We recently celebrated our 62nd Republic Day. My celebration was mainly restricted to watching the Australian Open semis between Federer and Nadal (a good match it was, though pales in comparison to what was to follow). This post is about my thoughts on our being a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic for 62 years (The words “socialist” and “secular” were added in 1976 by a constitutional amendment. This was done during a period of an ill-justified emergency, wrongly imposed by Indira Gandhi between 1975-1977) and whether we have held true to those golden words that our founding fathers have conferred on our nation.
I feel that that today we stand as a nation whose sovereignty has been impinged, secularism misconstrued and socialism misused, but a democratic republic we stand.
Sovereign – The Jammu and Kashmir blunder in 1947 where instead of annexing it as an integral part of India we approached the UN Security Council and proposed a plebiscite to decide the matter, thus ending up conferring a special status on the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The humiliating defeat in the 1962 Indo-China war where the country’s defense and intelligence infrastructure was found wanting because the central leadership was living in its own make-believe peaceful world where no wars were fought, and finally we were forced to go around begging for military assistance from foreign countries.
The naivety of the Russian sponsored Tashkent agreement in 1965. The missed opportunities of the Shimla agreement and the strategic advantage our scientists had given us with the Pokharan nuclear tests. And the list is unending.
(See this Seven Blunders that Indian can never forget)
Secularism and Socialism – Socialism and secularism has been used as a ruse for vote-bank politics. Reservations are implemented to promote social equality. But all it ends up doing is to distort the whole system.
Democracy – Even democracy has been reduced to just casting your vote on the Election Day, that too most of them are misinformed choices. My views on democracy are here.
All this is a direct consequence of bad policies and a lack of leadership in the political establishment. This can be made right only by electing the right leaders and making informed decisions. I strongly feel that dynasty politics should be put to an end. How sad can it be for a nation of 1 billion that one of its biggest and oldest political parties could not find a leader and had to look up to a foreigner who had negligible education and almost zilch credentials to lead a nation, just because she was married to a dominant political family.