Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Let it be clear from the beginning that this posting is addressed only to the Indian patriotic intelligentsia. Every member of Indian intelligentsia cannot be a patriot; because therein, there are self-seekers and traitors who have ruined post-independence India. Therefore the word ‘patriotic’ is deliberately used for distinguishing who of Indian intelligentsia can work for the country.
It is time, the Indian patriotic intelligentsia should wake up and save the country from fellows like Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare who want to hijack common Indians’ awakening against corruption and black-money and all such havoc that the politicians in power, hand-in-glove with salaried officials and private trade-tycoons, have been playing with the masses, exactly as the shrewd self-seekers, under the cover of Jayprakash Narayan, had hijacked the mass awakening of 1974-76 and destroyed it within a mere span of two years of anarchy, facilitating thereby return to power of Ms. Indira Gandhi against whose misrule the people all over the country had joined the students of Gujurat and Bihar before JP vitiated their spontaneous uprising with jargons like party-less democracy and total revolution.
Those two years of anarchy, known to Indian political history as the period of Janata rule, were the years of political opportunism, religious revivalism, anti-welfarism, elitism, nepotism, favoritism, intraparty factionalism, interdepartmental antagonism and all sorts of corruption in every sphere of administration. The Janata Government had to die a premature death for all these syndromes. And, in its death, the mass uprising against misrule had also died.
Why did it happen?
It happened because, the fellows that had hijacked the people’s uprising against Congress misrule and thereby replaced Indira Gandhi’s government, had no political ideology other than what the Congress was practicing. All of them, individually and collectively, were practitioners of the same political economy, the same Economy of Inequality.
The same pattern
Anna Hazare and Ramdev resemble the same pattern. They are the new editions of JP and his collaborators of the 1970s. They have not focussed on the root of corruption; but are posing as fellows who can root out corruption. They have not uttered a single word so far against Economy of Inequality.
Economy of inequality
Economy of inequality is the root of all maladies that India is afflicted with. And it has been affecting India since the days of formation of the Constitution.
The Congress being in majority in the Constituent Assembly and the propertied class comprising its majority therein, had discarded the ideals of freedom movement, the ideals of equality and fraternity and had legitimized the Economy of Inequality in the Constitution.
It was easier for the Congress to perpetuate this inequality as it occupied power when the Republic of India was created on the basis of this Constitution.
The new editions of JP
Consequent upon this, the country has gone astray and corruption – the game, the rich play for fetching profit and property expansion – has spread into every sphere of administration.
As the radical Indians are raising their weapons against this foul play of the rich, causing corresponding awakening in silent majority of Indians, like in 1970s, the new editions of JP and his collaborators – Hazare, Ramdev and the elites – have been trying to hijack the new awakening in a manner that emits concern over corruption, but never stresses on elimination of the anti-national ingredients of economic and social inequality enshrined in the Constitution, even though those ingredients have helped corruption to grow and engulf the country.
That the Constitution of India bears the seeds of maladies the country is now afflicted with, deserves serious attention inasmuch as it was confessed even by its framers.
Maladies located by Laxminarayan Sahu
In the Constituent Assembly
On the third reading of the draft Constitution, renowned representative of Orissa in the Constituent Assembly, Laxminarayan Sahu had made it clear that in framing the Constitution, the Assembly had “deviated from the ideals” it had sat for.
“The ideals on which this Draft Constitution is framed have no manifest relation to the fundamental spirit of India”, he had pointed out.
For the rich people who constituted majority of the Congress that had majority of the seats in the Constituent Assembly, the Government of India Act framed and enforced by the British Government to protect its own interest, i.e. the interest of the exploiters, the property owners, the administrators and elite, was more suitable. Hence they had ensured that the Constitution of free India must carry the pro-rich provisions of that Act of the British rulers and if possible, similar provisions from other countries.
