The main challenge after the seven decades is still to make constitution accessible for every last citizen of India, to live social and political democracy with dignity by exercising the rights constitution has provided them.
By Anwarul Hoda,
“On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics, we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics, we will be recognizing the principle of one man, one vote, and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which is Assembly has to laboriously built up.” ~ B R Ambedkar
India celebrating the 69th Republic Day. Yes, the day when constitution came into force after a long battle. However, the 7 decades of the constitution itself have been through various struggles. Other than 2 years of emergency enforced by Indira Gandhi led government, the Indian constitution has passed through various threats and challenges created by none other but so-called the ‘Pillars of Democracy’.
It took 2 years 11 months and 17 days to finalize the draft of ‘The Constitution of India 1950’ — years, months and days of many efforts, of accommodation and compromise, and untiring devotion. ~ Fali S Nariman
The constitution was designed to give every citizen equal political and social rights and opportunities which never existed earlier in this land. In throughout journey of 7 decades the constitution shield the Indian democracy and helped it in nurturing despite all the odds.
The journey has been never smooth and the ever-prevalent oppressive caste structure has been always a big hurdle. In fact, the dominating caste structure swiftly tried to take over the constitution and it does significantly over the period of time. Over-representation of upper caste in almost all the institutions made constitution less functional for the majority of Indians who are happened to be from SC, ST, OBC and religious minority communities.
These groups are pushed away from availing opportunities or to represent themselves in either of democratic institutions. However, these oppressed communities only manage over-representation in the prisons only. The fact itself narrates whole of the miserable story.
Parliament, Judiciary, Bureaucracy, and Media are considered as the four basic pillars of the democracy. The interesting fact is that when it comes to India all the pillars are functioning under the shadow of the caste system. The upper caste population has significantly taken over the positions which left hardly any space for other communities to represent themselves.
In the definition, it is said that the apex court of India is the last resort for any aggrieved person to seek justice in the country. But unfortunately, the Indian judicial system which is supposed to ensure justice in the country has a history of declaring casteist verdicts. Perhaps the reason is the judicial system poorly lacks diversity and is occupied by the same kind of upper caste elite population.
The headline of the report published in Indian Express says that, for last six years, no Scheduled Caste judge sent to the Supreme Court. The report, published in 2016 also mentions that for the next 8 years, none CJI can be from the SC, ST or religious minority group until and unless some miracle happens. The representation of OBC is equally dismal and unacceptably low. According to Daily Mirror, only 4 percent of judges belong to OBC while they form 41 percent of the national population. The same study mentions, 96 percent out of 8676 judges are from the upper caste of which 90 percent judges are Brahmins.
Another Ambedkarite portal Velivada writes, “The non-representative, exclusionary, un-diversified social composition of the Supreme Court and High Court Judges is the root cause for these fault-lines in the Indian Judiciary.” Extending to it, portal writes “Can Dalits-Muslims expect justice from such Brahmin courts? Is there any justice for Dalits and minority communities in Brahmin India? In courts around 80% judges are Brahmin, can we expect justice? Dalits die waiting years and years for justice, which is just a word for Dalits and minority communities in India.”
Can Dalits-Muslims expect justice from such Brahmin courts? Is there any justice for Dalits and minority communities in Brahmin India? In courts around 80% judges are Brahmin, can we expect justice? Dalits die waiting years and years for justice, which is just a word for Dalits and minority communities in India.
The parliament, Media or the Bureaucracy is no different to whom we call the most trustable institution of India. To investigate the caste composition in media CSDS did a unique survey.
According to the survey conducted across the newsrooms of top newspapers and television news networks, it was found that it’s the upper caste that makes the key editorial decisions for the rest of the country. The survey reveals that, No Dalit or Adivasi among top 300 journalists. The Hindu upper caste men hold 71 percent of top jobs Muslims account for only three percent of key decision-makers”
It means there is not a single SC or ST person taking a call on editorial policies in country’s news arena. – Dilip Mandal
Another study conducted by Yogendra Yadav and few other journalists jointly cites that, ”The proportion of the OBCs is abysmally low among the key decision-makers in the national media. They are only four percent compared to their population of around 43 percent in the country.”
The parliament is already well known for the mischiefs it conducts. The two major political parties of India have occasionally interpreted the constitution for political purpose and never shied from pushing the majority of India away from exercising the constitution. What Ambedkar warned 7 decades ago is now exactly the majority of India is witnessing.
I feel, however good a constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are called to work it, happen to be a bad lot. However bad a Constitution may be, it may turn out to be good if those who are called to work it, happen to be a good lot. The working of a Constitution does not depend wholly upon the nature of the Constitution. The Constitution can provide only the organs of the State such as the Legislature, the Executive, and The Judiciary. ~ Ambedkar
The main challenge after the seven decades is still to make constitution accessible for every last citizen of India, to live social and political democracy with dignity by exercising the rights constitution has provided them. There is a need to push for Bahujan representation of across the ‘pillars of democracy’. And this can be done through political and social alignment only. The Bahujan form of politics must sort out its differences and come up with inclusive ideas to expand it throughout the nation to thrive the dreams of Dr. Ambedkar.
Note: Dalit word is nonconstitutional and not subscribed by the channel but is in popular use in academia politics and media to signify the scheduled castes.
(Source: National India News)