Bol Ke Lab Azaad Hain Tere

Rethinking Republic – Miles to Go for Reformation

Niceinsurer D’souza for BeyondHeadlines

Yes we are a Republic but No we are not free as people in India are filled with frustration, rage, violence and despair nowadays. Despite being an independent Republic for over six decades, its citizens who are guaranteed dignity, equalities and fundamental rights are still waiting for that and a few generations have already passed.

History: When India got independence on 15 August 1947 from the UK it was a dominion of the UK (भारतीय अधिराज्य, BhārataAdhirājya) and was not completely free as the UK monarch was the head of India.

In 1950 India got complete Independence as it became a sovereign democratic republic, which means it got complete independence from the UK. This happened as the constitution of India came into force, effectively India becoming a federal constitutional republic governed under a parliamentary system with an elected government.

January 26th, India celebrates constitutional New Year giving rights and equalities to its citizens, however:

·         Crimes against women are on the increase, women are killed for dowry, raped! et al;

·         Khap panchayats’ punishment includes death by murder.

·         In Tamil Nadu and many other places Dalits are forced to eat excreta.

·         In fact so called modern advanced India today still has Maoists as the poor, tribals, villagers are disempowered and oppressed.

·         Today police action is synonymous with the rich and elite being favored, even if totally wrong.

·         Today Indian governance is more a democracy of promises rather than results, as every party is only interested in winning elections at all costs. The fact is political parties propound liberalization, globalization, privatization et al; of interest to elites, the glitterati, the socialites, rich intelligentsia, captains of industry etc.; who make up less than half percent of our population, while about 75% are simply not interested as they want a proper roof over their head, jobs to keep the starvation away, support to SM Industry like China, proper health care, schools, cheap transportation, clean surroundings instead of the garbage everywhere and some other minimum needs.

·         Today many hardcore criminals and history sheeters have become MPs, MLAs, corporators and ministers, alas our rulers. Today parliamentary and assembly sessions many times with its fisticuffs, shoving and pushing resemble street scenes, use of abusive language is considered normal, tearing of bills and blocking work is to be proud of.

·         Scams are the order of the day and a quick route to make enormous amounts of money of the public exchequer at the cost of its citizens.

We can in fact boldly state that neither have we common people of India failed the constitution, nor has the constitution failed us, rather the looting, blood sucking politicians and public servants have hijacked the country by misusing the constitution for their own ends, while we have been mute spectators.

Let’s look at the preamble to the constitution and what it means to us:

‘We, the People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign, Socialist, Democratic Republic, and to secure to all its citizens, Justice, social, economic and political; Liberty, of thought, expression, belief and worship: Equality, of status and opportunity; and to promote among them all, Fraternity, assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation’.

Note: If we speak truly and honestly we have not achieved even a fifth mentioned in the preamble, with the country in chaos with politicians single minded devotion to looting the country openly.

So majority of people are living from hope to hope and cannot truly say that we are free, nor a federal republic as states and central government have let us down by not implementing our rights.

The only gleam of hope is the new Aam Aadmi Party which has a few days ago come to power in Delhi as it claims to be of the people and for the people; and time will tell if they will last and influence other parts of this country despite the desperate shenanigans of corrupt politicians to defame and pull them down.

Let’s take a quick look at the fundamental rights promised to us and hope each year on Republic Day we may get them sometime in the future.

The Indian Republic’s seven fundamental rights recognized by the constitution briefly are:

·         Right to equality, including equality before law etc.

·         Right to freedom which includes speech and expression etc. This also includes right to life and liberty which cannot be suspended even on grave occasions of national security.

·         Right against exploitation, prohibiting all forms of forced labor, child labor and traffic in human beings.

·         Right to freedom of religion etc.

·         Cultural and Educational rights for section of citizens to preserve their culture, language or script etc.

·         Right to constitutional remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.

·         Right to elementary education.

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