“The core of the idea of India”
The idea of India emerged during the epic struggle for India’s freedom from British colonialism.The idea of India to put it in simple words is that India as a country has moved towards transcending its diversity in favour of substantially inclusive unity of its people.India is blessed with a rich and a colourful diversity.Indian diversity-Linguistic,religious,ethnic,cultural is incomparably vaster than any other country in the world.According to a record,there are 1618 languages,6400 castes,six major religions and six anthropologically defined ethnic groups,all politically administered.There are some unreasonable ideas that fly around and exaggerate the role of British in uniting India but in reality its Britain that engineered the partition of sub continent.It’s the ignominious history of British that ripped through Cyprus,Palestine and North America apart from the sub-continent.Pan-Indian people’s struggle for freedom United diversity and integrated more than 660 feudal princely states into modern India giving shape to a Pan-Indian consciousness.The diversity can be maintained only by strengthening bonds not imposing uniformity upon this diversity.
Following the partition of India and the horrendous communal aftermath,secularism became inseparable for the realisation of the state of India.The ruling class held the belief that secularism stands for equality of religion but in actuality secularism means separation of religion from politics.
Idea of India arose from a continuous battle between three visions that emerged during 1920’s on the conception of independent India.
Indian national congress held the belief that India should be a secular democratic republic.The left firmly held the belief of political and economic reformation under socialism.
Antagonistic to both beliefs stood the idea of Pakistan and Hindu Rashtra.Muslim league under the thumb of M.A Jinnah desired of a new Muslim state called Pakistan and succeded but RSS failed to carve out a Hindu State.
The Indian bourgeois and it’s leadership,Indian monopoly capital due to the compulsions of its narrow basis had to align itself with the landlord sections in order to maintain its class rule in independent India.Just like Green revolution that was confined to few pockets “Ryotwari” during British rule.
The tallest leader,B.R Ambedkar on 25 Nov.1949 precisely paraphrased the most quintessential part of the idea of india.He said”On 26th Jan 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 one value.In our social and economic structure,we will continue to deny the principle of one man one value.How long shall we continue to live the life full of contradictions.How long shall we sent 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 as early as possible or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this assembly has laboriously built up”.
Reclaiming secular democracy means the reassertion of advancing the idea of india today.
It would be fair to say that India has come closer to the pretty pass.The emergence of the idea of Fascism in Germeny has also infected the idea of India.
George Dimitrov in his “The United front” says “Fascism acts in the interests of extreme imperialists but it presents itself to the masses in the guise of the champion an ill-treated nation and appeals to outraged national sentiments”
Fascism puts the people at the mercy of the most corrupt and venal elements.
Well,the analysis of Dimitrov straight fitts with the agenda of BJP and RSS “Misgovernance and corruption”.The ruling NDA govt led by Modi has diametrically failed in delivering the promises made at the time of elections.
The Hindutva agenda talks about communal polarization.An attempt to transform history into Hindu methodology.
Philosophical irrationalism that permeates all aspects of India’s socio-political,cultural life under the BJP govt is simply unreason.
It’s reason today to seek the realisation of the idea of India by working for an economic agenda that seeks inclusion.It’s unreason to implement neo-liberal economic reforms under the collaboration with international financial capital that seeks to subjugate the Indian economy to its predatory profit maximation.Apart from negating the anti-imperialist national consciousness and reducing India as a subordinate ally of imperialism,such a trajectory widens the hiatus between two Indians.Impoverishing the poor and enriching the rich.Such an agenda is an exclusivist agenda that is opposed to inclusive India.
It’s reason today to work for the socio-economic development of the marginalised sections like Dalits,Tribals,Adivasis and women.It’s reason today to seek reservations in private sector.
It’s reason to seek equality of all citizens irrespective of caste,creed and sex.But it’s unreason today to deny this equality. As Ambedkar warns,such denial of equality is the consequence of the current economic policy trajectory.
It’s reason today to separate religion from the state and its unreason to promote communal polarization promoting exclusiveness instead of nurturing inclusiveness.
It’s reason to foster values promoting the idea of India but it’s unreason to poison our educational system restricting its universal access.It’s unreason to seek the replacement of rich syncretic culture with a Hindu mythology.
It’s reason to seek the inclusive unification of the people by celebrating rich diversity.It’s unreason to impose uniformity upon this diversity through a Hindutva hegemony.
It’s reason today to work for the prosperity of all and it’s unreason to vigorously promote crony capitalism and it’s associated mega corruption in high places.
It’s reason to promote pan-indianism but it’s unreason to invoke Hindu nationalism and their hegemony.
The new agenda for reclaiming secular democracy means the triumph of “Reason” over “Unreason”.
Writer: Owais ahmad shah is
Student at GDC Handwara Kashmir