What Is India’s National Aim?
Justice Markandey Katju writes that only a revolution, led by modern-minded and patriotic leaders, will set India on a course of rapid industrialisation and create a just social order, which would transform it into a first world country.
Humanity is divided into two different worlds. The first half lives in the developed and highly industrialised regions/countries like North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and China while the second half lives in underdeveloped countries, which also includes India.
Our national aim must be to transform and uplift India from the ranks of the second world to that of the first. There should be no compromise on this.
This is necessary because only a highly developed and widespread modern industry can generate the kind of wealth that is required to ensure the welfare of our people and creating millions of jobs. It takes only about 15-20 years for this transformation to take place, as the experience of Japan after the Meiji Restoration in 1868 shows.
In the quest to achieve something great, the most important requirement is a modern-minded, genuinely patriotic and selfless political leadership. Japanese leaders in the past were blessed with the above-mentioned qualities, which seem alien to present-day Indian politicians.
Of the two national parties, the Congress became totally corrupt and their rule was marred by allegations of scams and corruption. And the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is dominated by men from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is a rabid anti-minority organisation whose leaders have feudal mindsets (though some pretend to be modern). Our politicians have no genuine love for the country but only desire power and pelf.
India today has two of the three prerequisites for creating a highly developed industrial country viz a huge pool of technical talent and immense natural resources. What it lacks presently is the third requirement; a genuinely patriotic modern minded political leadership.
Unfortunately, the parliamentary system of democracy which we adopted in our constitution, following the British model, has degenerated into caste and communal vote bank politics in most parts of India. Casteism and communalism are feudal forces which must be destroyed if India is to progress, but parliamentary democracy here further entrenches these practices.
Our political leaders have great expertise in manipulating caste and communal vote banks, polarising society and spreading caste and communal hatred. All they care for is winning the next elections, and of course, making money.
In my article ‘ Why celebrate Republic Day when the Constitution has become a scarecrow ‘ I have pointed out that everything has collapsed in India, our state institutions have become hollow and empty shells, and distress among people is growing. Of late, there has been a sharp downturn in the economy, with the GDP growth down to five per cent, which has resulted in a steep decline in manufacturing ( e.g. auto sector ), agriculture, real estate, power and other sectors, and record unemployment ( as the National Sample Survey admits ). The poor man in India eats roti with onions, but now onion prices have skyrocketed.
Building Ram Mandir, calling for cow protection, celebrating Yoga Day, Swatchata Abhiyan, abolition of Article 370 etc were to my mind only desperate gimmicks by a beleaguered government to divert attention from the terrible economic crisis which has gripped the country. One may have won the 2019 elections on the plank of ‘Hindutva’, but one can’t eat Hindutva. One has to eat food, and to get food one has to have a job. But employment opportunities are getting scarce (since manufacture is declining).
My own opinion is that in the near future massive popular agitations would begin in India which would lead to chaos, and after maybe 10 years there would be some kind of French Revolution. This seems obvious from the fact that under the present system everything in India is at a standstill, and in fact getting worse.
When would this revolution take place? Who would be its Robespierres, Dantons and Marats? What would be its form? All these questions are impossible to answer. But of one thing we can be sure of is that it is inevitable. Since everything has collapsed in India some alternative is bound to emerge. Nature does not like a vacuum for long.
It is only after such a revolution, led by modern-minded and patriotic leaders, that India would set about on a course of rapid industrialisation and creating a just social order, which would transform India from the second world into the first. All patriotic Indians must understand this, and contribute towards this goal.
Markandey Katju is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was also the Chairman of the Press Council of India.