Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Freeing India of “Divide & Rule”


Published on

Kernel for a new Governance System and Constitution of India for Open Source development. Contact:

Published in: News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Freeing India of “Divide & Rule”

  1. 1. Freeing India of “Divide & Rule”<br />Kernel for a new Governance System and Constitution of India for Open Source development<br />PROPOSAL FOR A GOVERNANCE SYSTEM THAT UNITES INDIA<br />Chandra Vikash<br />PGDM – IIM Calcutta, B.Tech. IIT Kharagpur<br />Systems Thinking & Policy <br />19th March, 2011<br />
  2. 2. The old story…<br />Britain and China (with India trailing at a distance) may prove to be bookends on this phase of development that will be seen as abnormal in the long-term scale of human development. <br />Britain was one small country (at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution) producing an awful lot of pollution and extracting and using resources unsustainably. <br />At that point it didn't really have a great planetary impact, but then this moved to Europe, and to the US, and the number of countries that were unsustainable and producing too much got bigger and bigger. <br />Meanwhile, the number of countries left to absorb the impacts gets smaller and smaller. <br />Where does China dump its waste? <br />How does China extract enough from the rest of the world to provide for its people? <br />This is where economic development hits an ecological wall.<br />When a Billion Chinese Jump: An Interview with Author Jonathan Watts WORLDCHANGING TEAM, 2 AUG 10<br />
  3. 3. which P. Chidambaram is so unmindful?<br />“Times have changed today. Today the only reason that matters is pragmatism. The only hard truth is development. We must become pragmatic, development-oriented and we must do all that is possible to attain high growth. <br />High growth will lead us to prosperity in the long run. I am confident about my country. I am confident that within my lifetime, within the lifetime of most people here, we will abolish poverty, the abject poverty, as we have known it for 5,000 years. <br />We may not become a rich country like Switzerland or Japan or we may not have that kind of income but the abject poverty, the kind of poverty that sends the children to dustbins, the kind of poverty which sends our women before dawn and after dusk to answer calls of nature, that kind of poverty will be abolished if we grow at eight per cent or nine per cent.“<br />Source: P. Chidambaram to Indian Parliament<br />
  4. 4. What fuelled the old story…<br />American historian Brooke Adams has recorded that the “Bengal plunder” from the Nawab’s treasury was so excessive that it fuelled Britain’s Industrial Revolution from 1760 and changed the world’s lifestyle forever.<br />The conquerors remitted an estimated £1 billion to Britain. Robert Clive who led troops against the Nawab collected £2.5 million for East India Company, and £234,000 for himself. His colleague William Watts grabbed £114,000. To put these figures in perspective, an annual income of £800 was sufficient for luxurious living by British nobleman of those days.<br />So, says history, the plunder of Bengal post Battle of Plassey sparked the Industrial Revolution which rapidly auto-mechanised the British textile industry. The inventions between 1764 and 1785 were the spinning jenny by Hargreaves, the water frame by Arkwight, the mule by Crompton and the powerloom by Cartwright. John Kays had invented the flying shuttle and coal began to replace wood in smelting, while in 1768 Watt matured the steam engine.<br />
  5. 5. …has been burning India…<br />As an option for ruling their massive holding in India, the British Raj operated what was perceived to be a tactic of divide and rule by many historians which, whilst paying off in the short term, gave massive impetus to the growth of violence and terrorism in India along religious and sectarian lines, culminating in the 'bloody' creation of the country of Pakistan.Source: Imperialist British India - Divide & Rule Tactic: British Raj Creates Divisions in Indian Society Leading to Violence<br />
  6. 6. …into an inferno of divisiveness…<br />“...there dwell in India seventy millions of Moslem's... While the Hindu elaborates his argument, the Moslem sharpens his sword. Between these two races and creeds...there is no intermarriage…. If you took the antagonisms of France and Germany, and the antagonisms of Catholics and Protestants, and compounded them and multiplied them ten-fold, you would not equal the division which separates these two races….”<br />- Winston Churchill (Prime Minister of UK, 1940-45, 1951-55), March 18, 1931, London.<br />
  7. 7. …as the Congress Party surreptitiously furthers the British legacy…<br />The caste census being done by the government as part of the overall exercise to understand the country’s demography is a retrograde step. It would bring issues of caste and casteism to the forefront, said India’s best known demographer, Ashish Bose, honorary professor at the Institute of Economic Growth here.<br />“There is convincing evidence in numerous census reports produced by the British administrators that the British played up religion, caste and language to divide people,” Bose said.<br />However, in the first census of independent India, then census commissioner RA Gopalaswami, under the guidance of then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and home minister Vallabhbhai Patel dropped the question altogether.<br />
  8. 8. …to inflict scalding, 3rd degree burns to the body fabric of India.<br />“Surprisingly, in 2011, Manmohan Singh, a modern man, under pressure from caste lobbies, agreed to conduct a caste census …. This is a most unfortunate development and I condemn it,” Bose said. He added the fact that this caste census will be conducted after the normal census makes it all the more wrong.<br />“It seems the census commissioner (C Chandramouli) was bulldozed into accepting the decision of two cabinet meetings to conduct a caste census after the 2011 census operations were over,” Bose said, adding that the contention being made, that such a exercise will help in identifying the creamy and non-creamy layer among lower castes, was wrong. For, the Indian census never asks questions on an individual’s income.<br />
