Monday, December 24, 2012

The Right to Expression in India

Before I write about what the people of India are going through at this moment, let us first go through what is there in the constitution of India on our fundamental rights. 

This is picked straight from Wikipedia and the six fundamental rights recognised by the constitution are:

  1. Right to equality, including equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and equality of opportunity in matters of employment, abolition of untouchability and abolition of titles.
  2. Right to freedom which includes speech and expression, assembly, association or union or cooperatives, movement, residence, and right to practice any profession or occupation (some of these rights are subject to security of the State, friendly relations with foreign countries, public order, decency or morality), right to life and liberty, right to education, protection in respect to conviction in offences and protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.
  3. Right against exploitation, prohibiting all forms of forced labour, child labour and traffic in human beings;
  4. Right to freedom of religion, including freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion, freedom to manage religious affairs, freedom from certain taxes and freedom from religious instructions in certain educational institutes.
  5. Cultural and Educational rights preserving Right of any section of citizens to conserve their culture, language or script, and right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
  6. Right to constitutional remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights. Fundamental rights for Indians have also been aimed at overturning the inequalities of pre-independence social practices. Specifically, they have also been used to abolish untouchability and hence prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. They also forbid trafficking of human beings and forced labour. They also protect cultural and educational rights of ethnic and religious minorities by allowing them to preserve their languages and also establish and administer their own education institutions.

The constitution says that every Indian has the right to express their feelings, in a peaceful way and have the right to assemble. Is this being allowed to happen in free India? I do not think so. 

Firstly in the capital city of India the women are not safe, and when the citizens go out and demand protection, those who should protect them become wolves. The police should be protecting the citizens and not become puppets of the ministers. 

I saw on TV today that the citizens of Delhi were being beaten with sticks, were fired at with tear gas and greeted with water cannons. Is this what the freedom we dreamt of? What kind of independence did we get then? 

After 65 years of independence the government's ministers have become richer & richer and the natural resources of the country have become the right of every minister but the common man. How is this different to what happened under the British East India Company or the British Raj? 

The government today is autocratic and allows you do only what it wants to see; it is not fair in any aspect. The people of India are now confident, educated and the middle class is growing. A confident and educated nation is very difficult to govern and the government should understand this. If 10% of middle class in India come out on the streets the government will then suffer, and suffer it must for they have brought this upon themselves. 

Corruption has crossed all boundaries. From fodder to 3G technology there isn't a single sector where a minister hasn't dug his teeth to suck money which belongs to the common man. The Fodder Scam guy became the Railway minister & the 2G-3G scam guy was in Jail for few months and then back dancing to "Apdi Podu!" The government is shameless and has taken everyone for a ride. 

The minister's have build bungalows bigger than the Lords and Viceroys of British Empire, have cars and gun men protecting them as if they are kings of their area. Where as people do not have land to plough in their constituency and sleep on footpaths. I would spit on the ministers everyday if I could. 

What are the next steps for a brighter India? Firstly the government needs to have a dialogue with the people's representatives right now, not tomorrow but right now. They must pull up their socks, need to implement new laws so that India is a safer, educated, healthier and transparent nation. The new laws which I can think of are: 
  1. New Police Law - Change the way police works in India - they are there to protect and not rule.
  2. New Safety Law - Safety of the people when we step out of our homes - when on the road and off the road. 
  3. New Women's safety - Please do something about these rape cases. 
  4. New Education Law - build a school in every village build 5 when the village is big
  5. New Law so that the citizens have good Sanitation and Clean water everyday - it should not take 65 years to solve the water problem in a country like India. we are called the land of rivers for god-sake; use your head! 
  6. Law which gives electricity to every home  - Why does it take half a decade to build Nuclear power plants after a law has been passed? 
  7. Every administrator must be accountable to the people of India - No one, mister or administrator, is bigger than the common man. 
  8. any other??? 
Another request I have is to the media (TV, Print and Internet) in India. When such a high profile issue is going on in the country can we give cricket a second thought please. A rape happens and the issue comes on TV, then the next day if we have a cricket match; why does cricket take precedence? Isn't it common sense to have a talk about the bigger issue here? So dear media, the issues which concern the common man and can change the country should come first! 

Hope that the government will serve the people first and their wallets later!  


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