t sound so appealing to 54 percent OBCs, 16 percent SCs and 9 percent STs and millions of denationalised Indians called nomad and denotified tribal’s. What can be holy about the land which makes them Shudras, untouchables and criminals. The bigger question of nationalism and
casteism have been resolved by superficial arguments by Hindu ideologues. Limited nationalism of Tilak, with Bramhans at the top; and obnoxious nationalism of Savarkar with “Hindu” as a national caste and “Bramhan” as the individual’s family caste cannot resolve the larger question. There is also extreme Hindutva advocated by RSS. The essence of nation as Hindutva. Actually it is very important to carry on debates and discussion on what constitute Hindutva. This links to language based nationalism; Marathi Nationalism, Hindi Nationalism and Tamil Nationalism. Then there are regional varients of nationalisms.

Pakistan is creation of Muslims from India, now called Mohajirs in present day Pakistan. Pakistan as a nation, like India, is facing the similar hydra-headed problems, but is it mostly based on ethnicity. Since its inception, the Muslims migrated to Pakistan, mostly from UP and major Provinces wanted to keep power for themselves, and didn’t resort to democratic elections as it would have offered a challenge to their power from Baluchis, Pakhtuns, Sindhi, Punjabis and most importantly from Bengali speaking Muslims. Urdu like Hindi is language of nationalism. Less than 10 percent people spoke what is called Urdu today when Pakistan was created. Indians should look at Pakistan as a nation of ethnic groups. One can clearly see what happened to Pakistan and how Bagla Desh was created. The extreme Islam is not the doctrine of the majority of people in Pakistan, but that identity depends on extreme Hinduism. Both the extreme groups benefit from keeping alive religion based hatred. In the end, the losers are poor
and disadvantaged people in both the countries. There is a more scope in resolving issues if both the countries focus on problems of common citizens, and not make efforts to feed them with pills of religion based nationalism. Both the sides should understand that Cricket is just a game, and not a war. 
For India to become a solid democracy, it is important for more and more Indians to know the reality of Pakistan and deprivation of people in that country. India houses second largest population of Muslims in the world. Sacchar Committee report brought very ugly facts about social and political deprivation of Muslims in India. Needless to say that majority of the Indian Muslims are converted from lower castes in India. Census of India is bringing this social reality on the surface as most of the Muslims are also
registering as the lower castes. India will have to solve the problems of Indian Muslims.

There is no scope for Muslim India, but growing fundamentalism in the Islamic world (however the recent revolutions in the Arab world gives a positive hope for democracy, human rights and freedom, which the Islamic Scholars are claiming the essence of Sharia) can sweep away Muslims in India
to the violent ideologies.

There is a growing Urban Middle Class India. The suddenly rich class is very impatient without any sense for responsibility and sense of charity. Indian sense of charity is limited to giving donations to temples, which in the end benefit the custodians of the temples, who are invariably Bramhans. The famous case can be the case of Tirupati Balaji where billions of money were pocketed by a few individuals. Urban Middle class India get swayed by campaigns like anti-corruption, but never get swayed by more crucial issues of human rights and atrocities. It is entangled in the caste muck and god industry. One can safely call it Middle Caste Nationalism. One can call it economic nationalism too.

All the credit to keep India intact goes to democracy and constitution. Constitution as an instrument of democracy has succeeded in India till date. The periodic elections, the multiparty system and adult franchise keeps the hope of the people alive. If it had not been for the constitution of India, India would have fallen into a big mess. The proper checks and balances that constitution provides, if made more effective then most of the issues of Governance can be solved. Even when there are so many nationalisms proliferating in India, the real hope is offered by the Constitution, which defines ultimate goal for India as a nation, and that is Justice (social, political and economic), Liberty, equality and fraternity. The standard therefore for any nationalism to be valid in India are these constitutional
values. The question is whether Hindu, Muslim, Linguistic, Middle Class nationalisms are in accordance with these values, if not these nationalisms are anti-national. The problem of India is problem of not understanding what constitute real India; India based on Justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. Is anyone opposed to these values? The five unsatiated Senses will remain, the sixth insatiable Sense (of
Vanity); the whole daemonic nature of man will remain,-hurled forth to rage blindly without rule or rein; savage itself, yet with all the tools and weapons of civilization: a spectacle new in History.

-Thomas Carlyle in The French Revolution

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