FROM EQUALITY TO EMPOWERMENT THROUGH RESERVATION
Democracy is presumed to be a thinking machine, having the capability to keep improving itself in its entirety. Any incremental improvement year on year on principles, processes, attitudes, conventions and practice keep on adding up into a democracy which becomes one of its kind. You can call it out with eland, “Democracy Delivered.” How far or how close we are to it, need not be explained, we are experiencing it day in and day out in the Indian democracy. The constitution promised us equality and no discrimination of any kind whatsoever. The laws laid out precisely the same in detail, incorporating provisions and processes.
Does equality not lead to empowerment? If the answer is in the negative then it is big question mark on the quality of democracy we practice in this country and the governance emanating out of it. Was equality made the cornerstone of Indian constitution, for it hang in mid-air or to be brought into reality? What has been the concrete action across taken board consistently to make it a reality? No one can give the tangible efforts and the tangible results. Some deaf and dumb provisions and policies can be cited. What about caste, creed, race, religion, color and region have been used to level unimaginable that it has become the first skin of the nation. Our real skin is the second one.
When inequality, illiteracy and ill heath pays, why even try to end it? Instead make it the oxygen of politics, and keep practicing power unashamedly in the name of democracy. Free education could not transform this nation, because it was not meant to. The quality of education imparted did not throw success models on a mass scale. The empowerment game is as old as the Indian democracy itself and easiest to play. The original reservation of SC / ST seats started with a sunset clause of ten years but that sunset is never bound to happen. OBC entered the higher civil services post the Mandal Commission, with no sunset clause, it seems. The world has been transformed ten times over in the last 75 years, but our de facto democratic practice remains the same or has deteriorated.
The presumption is that the lot will never improve, but for the few people who avail of it and prosper. When there is no time period stipulated for the desired improvement and no game plan for it, how will it happen? If it does not happen, who is to be blamed; legislature or the executive. The track record on reservation is clear is to find permanent seats of power and privilege for a few for all times to come. After 27 years of its introduction, women’s reservation is seeing the light of the day in the form of a prospective legislation. Retrospective legislation does not happen but prospective legislation of this nature is also unheard of. Why women have not joined politics in big numbers, when they have joined in good numbers in a variety of other sectors without reservation? This is a question politicians have to answer. Fifteen years is the sunset period, with the implementation not in sight, where do we go from here.
POWER SHARING IS THE MOST DIFFICULT THING TO ACHIEVE. HAVE POLITICAL PARTIES EVEN EMPOWERED PEOPLE OF THEIR OWN ILK?
Have a nice evening.