Analysis

The Congress Strategem of Social Engineering

Caste Census & Financial Survey

By the time of writing these lines, the general elections for the next (18th) Lok Sabha in Bharat (India) are on and, therefore, the political parties and their selected candidates are aggressively trying to reach and romance with the electorate to garner their franchise. Two phases of poll have already been held out of a total of seven phases scheduled till 1st June 2024 across the length and breadth of the country. The country has a multi-party system with six political parties recognized as the national parties besides a host of regional/state level parties. However, the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and the Congress are two national parties with their presence in almost all parts of the country with a sizeable electoral base; of the two, the latter has a long history of governance after the independence of country in August 1947 while the former emerged as popular choice of the Indian masses only during the last two decades. With the advent of the nationalist BJP, the Congress has constantly shown decline, particularly in the large Hindi-speaking belt of the North India.

Both the parties released their election manifestos few days prior to the first phase elections scheduled on 19 April 2024. The Congress named their manifesto as the ‘Nyay Patra’, which is full of promises to the electorate with scathing attack on the ruling BJP and a resolve to reverse many popular BJP/NDA decisions, programs and schemes implemented during the last ten years, increase reservation to certain community/social categories inconsonance with their appeasement policy towards minorities (actually Muslims), and freebies to the people on various counts - the Mahalaxmi scheme with Rs one lakh cash transfer to each poor family being the most significant one. On the other hand, the BJP has named it the ‘Sankalp Patra’, which revisits and recounts significant and popular decisions, schemes and programs implemented by their government in the last 10 years along with their vision and mission for the inclusive growth and development of the country in the ensuing years. Contrary to the Congress’s preoccupations, or obsession, with the BJP, the former does not find a single reference in latter’s manifesto (by name).

The estimated population of Muslims in India is about twenty crores, (some Muslim leaders and clerics put it around twenty-five crores), which is only next to Indonesia with the highest Muslim population in the world as an Islamic country. The next communities smaller in size are the Christians and Sikhs which constitute about 2.30% and 1.72% of the total population respectively. Although the official census figures after 2011 is not yet available but the real minorities in the country are Buddhists (0.70%), Jains (0.37%) and Parsis (0.02%), who neither ever complain or seek special privileges nor the Congress party has ever really cared for them. The aforesaid is relevant in the context that two promises in the manifesto of the Congress seem progressive on face but, actually on ground, they may prove to be divisive and disastrous for the security, integrity and oneness of India: First, the freedom of the choice of dress, food, language and personal law of minorities for the sake of equity; and the second, addressal of the growing inequality of wealth and income through suitable changes in policies through caste census, financial and institutional surveys. 

Equity: Religious & Linguistic Minorities

Among other things, the Nyaya Patra, Page 8 on ‘equity of the religious and linguistic minorities’ provides that the Congress will ensure that, like every citizen, minorities have the freedom of choice of dress, food, language and personal laws; that the reforms of personal laws will be encouraged but this must be taken with the participation and consent of the communities concerned. Ordinarily, there should be no need for such promise or provision because the Constitution already provides necessary freedom to all citizens along with certain fundamental duties and directive principles of state policies. None of the real minorities such as the Buddhists, Jains or Parsis have ever complained about any violation of rights or discrimination by the State (Indian government) or the majority community (Hindus). Some political parties, including the Congress, and fundamentalists among the Muslims constantly raise such issues for their political or personal interests, which so often leads to avoidable communal conflicts as also serious law and order problems on account of the choice of food, dress or language from time to time.

Here for everyone’s clarity, the author would briefly deal with issues such as food and dress which are the potential source of not only perennial and recurring irritants but also frequent conflicts and law & order problems in states. A large number of Indians, including the Hindus and followers of other Indian religions/culture consciously opt for vegetarianism at any point of time. Besides, many of them though take non-vegetarian meal but avoid killing or even cooking meat at home. Traditionally, they domesticate and protect cattle, more particularly cows, for various uses. Many ancient Indian texts too refer to a voluntary stop to cow slaughter and the pursuit of vegetarianism as a part of a general abstention from violence against others and killing of animals. On the other hand, Islam came to India much later from the Arab world and the followers of Islam generally believe that Allah (God) has created resources (cattle) for the consumption of Mumin (faithful Muslim). The animal slaughter (sheep, goat, cattle, camel) has remained as a religiously approved practice among the Muslims and they sacrifice animals particularly on festive occasions of the Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid), and usually settle for goat slaughter as an alternative. Many of them consider the cattle protection and ban on cow slaughter as an encroachment in their religious right.