Coming down heavily upon this treachery against the people, Sahu had said, “I feel that this Constitution has become a queer and unwholesome amalgam on account of the varied provisions it has borrowed from the Government of India Act and the other Constitutions of the world, things that cannot be compounded to form a harmonious whole. ……… I can assure you that this …….. would not prove suitable and would break down soon after being brought into operation”
Sahu was shocked by the attempts to provide shock-absorbers of exploitation in the Constitution. “Mr. Kamath has quietly introduced in it the God too. Some people hold that there is no God. The people of India do not want God”, he had thundered.
He regretted that, when the Constitution had imported certain anti-people provisions from the British made Government of India Act, it had omitted the provisions that were somewhat lenient with the people in matters of civil liberties. “People have been so much fettered (by provisions in the constitution) that even the civil liberties enjoyed by them during the British regime would be available to them no more. ……….You will see that on the enforcement of this Constitution very few civil liberties will remain”.
Sahu had emphatically pointed out the contradiction the Constitution was carrying. He had scaldingly criticized the secret agenda of the rich to gag welfare programs. “On the one hand we give opportunity for private profit and on the other, we say that the resources of the Government are limited”, he had said.
No other debater was as clear as he in matter of the contradictions the Constitution was pregnant with. He had said, “India is a country of villages. In complete disregard of the villages we have turned into citizens and ask for rights of citizenship. I would say that we should have ‘village-zen-ship’ rights also. I do not see ‘village-zen-ship’ rights anywhere in this Constitution”.
Therefore, to him, the Constitution was “altogether useless and worthless”. He did not see “anything substantial in it”.
Dr. Ambedkar’s confession
In answering to the third reading of the draft Constitution, with apparent attention to what Sahu had said, before it was adopted, Dr. Ambedkar had also confessed that the Constitution was carrying contradictions, harmful enough to shatter India, unless removed by the people’s representatives in the earliest opportunity.
He had “acknowledged” that there was “complete absence” of equality and fraternity in the Constitution.
On complete absence of equality
On “complete absence” of equality he had said, “On the social plane, we have in India a society based on the principle of graded inequality which means elevation for some and degradation for others. On the economic plane, we have a society in which there are some who have immense wealth as against many who live in abject poverty. On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In Politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this 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 possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up”.
On complete absence of fraternity
On “complete absence” of fraternity, Ambedkar had said, “Fraternity means a sense of common brotherhood of all Indians—of Indians being one people. It is the principle which gives unity and solidarity to social life. It is a difficult thing to achieve. ……… I remember the days when politically-minded Indians resented the expression ” the people of India “. They preferred the expression ” the Indian nation. ” I am of opinion that in believing that we are a nation, we are cherishing a great delusion. How can people, divided into several thousands of castes, be a nation ? The sooner we realize, that, we are not as yet a nation in the social and psychological sense of the word, the better for us. For then only we shall realize the necessity of becoming a nation and seriously think of ways and means of realizing the goal. The realization of this goal is going to be very difficult—far more difficult than it has been in the United States. The United States has no caste problem. In India there are castes. The castes are anti-national in the first place, because they bring about separation in social life. They are anti-national also because they generate jealousy and antipathy between caste and caste. But we must overcome all these difficulties if we wish to become a nation in reality. For fraternity can be a fact only when there is a nation. Without fraternity, equality and liberty will be no deeper than coats of paint”.
Congress on anti-nation mode
But the ruling Congress is killing what Ambedkar had stood for in the Constituent Assembly.
It has started to destroy whatever semblance of national unity we have had, by promulgating caste based census, which, as per Ambedkar quoted above, would, for all time to come, obstruct fraternity to grow in India.
Dogs of the same breed
Looking into our political scenarios, we see, how the Congress party with its dominating majority had ignored all objections to provisions of inequality in the Constitution in the Constituent Assembly and subsequently, by occupying power in free India under the same Constitution, had made it interminable by running the country under the civil and criminal laws of the British days wherein social and economic inequalities are treated in terms of providence. The dogs of the same breed – the Janata and the BJP – as and when they have occupied power after the spontaneous mass revolution of 1970s was hijacked by the anti-Congress fronts of self-seekers, have contributed their might to this mischief. Economy of inequality thus enforced by all the political parties that have occupied power in the centre so far, has transformed Indian democracy to a plutocracy.
