Its 60th Independence day, and the day was chosen way before we received Independence. The date of 26th January was decided by the Indian National Congress in 1930 as a date to achieve complete freedom, the plan did not succeed, but freedom was not far, and we got free on 15th August 1947.
The laws of India were based on it did Government of India Act 1935. On August 29, 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar as chairman. And the constitution for the largest democracy in the world came into existence on on January 26, 1950, 10.18 AM IST.
As per normal belief Dr. Ambedkar was never a Dalit, he had converted himself to Buddhism to wipe out his birth Lineage was out of question after that. Ambedkar criticized Gandhi that calling dalit as children of Hindu God(Hari) indirectly implies as dalit must be under the circle of hindu religion, not to go away from this. Then only the dalits said to be untouchables according to the hindu varnasrama.
In his last speech delivered on November 25 1949, Dr. Ambedkar issued three warnings which are worth a note here. Dream of Dr. Ambedkar for social democracy and not merely a political democracy.
Today after sixty years of Independence, let us travel back in time and explore the pledges taken while submitting our constitution.
The three warnings:
1. Ambedkar warned the people to first abandon the bloody methods of revolution. "There can be no justification for these unconstitutional methods. These methods are nothing but the grammar of Anarchy and the sooner they are abandoned, the better for us"
If Ambedkar was alive today. he would shun the Marathi brother Raj Thackeray that unconstitutional way of answering the crisis would never be tolerated. He would not entertain Maoist, who claim to speak on behalf of the disadvantaged. He would urge them to follow the legal process adopted by constitution.
2. He also told the Indians to abandon hero-worship immediately. He asked Indians not "to lay liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him with powers which enable him to subvert their institutions. There is nothing wrong in being grateful to the great men who have rendered life-long services to the country, but there are limits to the gratefulness," he said hero-worship or bhakti is great in religion but in politics, "Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure way to degradation and to eventual dictatorship"
This words spoken 60 years ago have been echoing since last sixty years, Ironically many Ambedkar followers till date worship him as a hero. The naming of parks, offices, airports and every goddamm place they could rename in their hero.
The words became true in 1970, when congressmen shouted slogans, 'India is Indira, Indira is India' which eventually lead to dictatorship of emergency.
Congress tendency of branding Gandhi family by crediting Gandhi's for the policies they never made, like the green revolution was made by Indira rather than by Lal Bahadur Shashtri, and it was Rajiv who liberalised the economy instead of P.V. Narsimha Rao. No one is dening that Gandhi where great politicians, but reviving in Past and worshiping them is not a SOCIAL economy.
Parties professing violent revolution are antithetical to democracy, warned Amdedkar, and so are the parties based on the principle of Bhakti and Hero-worship.
The increasing influence of political family has led, as he feared, to the subversion of our public institution. Today, congress chooses ministers, governors to government based on loyalty instead of competence. 60 years ago, Nehru choose Dr. Ambedkar to draft the constitution based on competence, as Ambedkar was a criticizer of congress and M.K. Gandhi. Yet, decades later, his own political family simply worshiped the name, never used the same thinking to choose competence.
This durbari methodology was the once that lead to our slavery, this needs to change now.
3. The final warning given by Dr. Ambedkar, was that, "Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy. On the social plane in India a society is base on the principle of inequality, which means elevation for some and degradation for others. On the economic plane, we ave a society in which there are some who have immense wealth as against many who live in poverty."
He questioned, 'How long shall we continue to live in life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? if we continue to deny it for long we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this assembly has laboriously build up."
These words are were the most important and yet, less followed. When we try to achieve the social democracy, we think about reservations. However a stark reality in todays India is that, the benifits of reservation are used up by the so-called creamy layer who are now onto the wealthy list in India and still the actual deprived people who are in dire need of it, the adivasis, have been thrown out of their lands to make way for progress of urban India. No wonder, most maoists have gained in the tribal districts of central and eastern India.
Ambedkar was a democrat, he did not like the violence protest done today by Maoists, who testify it the only way left for them, also Ambedkar did not like the Gandian way of non-violence as well. He was a democrat a person who shaped the nation of millions, he believed that the arguments within the citizens on India had to be resolved through the means of press, the law court and the legislature.
Ambedkar spoke these words in November 1949, he spoke as a true democrat and a patriot.
After sixty years, if we do a reality check, we find that the dream he had given us was never achieved. If he had, just trusted, in what he had said, our nation would be politically, economically and socially unchallenged super power in a few years itself.
Total we are speaking about the political and economic achievements in India, however in doing so we conceal, shocking inequalities in wealth and living standards, a crumbled and mediocre education system and a even worst health care system. A justice system that is on life support system; a continuing tension between the states of India; Suicide rates of farmers in the country side is nearing the crime rates in cities; and a continuous tension between the many communities in India.
There are few points that need to be laid as a roadmap for the future of the country.
1) When we say we are proud that India is third largest in the world in terms of doctors, engineers, we should really ask ourself, what about quality doctors and quality engineers?
In the name of upliftment of the Dalits, Adivasis we are compromising on quality in education. Is this what we really wanted to achieve? A degree at any cost? Instead if we provide better education standards for primary and secondary education, provide proper economic infrastructure for the underprivileged we will be in better position to provide quality professionals.
2) The civil services at central and state lever should be freed from any political interference. Posting and length of tenure must be decided on basis of capability and performance rather than his caste, or his 'contacts'.
3) Politicians should NOT decide who heads the universities or research institutions. Keep the education to the academicians themselves.
4) There should be more lateral entry at the government, professionals from other sectors must be encouraged to join it. A experienced doctor will be a better health secretory than a IAS officer who has no experience in healthcare system, similarly won't a lawyer will be a good law secretory than those who apply for the post? remember, our constitution was drafted by a very good democrat and a excellent lawyer of his times.
5) Our judicial system should be made more strong and capable of prosecuting the guilty. The confidence should be installed in them to make cases against corruption. The current Rathore case is a good example of failed judicial system.
When we drafted our constitution, we talked about equality, liberty; a social, economic and political democracy. If we truly wish to establish our-self as a republic, if we truly wish to stay as the largest democracy in the world we need to atleast start burying the past and try to work together as a progressing nation.
Happy Republic day.
P.s.Every year I try to get as many exclusive pics on our past. Due to busy schedule I could not scan and upload it this year. You can glance on previous year pictures.
Source: Outlook (The republic@60 Feb 1, 2010) , National Archives of India (New Delhi), Wikipedia