The cow veneration in Hinduism started in the Vedic era and several religious texts recommend non-violence against man and animals, and some even equate the killing of a cow to that of a human, particularly akin to a Brahmin. The Hindu opposition of the slaughter of animals, particularly cow, has roots in the ancient Indian history which took the form of the socio-religious and political opposition during the British Raj. Even followers of other Indian religions like Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism have strong reservations against the killing of cows due to pious reasons. Some well-known personalities from past associated with the cow protection are Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj, and Mahatma Gandhi, now remembered as the father of the nation. Several communal riots occurred on the cow killings towards the end of the nineteenth century; consequently, cow slaughter was banned in several parts of India during the British period. Post-independence, the Article 48 of the Constitution inter alia specifically enjoins upon the state to take steps for prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves, and other milch and draught cattle. Consequently, the majority of the Indian states have various regulations prohibiting slaughter of cows, apparently only West Bengal, Kerala and north-eastern states remaining without such regulations.

The Supreme Court of India too in a landmark judgement on 26 October 2005 had upheld the constitutional validity of anti-cow slaughter laws enacted by the states in India. The export of beef (i.e. cow, oxen and calf) is also prohibited in India. Apart from the religious sentiments of the majority populace, it is also a crucial issue of prevention of cruelty towards animals in a large number of illegally run slaughter houses. In a country, where many options are already available for the meat-eating people in terms of buffalo, goat, sheep, pork, poultry, eggs, a variety of fresh and marine water fishes and prawns, there seems to be no rationale in pressing for illegal cow slaughter or trade by a section of interested people of one community. But some of them indeed resort to it that leads to occasional conflict and violence with some cow vigilante groups (usually Hindus) under the heightened passion. When supposedly a responsible national party includes an unqualified promise about granting the choice of food to the minorities in their manifesto, this cannot just be a liberal measure without a motive; instead, people are more likely to interpret it as a major policy shift even in the context of the existing ban on cow slaughter.

Let’s illustrate the point with yet another example of the choice of dress by the specific minority community. In January 2022, six 2nd year pre-university Muslim female students insisted over wearing of the hijab in the classroom at a government-run school for Girls at Udupi, Karnataka. According to the school policy, all students were required to wear only prescribed uniform in the school, in fact, a practice common in most of the schools in India. When the management did not allow them to wear hijab, the issue was hijacked by the Campus Front of India (CFI), the student wing of the now banned radical Islamic organization Popular Front of India (PFI); the political wing of PFI namely the Social Democratic Party (SDP) also threatened a stir on this issue. Soon, it became a burning national issue with protests by the Muslim parents and students in other states as well in support of the Udupi girls as also some Hindu organizations too joining the protest in retaliation. Some western countries, Pakistan and so-called human rights watch organizations too joined the controversy making statements in support citing hijab as the religious right of Muslim girls.

As the controversy and agitation spread in the state, the Karnataka State BJP Government issued an order in the 1st week of February 2020 stating that the uniforms mandated by the government, the school management or college development committees must be compulsorily worn. Consequently, the agitation further intensified and all educational institutions were closed for certain days. The Muslim girls backed by the said Islamic organizations filed a petition in the Karnataka High Court, which after detailed hearing on the subject upheld the restriction on hijab by the educational institutions on 15 March 2022, ruling that hijab was not an essential religious practice under Islam and, hence, it is not protected by the Article 25 of the Constitution setting out the fundamental rights to practice one’s religion. The verdict was challenged in the Supreme Court, where the two-judges bench remained divided over the Karnataka High Court ruling; accordingly, the judges requested the Chief Justice to refer the matter to a larger bench. In the meantime, state assembly elections were held in 2023 leading to the formation of the Congress government in Karnataka and the incumbent Congress chief minister passed an order to withdraw the hijab ban w.e.f. 23 December 2023 – a vivid case of a retrograde order and Muslim appeasement in the name of socio-religious equity and justice.

By implication, both the aforesaid illustrations clearly reflect the appeasement of one particular community by the Congress Party in India. These are not isolated instances, this appeasement of Muslims in the country for the electoral gain on various counts have continued since the independence from the British Raj in 1947. Initially, it was the Congress under the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and, later on, other political parties too picked up the same thread for own selfish interests. Part IV, Article 44 of the Constitution states that “The State shall endeavor to secure the citizen a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India”. Part IV deals with the Directive Principles to the state and Article 37 of it provides that provisions contained in this part shall not be enforceable by any court although it also adds that the principles laid down therein are fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws. So, by implication, Article 44 became a goal and not a right. Subsequently, Prime Minister Nehru introduced and got passed Hindu Code Bills in early 1950s collectively known as the Hindu Civil Code, which is applicable to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. The Sharia based personal laws of Muslims were left untouched for the reasons best known to Mr. Nehru led the Congress government. Ever since, this appeasement saga continued by the successive Congress and governments supported by it at the Centre. 

