If this will continue, where is India going?
On the midnight of 15 Aug 1947, a new country was born. The country entailing the struggles of 90 years, was finally free. Independence at the cost of partition. A celebration which was backed by the burning of cities, where the joy of liberalism and the grief of partition were simultaneous. Where its natives staged the unity of the nation, and where the state shredded its blood not against the conqueror but of those who shared the same piece of land.
The vision of an independent India in the eyes of Gandhi was never upon partition. The same night when the celebration of independence was in Delhi, he walked to Calcutta (now Kolkata) towards the rioting states. The partition that questioned our unity. This independence allowed us to present the nation as a unified country, reflecting that whatever happened during the infant age of the nation, has nothing to do with the soul of the nation. Are we really on that tract of unification or it is merely a word of the book?
The construction of the Constitution was to give assurance to its citizens that they are under the ‘roof of law’. This nation, as mentioned, is diverse in its existence. India as a Nation is a tree, a large tree having diversity as its branches, which can only exist if they are attached to the tree. The trunk represents the Constitution, and the roots are the Country itself. Therefore, flaws in any of these will not allow survival. This diversity is a blessing, as the recognition of India is by its diversity. On 26 Nov 1949, the Constitution was completed and came into action on 26 Jan 1950. A day when the nation got its own set of rules on which the future will be dependent. This constitution gave some rights to every citizen, irrespective of any difference, known as the Fundamental Rights. The Constitution’s framing was around its Preamble, where justice was the first element given to its people through the constitution.
JUSTICE social, economic, and political aspect.
LIBERTY of thoughts, expression, belief, faith and worship.
EQUALITY of status and opportunity and to promote among them all.
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the Nation.
But today are we close to it? Are we moving forward taking all these essences with us? If not, where are we going then? The Justice in front of our Constitution, which should never be made, has been disguised into injustice, a common factor nowadays. The case of Pahlo Khan is no way different from injustice. In April 2017, Pahlo Khan a 55 years old Muslim man was thrashed by the cow vigilantes in Alwar (a city in Rajasthan). The Alwar Court freed them, finding no accuse against all six of them. It simply stated that the police were unable to find sufficient proofs against them. Botching of Rajasthan police made the six accused to walk free out of court. How such an open and shut case failed to prove itself in court, is a big question in front of law and order. There were tons of loopholes throughout the investigation. Some of them are:
It was not clear who shot the video. The pictures submitted as evidence were not enough to prove them as culprits. The doctor did not certify the state of the victim before recording the statement. These automatically suggest that the investigation was to be made again; instead of acquitting the accused. The case of Babri Masjid demolition is another open case of injustice. Here also, the court tried to justify that the lawbreakers managed to prove their possession before the law. The court accepted that the mosque was standing in its place from 1528 to 1857 and before demolition; it was there in Ayodhya for 470 years. The court said that Muslims were not able to claim continuous possession on the land. In addition, the evidence of European traveler was taken into consideration and not of an Indian writer. Even when the Supreme Court acknowledged that this was egregious violence of the law, the lawbreakers were still outside.
What about the punishment for those culprits? Was it not the same as the Taliban did to Buddha status in Afghanistan? The practice of injustice will inevitably weaken democracy and giving space to more illegal activities. The democratic institutions are losing their independence, thus preparing a room for injustice. The case of CBI, a case which was highlighted as CBI vs CBI in mainstream media, in which the government in the year October 2017 was about to promote Rakesh Asthana as a CBI Special Director. Then CBI Director Alok Verma, objected to this promotion as he was under the allegation of a corruption case in Gujarat. (Sterling-Biotech Corruption Case). The case went through CVC (Central Vigilance Commissioner) to the Supreme Court. However, ultimately he was promoted to the Special Director in November 2017. Even when the investigation was not complete, the accused was freed entirely from the allegations and eventually promoted. The Supreme Court stated the CBI was a “caged parrot” in the year 2013 (Reuters).
India is known for being the largest democracy in the world. Nevertheless, are we practicing it? Democracy is a system of government in which the government is ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’. The Election Commission weakens the 'by the people' phrase of democracy, as the transparency of election is not maintained. The Commission restricted some candidates but freed other higher-ranked candidates in the election of 2019. The large source of funding for elections is obscure. In addition, democracy is shattered in a state that joins India, relying on its democratic policies. The right to vote was being completely rejected, and in other words, it was being diluted.
