By Rajendra Dichpally (INOC USA)
UNITED STATES: As we celebrate our republic day on January 26th, it is time to yet again reflect on the journey of this great country that endured so many challenges, experienced tremendous sacrifices, and struggles to evolve into a great nation that was built as a plural, diverse and inclusive society. The Idea of India that evolved after the great independence struggle by all sections of the society from the British rule was that the country will respect all voices include all views in its diverse population and continue its journey by taking all sections along with it. Institutions were built and nurtured over decades to lay the foundations of the country and as pillars for the diverse country that differed on so many issues yet united on core values that the country was built on. This was the premise of the idea of India.
India’s first Prime Minister laid the solid foundations of modern India. The constitution was ploddingly written based on the best practices from the modern world and taking into consideration the many dynamics of a diverse country like India. Late Prime Minister Nehru entrusted Late Ambedkar and his team with writing the constitution and took him into his cabinet as law minister even after he lost the popular election – Lok Sabha as he truly believed in many of the values that Ambedkar stood for. Late Home Minister Sardar Patel and Nehru may have differed on minor issues but respected each other tremendously and both adhered to the idea of India that Mahatma Gandhi (Bapu) had envisioned and exhorted to both of them.
Institutions were built, nurtured, and developed to lay the foundations of Modern India that had emerged from its darkest years after the British rule. Public Sector Institutions were built to sustain the core and important sectors of the economy that provided the impetus to growth and provided jobs to millions of people taking national interests in perspective. Foreign policy was formulated so that India remained neutral and friends with all nations keeping the nation secure and its interests protected. Minorities and weaker sections were provided equal opportunities so that they believed and adhered to the very idea of India that the country was being built on. The democratic process adhered and Governments were built on popular voice and people’s mandate and there was no interfering in people’s mandate. Five Year Plans were made to build an India that grew with equal importance to all sectors and sections of the country. The country that had almost 80 percent of the people under poverty after Independence started to slowly emerge out of the dark shadows and take strides towards a developing country with equal progress of all sections and sectors of its diverse population. This was India that Bapu had envisioned and Nehru made it possible by laying the foundations of this great Country.
What we see today during the Modi Government is a systematic decline in the functioning of these great institutions like Parliament, Judiciary, Media, and Law Enforcement agencies. Judges are being influenced to give favorable judgments in major cases and lured with plum Government postings after retiring from service. We saw this in the case of the two judges that gave judgment in the Ram Janmaboomi issue and Judge Lohia Murder case where both the judges got Government posts after retirement. This is an extremely disturbing trend for the future preservation of independent judiciary.
The foreign policy that was independent saw a major shift in recent times. The Country seems to be taking sides instead of being neutral. Prime Minister Modi exhorting people in Texas with “Ab ki Baar, Trump ki Sarkaar” was a major diplomatic gaffe that we could easily have avoided. I am glad that we have an old friend of India in President Biden and our very own Kamala Harris that will continue to keep the US-India relations warm.
The public sector which was the core to keeping a balance in the social-economic interests of the country is being diluted quickly and without thought. Even Sectors that are profitable are being sold to private enterprises weakening the social-economic dynamics. Today we see a big difference in the income disparity of the country. The rich have gotten extremely rich and the poor continue to slip into deeper poverty. We need to address this quickly and also the rural-urban divide and growth so that there is not much disparity.
Bills are being passed in Parliament without discussing the pros and cons of the bills and allowing the opposition to state its views on bills that will have major implications for generations. A recent example is the Farm Bill that was hastily passed in the parliament and caused the farmers to agitate severely against the bill in India, in spite of several and huge pressure from the Government. The farmers lost over 800 people due to the agitation and did not budge till the bill was withdrawn due to impending elections in Punjab and keeping the coalition of political parties in mind. Demonetization was another classic example of a hastily done operation that went terribly wrong causing havoc to the unorganized rural sector.
The Law Enforcement agencies have almost given up on independent functioning and have been influenced by the powers of the Government. The Government unleashes these agencies on any voice of dissent and opposition and embarrasses them with raids and investigations causing the dissent to disband or surrender to the mite of the political powers of the establishment.
The Modi Government wants to take the country back to the times of Ram Raj or Hindu Raj without thinking that the country has evolved into a plural society and India today cannot go backward but should move forward keeping in mind the Idea of India that the country was established and built on after the great independence struggle.
The country should give equal opportunities to all sections of the society and make them feel a part of the country’s progress instead of forcing them to adhere to ideas that cause dissent rather than a consensus. Any voice of dissent is threatened with force or branding it an anti-national view causing further strain in the pluralism and inclusive voice that the great nation was built on.
I am hoping Prime Minister Shri Narender Modi will keep these in mind as he enters the second half of his second innings as Prime Minister of the Country. So far, the results of his tenure in terms of the growth of the country have been dismal, to say the least taking into consideration the economic growth and highest employment in the history of the country. This was the case even before the pandemic struck the world and the country and it has only worsened since then. I have hope in the Idea of India and its sustainability and am hoping that the country will not move away from this basic premise that the country was built on and united it. I wish India and all Indian’s a very Happy Republic Day.
Image Source: https://twitter.com/narendramodi
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Copyright © 2014 - 2022 The Global Indian New Network (TGINN)