The last Congress Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is on record to have stated on 09 December 2006 while addressing the National Development Council that the minorities, particularly the Muslims, have first claim on the national resources, which he reiterated again in 2009 during his second term as prime minister of India. Ordinarily, the Personal Laws are applicable to the principles relating to the marriage, divorce, maintenance, adoption, inheritance, guardianship, succession, etc., and there is absolutely no rationale in having different sets of such laws in a secular democracy for different communities. The BJP as a political party has constantly favored a uniform civil code with a commitment to make commensurate laws at opportune time. Similarly, Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution specifically prohibit discrimination and provide for the equality of opportunity in the public employment prohibiting discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, etc. Originally, it provided for reservation for the SCs & STs and, later on, amendments were carried out to pave way for the reservation in employment for the OBCs, inter alia including backward Muslim classes, and economically backward classes. 

Notwithstanding, the Congress Party experimented with a separate reservation for Muslims on religious ground on more than one occasion in the past. It tried through Congress government in the state of Andhra Pradesh to implement religion-based quota for the reservation of Muslims in the past but the ordinance was struck down by the Andhra High Court in 2004 on the grounds of legality of such reservation. Actually, the choice of food, dress, language and personal laws on face appear genuine and harmless but here the issue is that in spite of hundreds of years of socio-economic and cultural interaction with other religious communities in the Indian sub-continent, many of them still want to retain the distinct Arabic identity with these choices. Besides, many of them, particularly clergy and political leaders, aggressively seek this agenda very often impinging upon similar choices and rights of other communities. For instance, in a village or city where Muslims have overwhelming majority, they often raise objections against religious functions, festivals and processions of other communities (mainly Hindus). In the past few years, the Chennai High Court had to handle at least two court cases where the community wanted ban on Hindu festivals and rath Yatras. Naturally, when the Congress specifically promises minorities (actually Muslims) the freedom of choice of dress, food, language and personal laws, it carries far reaching implications on the other communities too in the long term. 

Economy: Financial Survey & Redistribution of Wealth

The Congress Party says that after 33 years, the time is ripe for a re-set of economic policy - a Nav Sankalp Economic Policy. The cornerstone of the new economic policy will be jobs with three essential goals of the work, wealth and welfare. The Congress manifesto talks about the economic justice, for which the Party has committed economic policies to ensure that the developing India first attains the status of a middle-income country and then a developed country. According to the Congress claim, the Party ushered in an era of liberalization in 1991 and, consequently, the country reaped enormous benefits in terms of wealth-creation, new businesses and entrepreneurs, a huge middle class, millions of jobs, important innovations in education and healthcare, and exports, lifting millions of people out of poverty. Among other promises, the Congress has promised in their manifesto on page 28 (Srl. No. 21) in the Economy section that they will address the growing inequality of wealth and income through suitable changes in policies. In effect, this implies that the Congress, if voted in power, make laws to change existing policies on the personal wealth and income to deal with the issue of the inequality of wealth. 

It is of common knowledge that the official president of the Congress Party is the octogenarian leader and staunch loyalist Mallikarjun Kharge but the real control of the party exists with the Gandhi family troika comprising of the mother Smt. Sonia Gandhi and brother-sister duo Shri Rahul Gandhi and Smt. Priyanka G. Vadra. To alleviate the poverty from India, the Gandhi scion (Rahul Gandhi) recently spoke in an election rally at Anupgarh in Rajasthan on 11 April 2024, “Congress Sarkar desh ke har garib parivar ki mahila ke bank khate me ek lakh rupaye transfer karegi… agar aap garibi rekha se neeche hain to har saal ek lakh rupaye (8,500 rupaye prati maah) khatakhat khatakhat aata rahega aur ek jhatke se hum Hindustan se garibi mita denge…” (The Congress government will transfer Rs one lakh every year to the bank account of the woman in the poor family… in case, you are living below the poverty line, you will instantly keep receiving Rs one lakh every year (@ Rs 8,500 per month) and we will eradicate poverty from India in one stroke). It may be relevant to mention that successive prime ministers of Nehru-Gandhi clan made tall promises against poverty and now Gandhi scion has promised “ek jhatke se garibi mita degen” (i.e. remove poverty in one stroke). Previously, the Congress had promised Rs 72,000 per annum to all poor families during 2019 general elections too, but the Party could garner only 52 seats in the Lok Sabha with a strength of 543 MPs, not enough to qualify even as the main opposition party in the parliament.