Indian Democracy transformed into Plutocracy
As both the systems – democracy and plutocracy – are run by elected representatives, maximum numbers of Indians – illiterate and ignorant as they are – fail to understand the difference between the two and mistake plutocracy for democracy.
This is how, basking under misconceived sense of equality in voting right, which their democracy under Indian Constitution has granted them, they have foolishly contributed to strengthening of plutocracy, which, under the mask of election, is in reality the rule by the representatives of the rich for benefit of the rich.
The rich generates corruption
And the rich knows no limit in richness as avarice has no limit. Hence, enhancing richness is the only mission of the rich. And, to succeed in this mission, as competitions amongst the rich to reach the targets to become richer or the richest are ever increasing, the process generates corruption.
Unless this phenomenon is understood, how can corruption be fought against? Neither Hazare nor Ramdev has understood this phenomenon. They have never made demands for change of the Constitution to eliminate social and economic inequality. They have never campaigned against Economy of Inequality. Corruption and black-money are issues of Political Economy. Neither of them subscribe to any Political Economy.
Even as how fake and farcical is Hazare’s so-called anti-corruption call is focussed in these pages earlier, the way Ramdev has been going on giving Prime Minister Manmohan Singh certificates of non-corruption, makes his call against corruption a bigger farce. If this farce is not stopped, there is every possibility of derailment of the people’s spontaneous awakening against corruption and black-money, as had happened in the 1970s.
Let it not happen.
The last hope
Hence it is required of patriotic intelligentsia of India to wake up to the awakening of Indian masses against corruption and black-money. Till accumulation of private profit is banned by necessary change in the Constitution, accumulation of black money cannot be stopped. Accumulation of private profit cannot be stopped unless accumulation of private property is banned. Accumulation of private property cannot be banned as long as private ownership continues on means of production. So a thorough change in the Constitution is required. In normal course and under guidance of Hazares and Ramdevs it can never happen. The people are to bring forth this change by their own force.
The people of India shall have to force the governments – both central and provincial – to change the Constitution to eliminate Economy of Inequality by banning private property and private ownership on means of production. There are a few who are trying to do it. But they are being branded as law breakers and are being subjected to various methods of torture by the corrupt State, exactly as freedom fighters were being tortured by the exploitive British colonialists.
India’s leftwing politicians are the only ones who could have given the required leadership in this critical juncture. But compromise with the agents of imperialism and Industry in pursuit of power at various stages in post-independence India, has ruined their credibility so severely that, they are no more in a position to guide the present phase of mass awakening against corruption and black-money. Hence, from beyond the beaten track of politics, non-political patriotic intelligentsia is the last hope for guiding the rising mass awakening against corruption and black-money that Economy of Inequality has generated.
The country has gone astray by adopting Economy of Inequality. It can be saved, only if Economy of Equality is adopted.
And hence, the rising mass awakening against corruption and black-money needs be saved from the tricks of Hazares and Ramdevs, whom the corrupt government of Manmohan Singh has already favored with extra-constitutional importance to enable them to divert public attention from the root of corruption to the tip of corruption so that at the base, Economy of Inequality remains unaffected and plutocracy becomes stronger. The support of rabid rightist BJP and RSS to Ramdev in his acrobatics of fasting against corruption and black-money has made it unambiguously clear that, the fellows having vested interest in maintaining the status quo are trying to hijack the spontaneous mass awakening against corruption and black-money exactly as had happened in 1970s.
Indian patriotic intelligentsia should pay urgent attention to this phenomenon and wake up to defeat this design of plutocracy by bringing about a new revolution against Economy of Inequality. Otherwise, this time also the country shall miss the opportunity for emancipation.