Only a move towards Core Right can resurrect the Rule of Law in the Indian context. We are working on a detailed Core Right position but here is a sneak peek.
- Education : This is of the highest priority about ten times higher than item no 2 below. The Right to Education Act must be repealed, the 93rd Amendment overturned, and all the sectarian preferences in education prior to RTE must also be revisited. This is of utmost importance. Without this clarity and principle at the top, the lower cadre may not be able to grapple with the fallouts of such sectarianism.
- Sectarian Purse: No 2 on Core Right is to preserve the secular nature of the public purse if you are to function as a coherent whole. The issue oddly, is not that the state spends on minority only issues like Haj where only minorities have an interest but on public goods like scholarships, schools, public works (MSDP), loans, etc. Areas where everyone has aspirations and interest. This is not to take away minority scholarships but to absorb the part into the whole. The idea is to have common public goods and ensure equitable distribution within the program. Not to run separate programs.
- Quota : Idea of India always had the danger that at some arbitrary point, the inside group (with benefits) would collaborate and prevent outside groups (without benefits) from gatecrashing. This is the essence of the Jat, Patidar, and Kapu issues. In Idea of India framework each of these groups should demonstrate their violence potential as proof of their grievance. The way to exit this loop is to enter a regime of open data about utilization of benefits on a component basis. Also borderline cases like Tamilnadu have to be taken up by the court for final disposition one way or another.
- Temple : For Hindu society to have a shot at self correction (expel the beef brahmin and elevate the dalit) it must have in its control institutions. By appropriating all the temple wealth for secular purposes, this institutional capacity is taken away while Churches have a large capacity to present to their flock in terms of education and hospitals. That in essence is the matter of temple control. There are some issues around the kind of trust to which this will be handed over. But for starters – there can be a central law that mandates ‘labeling’ and ‘channeling’ of temple revenues. More on this later.
- Essential religious practice : A constitution amendment that would put cultural practices like Jallikattu, Nag Panchami, Dahi Handi and all others out of reach of simple PIL process in the courts. If US based NGOs like PETA want to ban Jallikattu they should be made to go to Parliament and use the statutory route. This makes it to the Core Right list because the security of such practices are essential to a pagan religion.
- Cow slaughter : Need to have a better law that openly says that cows get protection due to their special position in Hindu religion. The laws also have to be deeper and more well thought out. An example might be for outlaw and enforce in letter the killing of male calves. Today the laws are worded as if the target is the butcher, consumer, and not the seller and the calf-killer. Can also institute a permanent amnesty regime by micro-chipping the herds. Today, if Congress comes back in MH the herds who are immune from slaughter today can be picked up. The costs of maintaining cattle must also be borne as far as possible by Hindus via tax deductions and special assessments on temples.
One the Core Right process is started, the first ground rule: NO PRIVATE VIOLENCE should be tolerated. The reason the state has no majesty in front of Jats and Kapus is that we do not have any answers to their questions. “Why cant I get what you are giving him”. Once you have a Core Right agenda in place, the state will restore its majesty and able to assert itself and claw its way back out of Idea of India land.
EDIT ::: < the Core Right agenda that was here > has moved to a separate article here “A Core Right agenda for a Modern India” please comment on that one.
The country is drifting from one meaningless issue to another. As soon as the media stopped its din over the Wold Culture Festival they hopped on to the “Bharat Mata ki Jai” issue. I stumbled upon this article this morning by Asaduddin Owaisi.
No. This was not said in a deliberate way to create this so-called controversy. I said it on record because RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has said that time has now come to teach people this particular slogan so that they could take pride in the country. I said I would not say. The Constitution doesn’t mandate it. It is my freedom of expression and religion. I have nothing against raising a slogan. I am very much aware of that. What is wrong if I say Jai Hind or Hindustan Zindabad.
Source : Firstpost
The central issue in this is the following. We all know that Freedom of Expression essentially places a negative constraint on the state. That is the state cannot prevent you from saying, writing, or expressing. The Bharat Mata ki Jai issue is different, can the state make you say, write, or express in other ways something you dont want to say?
The answer is Yes. In the case of Oaths and Affirmations, you may be forced to say things you may not want to say.
In 18th and 19th Century England, Catholics were cleverly excluded from public office for over 100 years by designing a special Oath of Allegiance. Among other things all those who wanted public office in England had to state that the “King of England has ultimate supremacy over the Church and not the Pope”. Obviously no Catholic would say that. So, they were ousted !! Even in the Protestant fold, the Quakers would not agree to swear to tell the truth by the King James Bible. They insisted their entire life is about telling the truth and there is no special need to take an Oath. Because of this, Quakers were not allowed to testify and a lot of criminals got away because you cant bear witness if you wont take the Oath !!
So India also has an Oaths and Affirmation (non religious) Act. All Muslim MP have to and they do say those words when they are sworn in. Curiously even the Indian Pledge “India is my country. All Indians are my brothers and sisters..” are recited without protest at school functions. You could ask if “All Indians are my brothers and sisters” does that make the country a mother? Maybe.
What Owaisi seeks is clear legal rules. I have to agree with him on this. Everyone cannot be asked to separately contract with everyone else on matters such as this. What people seek is a single clear interface with law. Someone cant just walk up to you and administer a private oath “Say XYZ or ..” and then have you evaluate his particular violence potential against your own and then decide if you want to say it or not. This is not how mature countries work.
Unfortunately even learned Right Wing are getting the dynamics wrong. Currently the discourse is with the foot soldier of Hindutva even though the BJP is in power. The centre must seize the discourse at the top level, announce that sectarian laws will be dismantled, and private thuggery and enforcement will not be tolerated. What is happening it the reverse. After having voted in a Core Right agenda, people find that nothing of that sort is happening, hence they want private enforcement. This leads to such stupid issues.
EDIT ::: < the Core Right agenda that was here > has moved to a separate article here https://realitycheck.wordpress.com/2016/03/26/a-core-right-agenda-for-a-modern-india/