As the canvassing for the election gains momentum, the rival parties are revealing more cards stored in their sleeves to lure the electorate in their favor. It is of common knowledge that the Congress manifesto under Equity – Social Justice carries a promise of conducting a nation-wide Socio-Economic and Caste Census to enumerate the castes and sub-castes and their socio-economic conditions and based on the data they will strengthen the agenda for an affirmative action, if voted in power. Under Economy section too (page 28), the manifesto reads: “We will address the growing inequality of wealth and income through suitable changes in policies.” On many occasions, the Congress scion has already spoken about the said caste census along with a financial and institutional census for the course correction in wealth disparities. For instance, he said on 06 April 2024: “We will first conduct a nationwide caste census to determine how many people belong to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and minorities. After that, we will conduct a financial and institutional survey in a historic step to ascertain the distribution of wealth.” Then once again he inter alia made a statement that they (Congress) will get an X-ray of India done to ascertain the population of various caste groups and the country will change once the caste census is done.

More recently on 24 April 2024, the Gandhi scion, while speaking at a Samajik Nyay Sammelan, once again reiterated his X-ray remark making it clear that the Congress-led government would indeed conduct a caste census and also scan the wealth held by different caste groups and that no power can stop him from conducting aforesaid census. According to him, the caste census was not politics but “a mission of his life”. As soon as the Congress government comes, they will first conduct a caste census and that is his (Gandhi scion) guarantee. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Modi, he even made a reference to a huge amount (author’s consciously not divulging sources and amount here of a speculative speech) to be taken back and distributed to the (deserving) people of the country. Interestingly, in his speeches in the recent past, heir apparent of the grand old party glorified his disparaging caste X-ray poll promise as “revolutionary” equating it with the freedom movement, green revolution, nationalization of banks, and so on.

This rhetoric of the Congress Party leader(s) appears inappropriate and unfortunate particularly in view that the caste system in India has been under severe criticism for long as one of the chief evils hindering national integration and development. After the decades of legislation, hard work and sincere efforts on ground by the governments, media, social-reformers and genuine liberal-intellectuals, the age-old barriers and prejudices based on caste and creed have slowly but sure started changing for good in the country. This position is also vindicated through current state of sizeable numbers of the inter-caste marriages and the level social bonding among the educated people living in similar urban and rural clusters. Therefore, when the socio-economic fabric of the Indian society has already started showing positive signs of change, raking caste controversies again as a potential agenda of any political party or government will only prove to be divisive and counterproductive. The Congress leadership’s sinister obsession and consequent assertion of “Jitni aabadi utna haq” (like population like right) will probably help only those people who produce more children.

But then this obsessive-compulsive trait is not new but appears to be a characteristic attribute of the Gandhi scion. Usually, he will pick up a thread against his favorite adversaries, namely the BJP, RSS and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then persist with it for an indefinite period. None from the party or family persuades him explaining the fallacy of the issue. The author would cite here an illustration from his own experience of working with the government. The Indian Air Force (IAF) was on a look out for a suitable medium range combat and reconnaissance aircraft since mid-1990s, the necessity of which was later approved by former Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee led NDA government. However, a deal to buy it could not be finalized by the Congress led UPA government in the next 10 years. Finally, when Prime Minister Modi took initiative to seal a purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts through a government-to-government agreement with France in 2016 to meet long-pending demand of the IAF, the Gandhi scion smelled a rat and started making serious allegations of corruption personally against the prime minister in the deal. Consequently, the agreement was independently scrutinized and investigated under the supervision of the Supreme Court and the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (C&AG) and cleared of all alleged allegations. The Congress manifesto 2024 still seeks to reopen the Rafale deal for investigation, if the Party is voted to power, an obvious corollary that they don’t trust judiciary too if the verdict is not favorable to their choice.