  9. 9. Constitutional-isation of “Divide and rule” in India<br />Part II<br />
  10. 10. What are the instruments of “Divide and Rule” ?<br />Concocted History<br />Treadmill-like Educational Curriculum & Upward Mobility<br />Racial and Ethnic Stereotyping & Casteism<br />Westminster Parliamentary Democracy System that “constitutionalises” all the above defects in the present Indian polity and society<br />
  11. 11. Concocted History<br />The notion of ‘letting go’ is central to Indian thought and plays a key role in its philosophical-social-cultural systems. One is constantly asked to move on. That is why, traditionally in India, no tombs were built. <br />The British forced Indians to construct history. They made Indians feel inferior for not having a sense of history. They went about writing the history of India. And what they wrote, divided Indians forever.<br />Today, we have a Left-wing view of history that ignores, even mocks the faith of Indians. And then there is the Right-wing view of history that rejects all ideas that came from the British and insists that everything in India is much older than any historian can ever imagine.<br />Source: DevduttPattanaik<br />
  12. 12. Treadmill-like Educational Curriculum... &<br />Christian missions in India had been successful only in converting a few low-caste groups from a poor socio-economic background. The upper caste Hindu and Muslim communities had been practically untouched. Duff shrewdly assessed that these affluent communities could not be accessed by traditional evangelical methods. <br />He recognised that holding out the prospect of upward mobility, by offering a western education, would bring the children of the affluent classes into his range of influence, which could then be extended to encompass religion. Duff devised the policy of an educational mission. <br />The success of his work had the effect:<br />of altering the policy of the government of India in matters of education;<br />of securing the recognition of education as a missionary agency by Christian churches at home; and,<br />of securing entrance for Christian ideas into the minds of high-caste Hindus.<br />
  13. 13. …Devious Upward Mobility<br />Duff opened a school in which all kinds of secular subjects were taught, from the rudiments upwards to a university standard, alongside the Bible. <br />The English language was used as the medium of instruction on the grounds that it was the key to Western knowledge. <br />Alexander Duff proposed a theory which he called the "downward filter theory" in which he believed that by catering to the middle and upper social classes, the knowledge of Christianity would eventually filter down the social ladder. <br />Although he promoted the teaching of English in schools, he still viewed the vernacular as an important language for spreading Christianity among "the masses" but deemed it inferior to the English language because it was not progressive.<br />
  14. 14. Racial and Ethnic Stereotyping & Casteism<br />Whilst it is generally accepted that the British Raj encouraged division in Indian society along the lines of the caste system, the Victorian ethnologists also divided Indians into racial types with Dravidians as the most primitive (dark skins) and fair Indo Aryans, the higher and dominant castes, supposedly descended from the same racial stock as white Europeans<br />To the Victorian ethnologists, caste divisions in Indian society were an Indo Aryan invention to maintain the purity of their bloodline and retain the fair skin which was so prized as a mark of high status.<br />Source: Imperialist British India - Divide & Rule Tactic: British Raj Creates Divisions in Indian Society Leading to Violence<br />
  15. 15. Imperialist British Raj Create Further Divisions in Indian Society<br />Indeed, Indian society as a whole was further divided by the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh religion, and once again the British created further artificial fractures within Indian society by taking advantage of religious differences within their tactics of controlling the Empire.<br />The 1909 grant of separate electorates to Muslims is seen as an example of this by creating a political electorate based purely upon religious difference.<br />Whilst the British perceived the growing politicisation of India and the growth of the Indian National Congress with concern realising that this would be the downfall of British India, they felt that the creation of separate electorates for Muslims would allow them to remain in command longer. <br />It is a rare politician indeed who divides a country and electorate upon religious grounds, due to awareness of the capacity for religion to cause animosities. Indeed, communal rifts between the Muslims and Hindus became commonplace occurrences throughout India after this.<br />
  16. 16. The irreclaimable corrosion of Westminster Parliamentary Democratic System in India<br />Politicians and their aides in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh admitted to violating election law to influence voters in the 2009 LokSabha polls through payments in the form of cash, goods, or services, according to a revealing cable sent to the State Department by Frederick J. Kaplan, Acting Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate-General in Chennai. <br />In conversations with a visiting consulate team, Karti Chidambaram of the Congress, M. Patturajan, confidant of Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers M.K. Alagiri and former Mayor of Madurai, and Member of Parliament AssaduddinOwaisi of the Majlis-e-Ittehad-ulMuslimeen spoke without inhibition about how they, their principals, or their parties made payments to voters during the election campaign.<br />
