India's ruling class works for its class interests just like East India Company
After a horrific colonial subjugation for a long period of about two centuries, we, the people of India are free now for more than seven decades. It was a natural and logical expectation that after independence our people, i.e., the people of our country and the country herself will overcome all or at least the majority of the problems which were deliberately created by the colonial rulers in order to meet their vested exploitative interest, or of the problems which were solvable but lacking was in the right mentality of the colonial rulers. Some of such burning problems from which our country was suffering were – non-establishment and non-implementation of democratic method of ruling of the country or functioning of the autocratic dictatorial method of ruling, adopting only such diplomatic strategies which were in the interest of the rulers but detrimental to the interest of the people of India, adopting such economic policies which were beneficial to the economic and other interest of the ruling (British) class only although dangerously harmful to India and the Indians, bothering only about the development of their own class (British) at the cost of the people of India, and other many problems. Now, after “independence” we are living under the rule of different rulers, under the glazy attractive banner of “democracy”, i.e., under the rule by ourselves. Solutions to these problems or substantial improvement of our conditions in these respects were logically expected. Let’s see in the following analysis to what extent these expectations are met, to what extent these problems are solved, to what extent the people of India’s living conditions has been improved or deteriorated?
In the political field, as per our constitution, democracy is the only permissible mode of politics in our country. Democracy means representation. But the ruling class, emerged through the transfer of power from their British colonial counterpart in 1947 have consciously and continuously manipulated our democratic politics to such an extent that democracy itself is now just in its skeleton without the soul. Our functional democracy has lost its soul, i.e., the representation. Representation, the essence of democracy was to ensure participation of the weak without futile competition with the strong sections of the society in the decision making process. In Indian population composition – the Hindus, being the numerical majority community, is the stronger and the Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, etc. are the weaker, being numerical minorities. On the other hand, females although having almost equal numerical strength – are made in reality gender based weaker community here. Our present brand of manipulated democracy has almost successfully blocked the representation of any such weaker / minority community in the decision making process i.e., in legislation and others. In parliament (17th) only 27 are Muslim M.P.s out of total 543, representing only 4.97% of the community; in Rajya Sabha only 16 M.P.s out of 245 now shows just 6.53% representation for the second largest community (Muslims) with about 15% population! Similar is the situation for the women also! In parliament, they represent only 14% (78 women M.P.s out of total 543) and in Rajya Sabha, it is as low as 10,20% (only 25 women M.P.s out of total 245)! Thus, our democracy is made non-representative! Albeit in the name of “democracy” itself! So, it is not democracy, in the true sense.
So, our legislature is non-democratic. It is made majoritarian democracy – which is not democracy at all; it is a cleverly designed ruling method to rule /dictate by materializing “Might is Right” jungle rule. By majority, the largest community is the mightiest in our majoritarian democracy. Thus, imposition of majoritarian democracy means compulsory imposition of unquestioned obedience by the weak to the strong majority community. This is not far from monarch or dictatorial system of ruling. Unfortunately, this is the process of ruling India since “independence”.
A new and dangerous thought process is being formed in the mental pattern of the people that whosoever speaks against any policy or action of the Govt., he /she will immediately be branded as Deshdrohi (a traitor of the country)! This is in head-on contradiction with our constitution and the essence of democracy, i.e., the right to opinion, free thought and expression. The dictatorial form of governance even tries to dictate every thought and action of the citizens in the rulers’ favoured direction in order to meet their own class-interest. That is the reason that even one’s good /humanitarian work to the society may not be liked by the ruler(s) and the person’s fate may be like that of many writers, social activists, philanthropic workers, politicians etc. whose lives are either finished or made hell in recent times! On the contrary, many anti-socials, criminals, rapists, country’s traitors etc. whose thoughts and actions although were very dangerous to the country and her people but were conducive to the interest of the ruler(s) - were glorified and made to get hero’s felicitation!
People’s religion, which has nothing to do with our constitutional “Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic” form of governance – has purposefully been brought in the fore-front in order to divert people’s attention from non-performing and exploitative rule and subdue their anger and protest under the strong narcotic dose of religion. Karl Marx has been proved right in Indian political scenario now, who said that religion was opium to make people forget about their real problem and remain hypnotized under the duress of religion-narcotics. The dark cloud of religious hypnotism has covered the fresh sunshine of democracy in the political atmosphere of our country – democracy is suffocating! All are purposefully manipulated just to meet the ruler’s interest at the cost of the people’s, hence the country’s interest!
Even our diplomacy i.e., our foreign relations are being guided not by the interest of the country or her people but by the interest of the ruler(s) class! As a result, our historically long good relation with all our neighbours (except Pakistan) is poised in recent times! This happened due to abruptly shifting from our persistently followed non-aligned foreign policy of compassion and inclusion. The situation is so worse that even small country, like Nepal dears to encroach our land crossing the international border, although we are a big country with nuclear powerful! Too much hugging, dinning and shining (flashing) with America, the god of capitalist colonialism in today’s world is also forcing our neighbours feeling insecure to some extent. In short, country’s foreign policy is being designed to win elections only.
Our economy is the worst sufferer now! GDP growth rate has fallen in un-precedent way from a good 7.4% in 2014 to moderate 6.1% in 2018, poor 4.2% in 2019, worse 3.1% in 2020 (January) and an unbelievable big negative (- 23.9%) now!. A continuously declining GDP graph of our country! In spite of RBI’s prediction, the ruler did nothing to check this economic devastation! Inflation Rate is continuously increasing from 2.49% in 2017, to 4.86% in 2018, 7.59% in 2020 (January)! Value of our currency is decreasing in international market in record extent! In 2014, our 63.67 Indian rupees could purchase one American dollar, but now we are to spend 75.54 Indian rupees to buy the same, one American dollar! A big 18.64% devaluation to our currency is done in just six years!
Public money is looted from the banks, whereas the banks were the most secured place to keep money in! According to RBI report, an unimaginable 53,334 cases of bank fraud we have in just last 11 years! Per year at the rate of five cases of loot of our hard earned money1 They looted 2.05 lakh crore, which is unprecedented and crippling!
Disparity in income has occurred abruptly! According to Oxfam, an international Survey Agency, 73% of our (India’s) wealth is captured by just one percent of its people! This was two year’s old report (2018). Now the picture is much gloomy! According to another report, the richest just 10 individuals of our country are the owners of country’s three-fourth of wealth! Last year, one businessman of our country earned on an average Rs.300 crore per day (NDTV Report)! Whereas, about 70% Indians’ daily average income is less than Rs.145 (World Bank Report)!
Almost every public property is either already sold or is being sold! Rail, Airways, Bank, Defense sector, Heritage sites (e.g., Lal Qila), even the natural resources – minerals, jungles etc. are sold to the private bodies! Now privatization has established its control even in our legislatures! They invest huge quantum of money in electing legislators and ministers of their choice! Our democracy is suffocating in ICU under the venomous pollution in the vote politics atmosphere created due to the uncontrolled strong influence of black money.
The above situation reflects that our country is not in a balanced sustainable equilibrium – in any aspect. Ours is democratic republic. Thus, the country belongs not to the rulers but to the people; true power to rule lies with the people. So, in such crucial deciding time, the people has to take the responsibility to guide the country in proper direction.
—The author is Principal, Saheed Nurul Islam Mahavidyalaya, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal.