Saturday, January 22, 2011

On the Eve of the 60th Republic Day: The State of the Republic?

On the Eve of 60th Republic Day

New Socialist Initiative invites you to a Discussion on

State of the Republic?


Prof. Achin Vanaik
Dept. of Political Science, Delhi University

Prof. Ujjwal Singh
Dept. of Political Science, Delhi University

Subhash Gatade
Columnist and Activist

Venue: Activity Center, Above Spic Macay Canteen, Arts Fac., DU

Time and date: 2 pm Onwards, 25th January, 2011

Abstract: An MLA rapes a minor dalit girl in Banda. When she goes to file a case with the police they arrest her on false charges of theft. CBI asks for arrest warrants against six judges who are absconding after stealing money from the provident fund of class IV employees. Our Prime Minister expresses helplessness in providing statutory minimum wages to rural workers under MNERGA, while changes in income tax rates have gifted lakhs of crores to the super rich. 
The rich in India of course make money both legally and illegally. As Radia tapes show, ministries, policies, media, justice, every facet of our republic is up for sale. Institutions of our republic regularly harass, humiliate and devour its citizens, particularly so if they happen to be poor, dalit, or adivasi, or are from Kashmir, Nagaland or Manipur. Mass murders of Sikhs in 1984, and of Muslims in 2002 Gujarat have returned handsome majorities of votes to their perpetrators. While presenting the Constitution, Ambedkar had warned of the threat to Indian democracy from a feudal, casteist and economically unequal society. Has Ambedkar’s project suffered an irreversible defeat? Can our republic mature into a wholesome democracy? Or, are its gifts to is citizens - right to a representative government, to public opinion, and to protest - merely parts of the Matrix of an immoral, violent and unequal society? We can elect fairly and freely, but our representatives turn out to be mostly corrupt and criminal. We can cry hoarse sloganeering at a Jantar Mantar, but guys like Binayak Sen are regularly sent to jails on framed up charges. Our economy can grow at 9 percent, but our farmers still commit suicide. Is our republic moribund, and do we need to envision and fight for another republic?           


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