In Kashmir, we are still unable to conduct a healthy and successful election. The UN stated this whole process would include certain steps: “in the first step, Pakistan was asked to withdraw all its nationals that entered Kashmir for the sake of fighting. In the second step, India was asked to progressively reduce its force to the minimum level required for law and order. In the third step, India was asked to appoint a plebiscite administrator nominated by the United Nations who would conduct a free and impartial plebiscite.”
Still, we have not resolved this issue; instead, the problem is worsened as the Article 370, which was the bridge to connect the state into India is dis-operationalized. The people are house-arrested. Even taking it worst, communication is also locked down. The human rights violation in Jammu and Kashmir is another unfortunate reality for years. The governments come and go but still, the country lacks the basic amenities to be fulfilled to survive. Presently, the continuous interruption in transportation in Kashmir is leading to economic instability. Is this what we want?
‘For the people’ phrase of democracy shows that a democratic nation works for the people irrespective of caste, creed or race. however, it is not anyway hidden that the largest minority group in India, Muslims, are targeted and questioned on their loyalty towards the nation and made destitute to many essential things. Our country has seen a lot of Muslim patriots (Maulana Abul Kalam Aazad, Inqilab Zindabad Sogan given by Maulana Hasrat Mohani, Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah Faizabad: A Rebellion of 1857, Awadh and Captured Lucknow, Yusuf Meherally: Gave term Quit India Movement, Simon Go Back.) in the past also presently (APJ Abdul Kalam, Yusuf Hamid: at Cipla, Azim Premji) several Muslims are giving and have given their best to represent the country. Still, the negativity against them is being ignited more and more, and they are treated as outsiders in India on several occasions.
Is this the democracy where a specific community of India is continuously pressurized to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and even killed in the name of religion? The cases of mob lynching against the Muslims and the Scheduled Castes. The case of Tabrez Ansari, Dadri case of Ragbar Khan (Haryana border), Aklaq case, women in Assam lynched and killed in Surat suspected to be child-lifter, etc. Who gives the right and authority to take the law in their hands? The act of lynching, whatsoever the reason be, on any group is staining the image of the nation both at the national and international levels.
The last phrase that gives the right to question the government ‘of the people’ is now made cripple as the power of RTI (Right to Information Act) is diluted as we have given independence in the hands of the Government. The Government is not only dissolving the independence of the institutions but also snatching away the right to question as the Right to Information Act is being diluted. The amendments that are made to the RTI Act are decreasing the strength of the Act. There is an Information Commission appointed to watch the working during an RTI processing. To keep the working independent, the tenure (5 years) is fixed by Article 13 stating that the Central Government will prescribe their salary, allowance and tenure. In addition, the Amendment in Article 16 says that the Central Government will decide the salary, allowance and tenure of the Information Commission in states too. This will further decrease the independence of the Commission.
This way, a very empowering right of the citizens is decreased to the ground and succumbing will lose its strength. The freedom of institutions is being reduced to the slavery of government. The Constitution behind which we all stand is the protector of our rights and the identity. What will happen if this protector is being attacked? We, as individuals, are doing nothing to preserve the purity of the Constitution, the way it is being manipulated against its citizens. The way the unlawful, unrightfully and unjust amendments are hampering the working of it. The oneness of the country that lies in the diversity of our country is being targeted to enact Uniform Civil Code. The personal practices of any religion will be dissolved. Is this not the violation of the right to independence to choose according to one’s own will? The authority is being given to least worthy people in the government, and most ironic is to provide important portfolios in the Government to such candidates (Malegaon Blast, Accused Pragya Thakur). If this will continue, where will India go?
Nothing will work if a nation lacks financial stability, and now GDP is decreasing like never before. The GDP is $2.936 trillion and GDP growth is 5%, which was 8.2% in 2016 and dropped every next year. All that is right, essential and urgent is neglected that will lead towards chaos. The decisions of choosing what is wise and purposive are the need of the hour. Whatever this government may do, the Constitution is invincible.