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There’s Need to Save the Republic and the Constitution

Raj Valmiki |
Even though we have entered the 75th year of the Republic, it is important to think hard why the Republic is in the condition that it is in today, even after so many years.
constitution of India

It feels good that our country, governed by the Constitution, has entered its 75th year. But has the country become what it should be by following the Constitution honestly? Have we yet achieved what is written in the Preamble of the Constitution? Is it a socialist, secular democratic republic? Have the citizens of the country received social, economic and political justice yet?

Socialism is broadly a political and economic system in which ownership of property and the means of production are shared. Usually controlled by the State or government. Socialism is based on the idea that common or public ownership of resources and means of production leads to an equal society.

But the reality is that the capitalist system dominates here. A large part of the country's capital and resources is in the hands of the country's capitalist class, and most of the people are forced to live a life of poverty. How can a State with such unequal distribution of resources be called socialist?

Secularism is being openly flouted. It seems that the country has no religion other than Hinduism. The manner in which Ram Lalla's consecration ceremony was held recently in Ayodhya is proof of this. Everyone knows that this Ram Temple was built by demolishing the Babri Masjid. The religious sentiments of Hindus were appeased by hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims. How can this be called a secular country?

In democracy, all citizens get equal rights. There is no discrimination against them on the basis of caste, religion, gender, language, region etc. But the reality is opposite. It seems that democracy has turned into a theocracy. In the name of religion, Hindutva forces have been spreading hatred against Muslims, Christians etc., leading to communal violence.

Those who believe in the Hindu religion as Sanatan (eternal), do not see any harm in this religion, but they forget that the practice of Sati, the practice of Devdasi, purification, untouchability, casteism and superstition were the gifts of this very religion. With the efforts of social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and the British rulers, the practice of Sati (widow being burnt on husband’s pyre) was abolished, but other evils are still prevalent. The belief that there is life in a stone statue is a superstition. But if rationalists say anything, they are termed “anti-Hindu” and even “anti-national.”

Caste is a basic unit of Hindu society. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said he did not accept the existence of caste. He said there were only four castes – poor, youth, women and farmers.

But, why then do they (ruling party) turn a blind eye to atrocities committed on dalits in the name of caste?

They do not want to face the truth that in North India, dalit grooms are not allowed to ride a mare on the occasion of marriage. The so-called upper caste people also object to dalits keeping a moustache. Dalits are not allowed to draw water from the well meant for ‘upper castes’. There have been instances of so-called upper caste school children refusing to eat food prepared by a dalit cook.

Dalits are discriminated against in educational institutions. God's prasad (sacred offering) is not bought with the money of dalits because they believe it becomes impure. Dalits are prohibited from entering several temples.

Atrocities against them are increasing. There is an instance of a dalit tied to a pillar and beaten because he ate the offerings of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.The statistics of sexual harassment and gang rape of dalit women are shocking. What does it speak of a society when someone urinates on the face of a dalit youth over a minor mistake?

Even today, dalit women are forced to clean human excreta from dry latrines and dalit men are forced to clean gutters, sewers and septic tanks. These dirty professions have been imposed on them by birth in the name of caste by the Hindu ‘varna’ system.

Why such untouchability, discrimination, injustice, atrocities, violence and inequality in a democratic society?

Obviously, we have achieved political democracy but social democracy and economic democracy have not been established even after 75 years.

There is a lack of political will to implement the Constitution.

When untouchability and bonded labour had been abolished from the society by the Constitution that provided equal opportunity to all citizens. Then why are people of all castes and religions not treated equally? Why are they hated? Why are they subjected to injustice and atrocities?

Why doesn't the government make strict laws against those who spread hatred and commit injustice and atrocities? And even if it makes laws, why doesn't it follow them strictly?

If the government decides that hatred and atrocities against any citizen of the country in the name of his sect or caste will not be tolerated and immediate and strict action will be taken against those who spread hatred and atrocities, then such atrocities will be definitely reduce. But the government continues to play vote bank politics and does not take strict action against such atrocities.

In such a situation, it is necessary for the conscious public to organise mass movements and stand firm on their demands until the government puts oppressors and criminals behind bars.

Poverty, illiteracy and lack of awareness are the main reason behind such oppression.

In such a situation, it becomes necessary that the government should first reduce economic inequality to remove poverty and run poverty alleviation campaigns. It should distribute wealth in such a way that the poor get their share of resources and get employment so that they are not economically dependent on the powerful and the rich.

Marginalised people should become self-reliant. Educate yourself and your next generations. Stay away from superstitions. Awaken a scientific consciousness within yourself and your community. The day the marginalised sections are economically self-reliant, educated, aware and equipped with scientific consciousness, it will be difficult for the powerful and rich people of the so-called upper castes to exploit them.

Only then will both democracy and the Constitution be protected in the country. Only then, we can be truly proud of our Republic and our Constitution.

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