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Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Sunday, 13 January 2013

GROWING INFLUENCES OF RELIGION, CASTE , CREED, RELIGION,, REGIONALISM IN INDIA; DANGERS FOR DEMOCRACY !

Some say India is nascent democracy! But ruling elites and almost all political classes are subverting the democracy and the constitutional provisions under the 'garb of matured democrats'. Growing influences of caste, community, creed, religion and regionalism since independence of the country and more vigorous in the last 20 years, have put 'a big question mark over the survival of true democratic tradition and values in India!

In the name of carrying parliamentary democracy: Are not political classes cheating people of the country in the name getting support on the basis of  mandate in the elections?; Have not  they become authoritarians in imposing their views and opinions in running the affairs of the country in the 'so called democratic tradition?; Is the religion like 'opium' not dominating the Indian political scenes?  These are the few points always rankle my mind and some time I become disappointed over the fate of 'India'!

 Although British Raj 'legacy' had left us 'largely feudal society' because of neglecting the country on industrial fronts during Raj  period, after independence political leaders led by Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru  made efforts to industrialise   the country through 'modern democratic Constitution and contributions'. In the process, much had been done on 'indstrial fronts'. But as the process started giving fruitful results, the 'ills like feudalism, religion, caste , creed and regionalism' hijacked our democratic system. And since than, most people in the country vote on caste and communal line instead of united secular and democratic India'. The process goes on!

To trace out such malfunctioning in our system, one must has to travel to acquaint themselves with 'political developments' in the country since independence as well as some books like The Indian Ideology, written by Perry Anderson., highlighting the 'flaws' in our system and leadership A quote of Gurramdas 'Alam', Azaadi, 1946- Kyun bhai Nihal, Azaadi tu hai dekhi. Na bhai Prava, ne kha de ne vekhi. Main Jaggu ti sunni assi Ambala ti aaye si. (Listen brother Nihar, have yu seen Freedom? No brother Parva, I have not seen it nor eaten it. I heard from Jaggu-it has come up to Ambala.) aptly described the fruits of Independence in India

The reviewer of the book and an eminent writer,Vijaya Prashad has commented, "The Indian nationalism was stillborn. It had a very good run, but now finds itself on life support". The book surmises that there is serious mistakes within Indian nationalism that "dooms India's prospects for its ambitions to become a real power." The country has become vested interests of money and religion. In the present context, nationalism of yester-year has become tools in the hands of political leadership for encouraging religious thoughts, caste,and communal ism in the country to serve their own interest. Nationalism has far-sightedness! Anderson notes:" nationalism has become a discourse that fatally generates a culture of euphemism and embellishment, precluding and clear-eyed stock-taking of past or present." Conservatives and feudalism in the society dominate the  Indian society in the garb of nationalism as their shield against criticism. And this Indian ideology is running the Indian democracy!

This perception has naturally came from 'Hindu Right' in India and the jehadi currents in Pakistan and according to Prashada; liberal elites in both the countries sought shelter in illiberal state repression and in alliance with U S primacy.. Prashada further puts forward the views of Anderson and remarks, " It was Gandhi who injected religion into the arteries of of Indian Nationalism and forged Indian state with 'the particularists religion of his forebears', making Muslim 'second class citizens' and 'creating a caste-iron democracy'. "What is hidden within India is Hindustan", Anderson writes. It appears that nationalism itself  saturated with caste-Hindu concerns as if Gandhi were the true in charge of such nationalism! Much the same kind of censure came from Dr B R Ambedkar ("What Gandhi and Congress Have Done To Untouchables-1946).

But Prashada has point to say, "the arrival of Indian liberalism in the late 1980s and the 1990s is very significant-with the Congress setting aside its social democratic commitments, the 'Hindu Right' edging to mainstream of the political world and international situation shifting towards primacy of the United States.. "Exactly in these contexts economic liberalisation (1991) and for a caste-Hindu character to the arriviste middle class (emboldened by Mandal protests of 1990; the Ayodhaya incidents of  1990-92 and Kargil war of 1999), a different situation emerged, which gave encouragements of to caste, creed, communal bias, encouragement of hardcore religion and regionalism in the country. Thus, in my opinion, the Congress's obstreperous ways have generated counter reaction and the Indian society was badly tilted  towards religion, regionalism  and communal line!

