LETS TRY DICTATORSHIP

For me , the last general elections were a turning point in my outlook towards India and its democratic system. I believed that a single party attaining majority without the baggage of alliances could turn the policy paralysis dogma over its head and push India towards newer horizons . But I was wrong , the last government was no different from the coalition melting pots that were the staple for the previous three decades. This is quite an irony. If a stable government with a powerful leader at its helm cannot bring a change , then we must certainly review the system itself. Democracy as we are practicing is not working out . Hence let us look for an alternative , why not a Benevolent Dictatorship? .

The dictator who from now on be called the “Leader” should have absolute , unrestrained powers to bring about revolutionary changes . The restrains that have been put on our current system owing to the fear of tyranny have itself become a tyrant to such an extent that the best in the administration are finding it difficult to navigate the cobweb.So an absolutist framework is necessary to bring about changes to a diverse society like ours. It is a crime these days to romanticize the British Raj , But the authoritarian Raj did turn India on its head. Imagine the uproar William Bentick would have faced if he had tried to pass the Sati abolition through our current Parliament. With absolute powers the array of Governor Generals and Viceroys turned a feudal , medieval society into the one that we see today hence unrestrained power on benevolent hands could bring about wonders.

The first step the leader must take with these powers is to dismantle the Hindu caste system. Jati , Varna or whatever it is called is the biggest stumbling block to our progress. The priesthood must be disbanded and the Brahmin monopoly over the divine must be done away with. Though it may sound harsh but people must not be allowed to marry from their erstwhile castes. This is the opposite of what we have today where people go to great lengths to arrange marriages from their own communities. This must continue for a few generations where by varna/jati would become non existent and what we would have will be a Hindu community which would be egalitarian in its true sense. some might ask why this could not be extended to the whole of the country and the religious divisions be done away with?. Religion is a personal choice but a caste is not. One is born into a caste , even if a non Brahmin wants to be a devout Hindu he would always be inferior in the ritualistic hierarchy , hence once we dismantle the caste, the hierarchy would automatically implode.

The second step must include the empowerment of women and other sexual minorities.Indian women have been at the receiving end of patriarchy since the time of Manu.To make gender equality a reality women must stop putting all the blame on the society and must take matters into their own hands. The Dalit empowerment movement bore fruits only when the leadership of the struggle moved into the hands of the leaders like Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram who belonged to these castes and knew what it meant to be “broken”. It must also be taken into account that women themselves are the greatest proponents of Patriarchy especially in rural India , Hence a reform from within is what is the needed. On the societal front the leader must make discrimination with respect to boys and girls a penal offense , which must be monitored regularly at the community level. Marriage age of girls must be raised to at least 24 ( after post graduation and attainment of job) .Men must be made to take paternity leave equivalent to the one taken by women , so the unfair advantage the men have at the workplace owing to career break of their female colleagues would be dented. More over this would help women share the burden of child rearing with men.

The third and the most important step must be to suspend our current constitution and replace it with a shorter less complicated one. It must be unique , conceptually non ambiguous and most importantly – rigid. It would be better to have a short rigid constitution than the mess that we have right now. Secularism must be re interpreted in similar lines with the French constitution. State and Religion must be separate , more over minority religions must be treated at par with Hinduism. The cushioning given by the constitution have made these religions resistant to change , Hence a uniform civil code is of utmost importance. Fundamental rights must be absolute , exemptions , that are the hallmark of the present constitution is an insult to the whole concept , hence it must be done with.

Fourthly the leader must overhaul the judiciary. The power of the supreme court must be limited to those subjects that affect the federation as a whole. The new constitution must not have article 32 or any of those provisions that would give preeminence to the supreme court. The new system must have stronger High courts at the state level , which could parallel the current supreme court in its jurisdiction but at the state level. specialized courts must be the order of the day there by de clogging the complicated maze that we face today. Judges must be selected by the people , for a fixed tenure may be 30 years , their transfer and promotions should be decided by an independent body which would again be elected by the people from time to time.

Finally, the leader must dismantle the All India Services. It is a vestige of the Victorian past which has no meaning in today’s world. Along with this , states must be given more autonomy especially in the administrative space  . A more autonomous , self reliant provinces could actually bring about competitive federalism a reality . The local self governing institutions should be empowered and the administrative machinery disbanded at the panchayat level , making them more representative.

The leader would replace the central government as we have today, but there will be elected governments at the provincial level . These governments would be elected based on universal adult franchise and will be answerable to the Leader , who would have absolute powers over them , which is to be used sparingly .The Leader must abdicate his position after 20 years in office to be replaced by another leader , selected and trained by him , who is no way will be his kin.

So , instead of towing with a failed concept i.e Democracy lets think about a viable alternative this election season.

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INDIAN MIDDLE CLASS

I have always been a fan of the dooms day prophets , especially the ones who see the apocalypse in the immediate future. I had thought of it as a genuine reaction to my secular upbringing , as we never cared about a god who would return to push us off into ovens of fire. But the developments in the last few months have made me realize the real reason , its a communicable disease called “the eternal pessimism” which makes you an ardent member of the great Indian middle class.

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a middle class guy is supposed to be pessimistic it seems, especially with the political class . we take  pride in blaming the system , naming  it clumsy and worthless , without even trying to understand what the system stands for. we forget the fact that nothing called india existed 60 years back ,it was  our founding fathers who  painstakingly pieced together a democratic setup , which holds all of us with same dignity.   i have heard many praise the chinese model of governance echoed especially in print by our national newspaper , a one party state where bloggers like me would have been jailed and arnab goswami surely executed .  the real problem with the middle classes is that, taking the global que ,we want change, but don’t know what to change. at first we wanted tougher anti corruption laws , then wanted to put all the corrupt in jail and till a month ago we wanted stricter anti rape laws.  its seems to me that all we want is to shout and not resolve real issues. protests can only ignite discussions , following it up is perhaps more important.in a democratic setup like ours that would be long , as over a billion plus voices must be heard and taken into consideration. this desire to change the whole setup overnight is absurd and blaming the system for it is plain stupidity . iam proud of what we have achieved since 1947 , our system could have crumbled in 1962 , during emergency or in 1993 , but it did not. our system is resilient and constantly adapting to face new challenges , such a juggernaut cannot change overnight but evolve over time , i wish the middle class could understands that.

UNITED BY FEAR

just a day after the naxals killed 80 CRPF jawans we saw one of those instances of rare unity between the ruling party and the opposition . there were media “speculations ” about the home minister quitting his post, taking moral responsibility for the incident , to this  bjp came up with a statement that the H.M must not resign as it would be a moral victory for the perpetrators of this heinous violence . this was quiet a shocking statement from a party whose leaders  wanted shiv raj patel out right the next second after the Mumbai attacks. why did the opposition react that way?.lets find out the answer.

the various entities that form india is more diverse than the E.U which cannot even stand eye to eye in rescuing Greece . the common thread connecting these thousands of small entities  is the de facto religion of hinduism and many of its cultural extensions . we hindus  may call ourselves secular but beneath this thin membrane of pseudo secularism is the anxiety about our existence . the fear of going back to servitude and falling back to the nearly thousand years of  foreign rule . this fear of extermination which brought us together is still keeping us united.

in this respect india is more like isreal , but not as aggressive in defending its identity . since we are nearly a billion hindus vs a few million jews we could  be complacent , but the indian government still tries to defend its  identity . it knows how to keep this billion under control , so it utilizes tragedies like the above mentioned ones to keep this fear of unity alive . they not only make us fear the minorities(external forces) but make us assert our power on minorities like the many riots till gujrat to make us feel how much safe we are under them. through not punishing the guilty they give us assurance that we will never have to face any forced conversions or loose our gods under their guardianship. we all complain of hindu chauvinism but it is not bjp or rss  that is keeping it alive but the ruling class that always reminds us of our imminent peril whether in the hands of pakistan or the godless chinese.

the Mumbai attacks could be taken as the best example –  we had islamic terrorists bringing india’s business capital to a standstill (the best case scenario) this tragedy was taken up as an opportunity by the pseudo secular forces and their allies in the media  to derail the ongoing india – pakistan peace talks .  the normalisation of  relations would  mean enemy no 1 would be enemy no more . though pakistan is a major nuclear power ,the constant comparison and the fear in the indian psyche is just exaggerated . what can a country the size of uttar pradesh do, other than the proxy war it does , a direct confrontation means the complete annihilation of our smaller neighbor . we may also face casualties but will still survive . this is the worst case, will the international community allow such a confrontation in  the first place?. so the threat posed by pakistan is more on paper than in reality , whose existence is essential for our existence .

the naxalism is another of the “threats” facing us , the ruling class will never take action to suppress them nor will they stop making fables about their ability to overthrow the indian union .here the anxiety  is not about getting converted but loosing gods en mass . more over the socialist ideology is projected as the threat to the free economic system that shows 8% growth figures , the liberal media funded by these vested forces will never try to see the other 75% of india who suffers  . so we will have  arnab goswami questioning the patriotism  of  socialist thinkers  and never questioning  why naxalism is spreading through the jungles at this pace. it is a fact that naxals could never overthrow the indian union , but the capitalist lobby is taking extra mileage of this situation , they care less about the poor whether it be the widows of the dead soldiers or it be tribals caught in the cross fire.

these forces would take undue benefit of our fear if we never believe in the stability and longevity of this great conglomerate . so lets all try to make sense of reality than get guided by fear.

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