  17. 17. ‘Cash for votes a way of political life in South India’<br />“Bribes from political parties to voters, in the form of cash, goods, or services, are a regular feature of elections in South India. Poor voters expect bribes from political candidates, and candidates find various ways to satisfy voter expectations. <br />From paying to dig a community well to slipping cash into an envelope delivered inside the morning newspaper, politicians and their operatives admitted to violating election rules to influence voters. <br />The money to pay the bribes comes from the proceeds of fund-raising, which often crosses into political corruption. Although the precise impact of bribery on voter behavior is hard to measure, it no doubt swings at least some elections, especially the close races.”<br />Wherever Mr. Kaplan and his colleagues went, “journalists, politicians, and voters spoke of the bribes as a commonly accepted fact of the election process.”<br />Source:<br />
  18. 18. Was 2009 elections a referendum on Cash-for-votes Scam?<br />Dr. Singh hit back at the opposition for raising “old charges that have been debated, discussed and rejected by the people of India.”<br />"I am disappointed that the Opposition has forgotten what happened thereafter. The Opposition repeated the allegations of bribery and how did the people respond,” he said, citing the increase in Congress seats from 141 to 206 as compared to BJP whose tally declined from 138 to 116 and that of Left parties from 59 to 34.<br />In the LokSabha, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj wanted to ask some questions but was disallowed by Speaker Meira Kumar. Quoting rules, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said clarifications could not be sought and hit out at Opposition, asking whether the government should listen to everything they say.<br />Soon after Prime Minister completed his statement in the RajyaSabha, identical to the one made in the LokSabha, Leader of Opposition ArunJaitley raised his hands to seek certain clarifications. Like in the morning, Congress members disallowed Mr. Jaitley from speaking. Chairman HamidAnsari quoted a 24-year-old ruling which “unambiguously” did not allow clarification if a statement by the government was made on demand.<br />Source:<br />
  19. 19. We need to free India from the scourge of Westminster system that fosters the imposturous policies of “divide and rule”.<br />
  20. 20. …In-between stories…<br />"We are in trouble just now because we do not have a good story. We are in between stories. The old story, the account of how the world came to be and how we fit into it, is no longer effective. <br />Yet we have not learned the new story. Our traditional story of the universe sustained us for a long period of time. It shaped our emotional attitudes, provided us with life purposes, and energized action. <br />It consecrated suffering and integrated knowledge. We awoke in the morning and knew where we were. We could answer questions of our children. We could identify crime, punish transgressors.<br />Everything was taken care of because the story was there..." <br />Thomas Berry, Cultural Historian<br />
  21. 21. …Outlines of a NEW story<br />"Yet the dim outlines of a new story are emerging. At its roots are two elements: A new picture of the universe and a new sense of human possibility. <br />We are just beginning to explore (from a western viewpoint) what it means to be part of a universe that is alive… not just cosmos but cosmo-genesis.<br />Moreover, the new universe story “carries with it a psychic-spiritual dimension as well as a physical-materialistic dimension. <br />Otherwise, human consciousness emerges out of nowhere… an addendum [with] no real place in the story of the universe.”<br />Peter Senge, Management Thinker<br />
  22. 22. A way forward<br />Part III<br />
  23. 23. Indian-style Presidential system<br />A directly-elected President with a 5-year tenure<br />Shall appoint a cabinet of talents and accountability <br />Shall devote his or her energies to governance to serve the people of India<br />
  24. 24. Checks and Balances<br />As a further check-and-balance , each candidate for the presidential election will be scrutinized by a panel comprising Supreme Court judges and eminent Indians from different walks of life, based on a set of objective criteria of ability and strength of character. <br />Yearly review and right to recall that can be exercised at the end of each review<br />
  25. 25. What are the roadblocks?<br />At the most basic level, our parliamentarians' fondness for the current system rests on familiarity: this is the system they know. <br />They are comfortable with it, they know how to make it work for themselves, they have polished the skills required to triumph in it. <br />Most non-politicians in India would see this as a disqualification, rather than as a recommendation for a decaying status quo.<br />
  26. 26. Liberal argument<br />Liberal democrats argue that the presidential system carries with it the risk of dictatorship.<br />They conjure up the image of an imperious president, immune to parliamentary defeat and impervious to public opinion, ruling the country by fiat.<br />Has the rapid and free fall of the parliamentary government headed by Dr Manmohan Singh changed their belief?<br />
  27. 27. The spectre of Emergency<br /> “MrsGandhi, during the Emergency, contemplated abandoning the parliamentary system for a modified form of Gaullism, thereby, discrediting the idea of presidential government in many democratic Indian eyes. <br /> But Mrs Gandhi is herself the best answer to such fears: she demonstrated with her Emergency rule that even a parliamentary system can be distorted to permit autocratic rule. <br /> Dictatorship is not the result of a particular type of governmental system.” <br />– ShashiTharoor<br />
  28. 28. Press Conference on 5th of April, 2011, New Delhi <br />Call for a national referendum for constitutional reform to “bury”the divide and rule Westminster Parliamentary System and toembark upon a new Indian-style Presidential System that unitesus.<br />