Another significant important factor for the threat of India's secular democracy is emergence of 'Hindutva' forces under Rashtriya Swamb Sevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It had started taking deep root with the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhaya but the Hindutva forcest has penetrated in the society with Gujarat pogrom under the headship of Chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi in 2002..Many reports and studies have suggested and exposed the so called development of Gujarat during Modi's chief minister ship. Such studies have pointed out that Muslims, labour classes, women, minorities, lower caste and Schedule Tribes have been marginalised and discriminated  in Gujarat in the last ten to 12 years.. But after his hat-trick in the last assembly elections, Modi's emergence at the national scene as prime ministerial aspirant could not be ruled out, again, a danger signal for already batter red India society communally.

Paradoxically, Hndutva, is gaining ground as 'New Right', a political acomplisher of the new liberalisation economic order. Strangely , the Hindutva also combines neoliberal economic policy and authoritarian social and cultural policy and politcs. Initially starting from upper caste groups of north India,, Hindutva has started spreading far and wide corner of the country with its stress on new liberalised economic policy, which is changing the political landscape of India.. In the process Congress declined as saviour as  upper caste and middle caste while Hindutva parties as well as regional parties have started emerging as new harbingers of the 'new middle caste propertied to their upper caste counterparts in many states to create 'provincial propertied classes'(PPC)' as enunciated by late K Balgopal.

More over, the regional parties of Chandra Babu of Telgu Desam in Andhra Padesh, Navin Patnaik of BJD in Odisha, TC of Mamta Bannerjee of West Bengal, JMM of Shibu Soren of Jharkhand, Karnataka Janata Dal of H D Devegowda, Prakash Singh Badal's Akali Dal  in  Punjab, JD(U) of Nitish Kumar of Bihar ,National Conference of Sheikh Abdullah in Jammu and Kashmir ,AIADMK OF Jaylalitha in Tamil Nadu, Bahujan Samaj Party of Mayawati of Uttar Pradesh, DMK of Karunanidhi off  Tamil Nadu and Siv Sena of Maharashtra have emerged time-to-time as strong forces in their respective states. They have got the notoriety of supporting BJP at the centre to form government despite their secular credentials. Some of these regional parties including  of Mayawati, Karunanidhi are also supporting currently the UPA government led by the Congress Party. On the other  had regional straps like Mulayam Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, and Laloo Prasad Yadav of  RJD of  Bihar  kept their secular credential intact and had never supported BJP in forming governments in states   or at the centre.

Significantly, all these regional parties have support bases among middle and intermediary caste people and to some extend the vote of minority community also. But in the case of Laloo Prasad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav, apart from middle and intermediary  caste support base, both have solid grass root support among minorities because of their intact secular credentials.But the gaining ground of regional parties in the country is also a matter of concern. Regional hopes and aspirations of all these regional  parties are also harming the central political classes in maintaining equilibrium at the national level. But even than, the ruling political classes are keeping them in good humour and giving them 'undue favour politically to shield them from corruption charges and  financial assistance to the respective  states , violating  norms and rules of the Indian Union.

Because of weakening of left parties in the country in the recent years is also not giving good signal for the common masses of the country. At least the left forces have some principled stand for the welfare of masses. Thus the polarisation of class, caste, creed, religion and regionalism among the people of India between both UPA of Congress and Hindutva forces  of BJP in recent years have preferred party of capitalist class into party with lower caste-classes and minorities as their electoral base has become matter of concern and it appears that country is heading towards 'authoritarianism' in the garb of parliamentary democracy. This is bound to create widening gap between 'minority powerful' and 'majority powerless'..


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