his past month we have been inundated with news of flooding, agitation about a community’s demand to get itself a backward status so that it can get a reservation, the no-confidence motion against the government by the combined opposition – where the no-confidence motion was moved about the illegally dividing the state and then not dividing the assets equitably, but as each member rose to point out their grievances, we the people got completely confused as each one was getting up to talk about their own angst against the government and not the moot point. The main no-confidence motion was against the Government of India in which two different parties were being blamed. And we the people were left wondering why did we send these folks to the Parliament as our representatives if they cannot even carry the motion they have moved to its logical culmination? They were not able to carry it to the logical culmination not because they did not have the numbers but because they did not know how to support a point they had moved. All these incidents have made one think about democracy being a rule of the people, by the people and for the people. The Parliament has become a place where one-upmanship is the rule and not a place to discuss what is good for the nation, each party is busy trying to say you did not do this, but we did it before you, at that time you did not support, now we will not support. Have we sent little children to the Parliament as our representatives!
While this is happening in the name of Governance, the Rain God is creating havoc in the entire Nation, in a single week, we have all the metros flooding with the exception of Chennai, and hilly region is having landslide and mudslides are in spate dessert areas are getting flooded too. And the government is caught on the wrong foot. The people, who are the true rulers in a democracy, are suffering.
Democracy for the past 70 years has shown us that a democracy is not the rule of the majority. It is the rule of the minority. The safeguards put into the Constitution such that the majority does not abuse the minority as a tool in the hands of the politicians and the mob. We have the laws which are not implemented because the mob has control. Lifting of children and selling them is against the law, but has that stopped the traffickers, cow slaughter has been a law almost since independence but it followed more in the exception than the rule, rape too was against the law but was it implemented no they were not because implementation always depended on who did it and to whom. This was the cause of the great Maratha rally against the Atrocities Act, as perverts and criminals are found in every community we cannot make a particular community safe or unsafe through legislation which we have done through the Atrocities Act.
This showed us the failure of democracy and that the government was not with the people as it was with a minority of people. And this brought the spate of a rally for reservation across the country in form of Patels, Jats, Marathas asking for reservation in education and jobs. What is happening in the country? Is this what the founding fathers of young India wanted? Reservation was supposed to be the tool of bringing the backward and marginalised in line with the rest of the country. Babasaheb Ambedkar himself, a representative of the marginalised community, wanted the reservation only for 10 years as he himself with a little hand-holding by society and his own hard work had risen to the level that he attained with any reservation and without lowering of the merit marks as we see nowadays. He was not the only one from that community, we had many such persons. Babu Jagjivan Ram comes to mind. He too got himself an education without the pass level being reduced as it is being done now. As we can see, even today when we see a child who has got 97 per cent in Maharashtra in SSC exams — he will get admission in the open category but needs help with fees and books as his mother is uneducated and below the poverty line and he is from a single parent family.
It is cases like this which make the Patels, Jats, and Marathas demand backward status and reservation. Are we an upward moving society or a downward moving society? Democracy for the last 70 years has given us sloganeering and rule of the mob. First, we had the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, then in the 90s, we had the OBC added to the list of reservation and now the Patels, Jats, Marathas want to be included. Is Reservation the only magic answer? ‘Ekalavyas’ are slowly being created in the community to which the Kurus and Drona belonged! Is this what we want! Is this the Meaning of ‘Antyodaya’? When we the people understand that we are being used by a handful of people and made to fight each other, kill each other, destroy our resources. And find it a feeling of pride that we have achieved something if we are included in the so-called backward list entitled for reservation!! We do not want to be the true inheritors of Babasaheb and Babuji, we want to be beneficiaries of the dole!! And want to keep on increasing the number of people who are in the victim status in my nation India. Is this what a Democratic state means? And if so, do we want it?
– Lalita Godbole
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