TODAY -

In The Name of Democracy

Mosa Sangtam *



"……With great Difficulty, I have brought this CARAVAN where it is seen today.Let the CARAVAN march ON and further ON despite the hurdles, pitfalls and difficulties that may come in its way. If my people, my lieutenants are not able to take the CARAVAN ahead, they should leave it where it is seen today, but in no circumstances they should allow the CARAVAN to go back."
~ Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

At the dawn of India's independence, Indian Political Leaders unanimously decided to adopt democratic form of Government and thus, India afterward became a Democratic Republic of India. Democracy is undoubtedly the best form of Government as in comparison with the rest. Today, majority of the Countries has adopted this form and also those countries which are practicing other forms are slowly and gradually developing and progressing towards adopting a Democratic form of Government.

It is absolutely pertinent to understand that no single form of Government is free from the hands of its own but it largely depends on the rulers of that country whatsoever. Cleisthenes, considered as the father of Democracy from Ancient Greece had a peculiar idea about the people and their rulers and the state.

The peculiarity of his thought was formulation of the idea of equality before law which thereby replacing heredity based mechanism or system of a state to merit based in the areas of appointment of Government Servants or Policy makers, therefore, ultimately gives and provides maximum power to the people rather than the Government.

The question is, what makes Democracy the best form of Government among the worst? The very nature and essence of democracy is free from prejudice and it praises human Rights at its peak. Democracy talks about freedom of a man in framing the policy of a state (directly or indirectly), existing and living irrespective of his social, economic, political background as a 'born free' human being.

Whatever may the ruling Government of a particular country enforces law or restrictions to its members and foreigners their policy must remain unaltered with the fundamental principles of Democracy. Countries of the world have successfully adopted Democratic form of Government but the question as to whether the policy makers or the rulers of a Democratic Country abide by its principles or not? remains unanswered. Democracy has been used as a legal weapon by Political Leaders to justify their rule.

India has been considered to be the largest democratic country in the world. Besides, huge number of voters; what are the other elements that make India a Democratic Country? In 2014 General Election the BJP led by its Chief Narendra Modi won by overwhelming majority (282 seats) and again, in 2019 General Election with 303 seats securing their position in Indian Political arena as a Single largest party in the country. This was a historical moment for BJP and the people to have won with such overwhelming majority next to INC.

However, it seems that theynow have become unstoppable, as a matter of fact, anything and everything they propose (bill or ordinance) in the Parliament eventually promulgates. Naturally, it gave birth to the very concept of tyranny of the majority. Hence the question arises as to whether the government function for the nation or for a majority? Or whether their very idea of nation comes from the majoritarian spectrum?Questions need to be asked.

Ironically, democracy seems to have been used as a destroyer to democracy itself in India. In past few months, the people of Kashmir, the people of India and the rest of world had witnessed the abrogation of Article 370 by virtue of article 370(3). Degradation of State of Kashmir into union territory and shutting down of internet services, educational institutions, government offices, 24ื7 curfew by armed forces, curbing of freedom of press, freedom of speech and expression, restrictions in transportation etc.

Therefore infringed upon the basic fundamental rights of the citizens, this is not democracy that I understand, this is certainly not a democracy that Dr. Ambedkar imagined. Freedom of speech and expression, freedom of press and media remains safe haven for those who supports the ruling Government whereas, anyone who dares to critically examine the policies of the Government; and its political and social allies faces consequences as in the case of Aatish Taseer, a novelist and journalist whose OCI (overseas Citizens of India) was revoked by the Indian Government some days after he had written an article (India's divider in chief) for TIME that was critical to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Gauri Lankesh an Indian Journalist was murder a week after she wrote against RSS and BJP, Dr M M Kalburgi, Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, Dr Govind Pansare were killed just because they wrote against Fascist Hindutva Politics and advocated 'Constitutionalism'. This was not only the murder of innocent people but Democracy too. The transformation of Hinduism to Hindutva for political gains is not in the very best interest of this nation which believes in secular principle of governance, administration and socio-political life where human values and justice is given priority not a religion.

Democracy in India is slowly and gradually taking its shape as 'THEOCRACY'. The Nexus between Politics and Religion becoming more and more visible with the coming of Hindu Nationalist group in Indian Politics. Granting of citizenship status to an alien is also not free from religious political bias; the CAA of 2019 is a sturdy and mighty example of religious politics. "Educate, agitate and organize" was the final words of advice to the younger generation and students by Dr B R Ambedkar.

