Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
When India got her freedom, Gandhiji was on fasting, which was his unique method for protest against any discernible deviation from ideals.
In refusing to celebrate the day by giving the people a message to that effect, he had told an officer of Information and broadcasting department who had come to him for the message, that he had “run dry”.
January 26 being the day on which we had, despite bondage, declared our independence, how had he observed the first 26th of January that had come after our freedom on August 15, 1947? I will quote relevant portion of his prayer-address on this day from ‘MAHATMA’.
“This day, 26 January, is our independence day. This observance was quite appropriate when we were fighting for independence we had not seen nor handled. Now! We have handled it and we seem to be disillusioned. At least I am, even if you are not” (Volume 8, p.279).
So, our leaders “handled” our freedom in such a style that the principal architect of our independence, the father of our nation, Gandhiji, was “disillusioned”.
How had January 26, the day we now celebrate as our Republic Day, come?
It had come as a day of “contradiction” in the words of the father of the Republic, Dr. Ambedkar (CAD, Vol.XI,p.979).
“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 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”, he had confessed.
The Government, after our freedom, had denied the working class its legitimate role in constitution making by banning the Communist Party of India. This had helped the class of property proprietors to dominate in the Constituent Assembly. Therefore the equality for which our martyrs had sacrificed their lives, Gandhiji had his dreams, and the people had forced the British to quit the country, had no existence in the concept of the Constitution. Ambedkar, however, was hopeful that the first Parliament that the people were to elect, would correct the wrong done by the Assembly and remove the contradiction immediately.
“We must remove the 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 has told. (Ibid)
Instead of removing the contradiction, the compradors in power have transformed Indian democracy to plutocracy.
If we love our Republic, we shall have to remove the compradors from power and to force the Government to promulgate social ownership over means of production and entire wealth of the nation. Otherwise, as Ambedkar had predicted, there shall be no Republic in future.