Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Every Indian is proud of the fact that he / she belongs to the Republic of India. But every patriotic Indian is embarrassed over the fact that this Republic stands synonymous with contradiction and corruption. This is because; post-independence India has failed to honor the wishes of its founding fathers.
The father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, had expressly wished that in free India, the Governments must keep in mind the poorest person while drafting the Plans for the country. His followers reduced his wishes to mere wishful thinking. When Congressmen are busy in competition to become factotums of Sonia Gandhi, why should we think that they could at any point of time have given importance to Mahatma Gandhi? History cannot but say that the Congress Government that stepped into power immediately after independence would be remembered for two things: one, for failure to save Gandhiji from the assassin and two, for declaring the Communist Party of India illegal so that in Constitution making, the propertied class should face no problem in safe guarding its own interest.
Giving vent to his deep dissatisfaction over failure to protect poor peoples’ interest in the Constitution, in his concluding address to the Constituent Assembly, Dr. B.R.Ambedkar had noted, “On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradiction. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic rights, we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man and one vote, one value. In our social and economic rights we shall by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny one man, one value.” (Constituent Assembly Debates, Vol.XI, p.979)
This inequality, as analyzed by Shibanikinkar Chaube in ‘Constituent Assembly of India’ (PPH, 1973), was caused by “the pressure of the propertied class”.
When President Rajendra Prasad was to admit that “the defects are inherent in the situation in the country”(Constituent Assembly Debates, Vol.XI, p.993), Dr. Ambedkar had expressed serious doubts over longevity of the Republic. “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”, he had warned.
But Governments of India have never heeded to his warning as a result of which India has already become two Indias.
Political equality has kept the geographical India in tact, but economic inequality has brought majority of Indians look at a handful of Indians as of a different India, best captioned in apolitical popular slogans like “Tere India mahan, mere Bharat pareshan”, which roughly means, your India may be great, but my Bharat is in turmoil.
We must try to stop this rising feeling of two Indias. We must cast off hypocrisy to admit that Ambedkar’s warning not heeded to, the victims of inequality have started to “blow up the structure of political democracy” that the founding fathers of Indian Republic had “so laboriously built up”. Terminating Naxals by military guns or using State terror to silent the oppressed poor will not close up the gap between these two Indias. Elimination of economic inequality will do.
But how has economic inequality become so massive? A man who was working for a paltry sum of Rs.300/- only per month three decades prior to his death died as the owner of around Rs.70,000 Crores and the luminaries of this country beginning from the Prime Minister to newspaper editors, instead of telling the nation as to where from and how he earned this massive money, cried over his death like widows cry over the pyres of their husbands!
This syndrome has encouraged the mafia. And, in our country, where Laws are so rampant, no mafia could have grown without backing of the Law Enforcement Authorities (LEA).
This gives us a sad feeling of black sheep presence in our LEAs that includes also the Judiciary.
It is not for nothing that a demand for disclosure of properties of Judges is so constant.
Many a judges even of higher judiciary have exhibited such conduct that not only the Chief Justice or Collegiums of Judges have felt the need for action against them, but also the general public has started looking at Judges askance. Peoples have started believing the Cinema depictions that behind every high profile mafia, there must be a Judge!
In such circumstances, it is better for the republic if property-list of every public functionary including the members of Judiciary, whosoever draws salary from taxpayer’s money is disclosed.
To avoid embarrassment over disclosure on demand, the property list of every public functionary should be authentically posted in the Internet in the portals of the institution he or she works with.
The Chief Justice of India Hon’ble Justice K G Balakrishnan in a recent response has disapproved the necessity of property disclosure in respect of senor Judges.
It is really indecent to ask the Judges to disclose their properties list. It connotes to expressing no confidence on Judges. Ethically it is not proper.
Personally I may stand with the views of the CJI as to me, Judiciary being the last refuge of our peoples, Judges should never be subjected to peoples asking for their properties list.
But as India is crumbling into two Indias, as observed supra, it is imperative that to equip peoples for defeating plutocracy and for putting leash on corruption that has so far served plutocracy and savagely widened the gap between economically unequal peoples of the country and to save the motherland from the “contradiction” so correctly pointed out by Dr. Ambedkar, the Judges should post their properties list in the respective portals of the High Courts and the Supreme Court for anybody to see that without indulging in demands to know of their properties under the Right To Information Act.
It should be appropriate for the Judges to appreciate that notwithstanding all the respects, we the general public of India unambiguously pay them, they are not and cannot be the Lords over the Republic.