So the theme of the caste census followed by a financial and institutional survey seems to be the crux of the Congress and Gandhi scion’s election campaign. In yet another election rally in the district Amravati, Maharashtra, the Gandhi scion held that an X-ray of the society was his “life’s mission” now to ensure “nyay” (justice) to the marginalized sections. He added that while only 22-25 people had become billionaires in Modi’s tenure, INDIA alliance, if voted to office, would turn crores of people into “lakhpatis” (millionaires). Subsequently, speaking in a poll rally in Solapur, Maharashtra, he alleged that India under the Modi government is the “capital of injustice”, where billionaires get Favours at the cost of the poor, but the Congress will remove this disparity by creating “crores of lakhpatis”. He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was shaken, panicked and worried by the Congress’s revolutionary manifesto. 

This idea of conducting a caste census followed by a financial and institutional survey to ascertain which communities and who all are in possession of the wealth in the country is very akin to a page of the book of communist leftists. What he says and implies seems to be that the Congress, if forms government, will redistribute the wealth to the backward castes, dalits and minorities based on their population and financial status. Every time when he takes a dig on Prime Minister Modi (at times he loses control over his tongue refusing even the basic courtesy that a prime minister deserves or at least his elderly status demands) linking him with the corporate families Adanis and Ambanis, this reminds decades back ideology and approach of the West Bengal CPI(M)’s bashing of the then business tycoon Tatas and Birlas families in the country. Ironically, he and his party do not adopt same criteria or approach about many foreign companies doing business in India. So, when the Gandhi scion repeated same chorus in a Jharkhand rally about finding out the classes who hold the national wealth and that they (Congress) will redistribute to the earmarked classes as per their rights and entitlements, he was not talking about increasing the wealth and resources of the country, instead distributing this wealth among certain classes and people (i.e. OBCs, minorities mainly Muslims).

While the Gandhi scion has been reiterating his chorus about the caste census and redistribution of wealth citing it as a mission of his life, Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda aka Sam Pitroda, intimately associated with three generations of the Gandhi family and widely considered as the guru and mentor of the Gandhi scion, stoked yet another controversy about the inheritance tax. Currently, aged about 81 years, he as the Chairman of Indian Overseas Congress, organizes Gandhi scion’s international (speaking) events, among other arrangements and engagements. In an interview with the ANI (Asian News International), citing the inheritance tax up to 55% as an interesting provision along the lines of the United States, Pitroda said, “It says you in your generation made wealth and you are leaving now, you must leave your wealth for the public… not all of it, half of it, which to me sounds fair.” Incidentally, only few states in US have the provision of the inheritance tax in various slabs which Pitroda apparently tried to link and supplement with the Congress Party’s idea of redistribution of wealth. Needless to say, his statement instantly sparked controversy back home and it is not for the first time, in the past many occasions too, Sam Pitroda has created controversies such as the “Jo Hua So Hua” statement in the context of “anti-Sikh riots and massacre in 1984” and “Pulwama Attack in 2019”. Already on back foot with the wealth redistribution issue, the Congress promptly distanced itself from Pitroda’s comments clarifying that the Party has no plan to introduce such a tax.

The Congress spokesperson may have denied the concept of the inheritance tax but the timing of such an issue raised by someone very close to the political family controlling the party is very significant. Therefore, Pitroda’s opinion cannot be summarily dismissed as merely personal, more so when he is not only an important member of the Congress but apparently also the advisor-cum-mentor of Gandhi scion. This policy would in effect involve taxing the properties and assets that a person(s) inherits from their deceased parents/ancestors and may have somewhat similar repercussions either way. In this author’s opinion, it would have been a far better option for the Congress manifesto to highlight good work done by their previous governments and some path-breaking new schemes (promises) for the inclusive growth and development of all communities alike rather than stoking controversies with a focus on a section of population (electorate) with promises of freebies and appeasement policies. Their call for a social X-ray for the redistribution of wealth in undoubtedly divisive risking a grave socio-communal rift and conflict. 

While the alleged caste census and financial & institutional survey is aggressively presented as a progressive and revolutionary step for ultimate social justice, this rhetoric already has historical precedents and dangerous implications. This is not merely a question of wealth redistribution; the action also implies reallocation of power along the cast lines overlooking merit and ability of deliverance by the people. Therefore, the idea smacks more of divisiveness leading to conflict and chaos rather than truly guaranteeing a socio-economic transformation, echoing the communist-socialist experiments of the 20th century and its nemesis in the long run. The political developments of late 1980s vindicate how the narrow and selfish politics can spoil the entire social harmony with irreversible damages. The former PM Mr. V. P. Singh was Defence Minister with a clean image when Bofors Scandal flared up rocking former PM Rajeev Gandhi led Congress government in late 1980s. As he was committed in his resolve to act against corruption, he was dismissed from the cabinet, resigned from the Congress and formed a political front Jan Morcha to fight corruption. In 1988, V. P. Singh formed Janta Dal and returned as Prime Minister in a weak coalition government following 1989 general elections, strangely enough with the support of the ideologically opposite BJP and two Communist parties. 

The Mandal Commission Report on the subject of the socially or educationally backward classes with recommendations about the quotas and seat reservations in the government jobs and institutions was lying unactioned since 1980. The experts generally believe that former PM V. P. Singh decided to implement the Mandal Commission Report in August 1990 with dual motives of consolidating own political position and doing social justice with the other backward classes, many experts then called “social engineering”. The decision led to massive social unrest and conflict at the national level with the groups pro- and anti-reservation, mostly students, pitted against each other for weeks together. This social unrest and class-conflict involved protests and riots with bandhs (a version of strike), hartals (a version of municipal shutdown), dharnas, large scale incidents of the destruction of public property, looting and physical violence. As for Mr. V. P. Singh with his premiership tenure remaining less than a year, he was never accepted by the OBCs as their leader even after doing reservations for the OBCs, while the general category electorate never trusted him thereafter. On the sidelines, the casteist leaders started flexing their political power with the support of OBCs giving rise to many strong regional parties on the strength of sectional interests challenging the national parties, the BJP and Congress. 

The intrusive socio-economic caste census included in the so-called Nyay Patra of the Congress manifesto and the Gandhi scion’s passionate rhetoric to dissect society for the resource redistribution is comparable to Mao Zedong’s doctrines of “struggle and transformation” which historically pushed China into long spells of discontent, violence and armed insurrection with catastrophic outcomes; even China’s Great Leap Forward was to be abandoned with dismal social failure and economic disarray. The socio-economic re-engineering based on petty sectional interests and class considerations have repeatedly failed across the globe. Influential leaders who do not take lessons from the history; instead, try to push own whimsical fancies on masses do great disservice to the society and are indeed proved a drag and liability in the ultimate analysis. Rather than investing and motivating people in acquiring skills and national character, building capacity and aspiring to create value through their industry and entrepreneurial spirit, the current Congress culture of cash transfer (2019 NYAY and Mahalaxmi in 2024) and the mission of redistribution of wealth is fraught with the potential risk of degeneration of the society scarring masses with a false sense of entitlements.  Considering the current state of the Party, it appears well-nigh impossible for them to succeed in general elections but if it indeed happens, such policies are likely to push India into social and economic chaos in future. 

Endnote

To be frank, a country like India needs stable and long-term policies for its inclusive growth and development based on a mix of robust agriculture, manufacturing industry and allied businesses offering sufficient employment opportunities. For sure, it has no place for those who jeopardize these sectors with the offers of freebies for the sake of poverty alleviation without any productive work and are thus willing to take a leap in the dark to play with its future by creating divisions based on religion, caste, language and region. Like a responsible political party, the Congress should have sincerely worked and succeeded by now in largely removing these barriers owing to their lion’s share in governance during more than seven decades of independence; instead, the Congress party and its de facto leader actually declares it a mission of his life to have a caste census followed by a financial and institutional survey for the redistribution of wealth. Such outdated ideas and largely failed experiments in parts of the world inter alia remind the Bolshevik Revolution of Russia (then USSR) establishing communist order after a great turmoil and bloodbath in the name of socialism. The stalwarts of the grand old party should learn from its nemesis and where the Russia stands today in the world order.

Similarly, when the Indian Constitution provides for a uniform civil code for all citizens, discriminating only the majority community to enforce a civil code was a bad idea in the first place in 1950s. Notwithstanding this, barring one significantly large so-called minority community, no other minority communities in India had any issues in peaceful and harmonious existence with the majority community (Hindus), which itself has become minority in at least seven states in India by now. In such a scenario, constant opposition of the uniform civil code and using the tag of religious and linguistic minorities to grant complete freedom and free hand to the particular community in terms of the choice of food, dress, language and personal (religious) laws itself raises many legal and ethical questions. It’s widely known worldwide that India’s strength actually lies in its “unity in diversity”, and certainly not in its socio-economic and religious division. Every healthy democracy needs good governance as also a good and strong opposition and India is no exception in this case. So as the chief opposition party, it’s better for them to choose policies and strategies that build and harness the potential of people and resources rather than dividing, breaking and redistributing it through ridiculous X-ray surveys and census.

04-May-2024

More by :  Dr. Jaipal Singh

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