His message was clear, he wanted the students to be educated enough to reclaim their lost rights, he wanted them to understand the social evils, suppressions, exploitation, and subjugation of the masses on grounds of religious, political, economic or any kind of discrimination meted by the 'system'-social, religious and political. To organize and agitate against injustice and to fight for Justice at individual as well as mass level.

However, at ground reality, students, scholars, illiterate and literate who protest against the policies of Government which is their Constitutional Right under Art. 19 of the Constitution of India, who stands up for Justice, who stand to ask questions to their own elected representatives sitting in the ivory tower of power are not spared, Students are brutally beaten and protesters are being killed in day light by the 'Force' (Ref. News reports from Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi, Assam).

As a student of Political Science I understand that a 'constructive dissent' is a 'constitutional right' essential to the survival of the democracy. Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assembly, Members of Legislative Council, Cabinet Ministers, State Cabinet Ministers, Civil Service System, Police Administration, Defence Forces of India, Central Banking System and every other man, woman and institution-right from peon to Chief Secretary, from Village Guard, Village Administration, Dobashi, Gaonbura to the Chief Minister, From Chief Minister to the Prime Minister and the President, From Civil Judge Junior Division to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court- each and every man and woman who is directly or indirectly involve in running the state machinery is completely, fully, absolutely, unconditionally, by law of the land is answerable and accountable to the Constitution of India and finally to THE PEOPLE OF INDIA.

The current developments which surfaced on the occasion of passing of Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 are nothing but direct threats to the survival of principles of democracy. Democracy doesn't work on its own, we (THE PEOPLE) are supposed to work for it, unless we participate, democracy will soon die a natural death. It is the fundamental duty of every intellectual, scholar, student, artist, writer and every thinking human being to participate in the struggle for Justice, struggle for constitutional rights, struggle for equality, struggle for fraternity, and to create a free and just society.

Dr. Ambedkar's Constitution has given us the greatest gift of 'Constitutional Democracy', let us cherish it, let it not get destroyed in the hands of the people who on record defined democracy through religious spectrum with fascistundercurrents ( Fascism is a political philosophy characterized by authoritarian views and a strong central government — and no tolerance for opposing opinions. Fascist traces to the Italian word fascio, meaning "group, bundle." Under fascist rule, the emphasis is on the group — the nation — with few individual rights).

After so much of efforts and struggle Dr. Ambedkar brought the CARAVAN of Justice where we see it today. At present, we are living in a very complicated time. Our brain is getting fatten up with false propaganda by paid media, our thinking capacity has been taken away by the system that injected a slow poison of 'materialism' in our veins, we have become so much selfish that we are content with ourselves, tribe, family & children, we have become slaves of money, power and pleasure, we have forgotten to react, our educated class which supposed to show the correct direction to the society is in deep slumber.

We Nagas have been introduced to 'Materialism' before we were introduced to the 'Wisdom'. Moreover, we are shown false dreams of economic prosperity whereas in reality farmers are committing suicides, Dalits and Tribals are brought under the shadow of fear-insecurity and white caller corporate workers are losing their jobs all over India. With passing of Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 our future has been brought under grave threat.

We are told to believe in the dreams sold out to us by the 'Merchants of the Dreams'. Should We? I don't know about the others, but I set my stand open and clear. No matter what political party is ruling this nation, they all should be made answerable and accountable through Constitutional means and modes. The CARAVAN of justice should not be allowed to go back. I register my dissenting opinion against the way this glorious nation of Christ, Buddha, Asoka, Ambedkar and Gandhi is being currently ruled.

In this dark time Democracy must be protected. Voice of commonest of the common must be heard. We do not need 'Ram Rajya', we need Bharat of Emperor Asoka The Great where the principles of Justice, Equality, Liberty and Fraternity will prevail, where welfare of common man will be given priority over religion, whererights and wishes of 'THE PEOPLE' will beguarded, respected and honoured.

Kuknalim ! Jai Bharat !


* Mosa Sangtam wrote this article for Imphal Times
The writer is a student at Tetso College, 4th Semester, B.A. (Political Sci. Hons), Dimapur
This article was webcasted on January 02, 2020 .



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