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The Woes of Minority Communities in India

The Root Cause for growing demand

of Separate States

 

-by Bijay Bantawa

The threat of suppression by majority over minority community over the years is growing constantly and rapidly in changing scenario of Indian politics at the juncture. Democratic totalitarianism or democratic dictatorship is now unnoticeably finding place in Indian democracy by the clandestine act of suppression by majority community over minority community in many sphere of life in various parts of the country.The minority community today in India is being ignored or left unheeded because of this main reason and attitude.......

The real meaning of democracy is the participation of all the citizens in the national development process, equal rights and equal duties and equal opportunity to the entire citizens irrespective of their castes, creeds and affiliation to any political party. In the democratic form of Government the people elect their representative by adult franchise, therefore it is well said that the Government is formed by the people for the people and of the people. Over the years, the concept of democracy and the people are being implied for the major community group alone in practice, the lionís share of opportunity enjoying by them. The obvious reason for being so is that the majority community is always in such a position and proportion that they easily elect their representative while minority community remains at dark and live on the mercy of the leaders who largely represent the majority community. This aspect has not been examined and reviewed by Indian leaders although there is much talk about the protection of minority community. There is constitutional provision for the protection of minority but in practice, the minority suffer miserably due to ineffective government missionary and sluggishness on the part of Government. Therefore the threat of suppression by majority over minority community over the years is growing constantly and rapidly in changing scenario of Indian politics at the juncture.  Democratic totalitarianism or democratic dictatorship is now unnoticeably finding place in Indian democracy by the clandestine act of suppression by majority community over minority community in many sphere of life in various parts of the country. The minority community today in India is being ignored or left unheeded because of this main reason, although Government is elected for all the people irrespective of the fact that whether they are elected by majority or minority community. The harsh reality today is that the leader who is able to garner the support of majority community is bound to be the voice of their voters and they must listen the voice of majority community to retain the position than the minority community, thus democratic totalitarianism is finding the way more importantly and the Government too is playing the dominant role for the interest of the majority community, although they always talk about the protection, safeguard of minority community in words than in deeds.. The prospect of the country is therefore being influenced and affected by such leaders who have so far captured and retained the power by dividing people on caste, community and religion. The people of Telengana, Vidharva, Bodoland, Garoland, Gorkhaland are raising their voice against this kind of treatment and against democratic totalitarianism for a long time, therefore their movement for separate statehood is gaining momentum, whereas the custodian of the democratic rights of the people are maintaining silence following the wait and watch tactics.

The champions of the democracy in the country are therefore ruling out any possibilities of the creation of small states and constitution of State Re-organization Commission. The framers of the constitution of India under the chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar were well aware of the future map of India regarding the creation of more states and after implementation of the constitution. The framers of Indian constitution after properly analyzing the far reaching consequence had envisaged the provision of Article 3(a) with their foresightedness that there were more creation of States considering the geographical and composition of the socio-economic and political interest of the country and giving the equal opportunity of all the people in national development process. Today, no political leader of the country has guts to proclaim that the provision must be abrogated totally from the chapter of the constitution, neither, they can remark the demand for separate state as anti-national, although the leaders of West Bengal dared to say so in the wake of Gorkhaland movement in 1980, but the Centre, particularly the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi lashed out their statements and ultimately the Government was bound to go for tripartite meeting for Darjeeling accord in 1987.

 The framers of the constitution of India were also well aware of the facts that India is a country of multi-ethnicity, multi linguistic communities which still maintains a bond of unity in diversity. In order to keep their interest and equal right, the framers of the constitution gave wider scope for creation of more states by means of alteration of boundary of one or more states duly giving the representation to the various communities of the country as one single Indian family and political entity. It was also expected to provide the protection to minority community and also the right to move from one state to another state freely and work and settle, but because of growing insecurity among the communities and apprehension of infringement of their political, social, cultural identity, the policy of son of the soil or local protection was considered necessary by some of the State Government than the Union Government. Although, it was also expected that all the people of this country irrespective of their cast, community be equally treated by the State Government in practice and theory, but in course of time and due to population explosion and many other responsible factors, the federal spirit of constitution gradually and unnoticeably ignored. While more autonomy of the State Government is being discussed and considered necessary, there is urgent need that Union Government is equally must take bold decision in matter of the protection of minority community in India today.

Out of the present situation, the state of affairs and political stalemate with regard to the Telengana issue, the case of more autonomy to the people and creation of small states are keeping in cold storage for the moment, but the solution will not be available for lingering the issue for a long time. This will directly or indirectly affect the economic health of the nation on one hand and it will also create internal disturbance and security problem if the growing resentment of the people is not tactfully handle and solve wisely.

 The Centre Government has many ways and means to tackle the present situation and bring the country in the right track for leading the nation towards peace, prosperity and self reliance. The Union Government has option to rule directly in the disturbed regions like Telengana region or Moist invaded places by declaring them as Union territories if the State Government is not capable enough to handle the situation. This is the first and foremost solution at the present political stalemate of Andra Pradesh before the Centre Government. Likewise, the Union Government can take this bold option in case of other regions like Bodoland, Garoland, Gorkhaland and Vidharva where such demands are being raised frequently by the people who are observing various means of their movements.

The Centre Government has many ways and means to tackle the present situation and bring the country in the right track for leading the nation towards peace, prosperity and self reliance. The Union Government has option to rule directly in the disturbed regions like Telengana region or Moist invaded places by declaring them as Union territories if the State Government is not capable enough to handle the situation. This is the first and foremost solution at the present political stalemate of Andra Pradesh before the Centre Government. Likewise, the Union Government can take this bold option in case of other regions like Bodoland, Garoland, Gorkhaland and Vidharva where such demands are being raised frequently by the people who are observing various means of their movement. Sikkim, a most happening State of India is unnecessarily being dragged by the Gorkhaland movement and most of the time, 31 A National Highway, the life line of the State is being closed down, thereby immensely affecting the movement of vehicle and development.

It is obvious that the main reason of their agitation is unequal treatment and deprivation of economic and other equal opportunity by the State and Centre Government, again the root cause of such disparity because of political division among the majority and minority communities.

By examining the pros and cons and root causes of the political imbalance and disparity among such communities, whether the present Congress led UPA Government can take such bold step? This is the big question that cannot be easily answered and solved at the moment, but the answer and solution must be found out if not today, indeed by immediate future in order to take India into a new height of development. The main reason for inability to take concrete steps by the present Government at Centre is again the fragmentation of the mandate of the voters which is still not absolute, as no single largest party with absolute majority could form the Government at Centre in the last parliamentary election, and even if there will be absolute majority in future, the Government is also divided in taking decision. For example, Congress leader and Union Minister Pranab Mukhajee and another leader Priyaranjan Das Munshi including allied partner Tinamul Congress leader and Union Minister Miss Mamata Banerjee are against the division of West Bengal, while the support of Pranab Mukherjee for the creation of Telengana State is surprisingly and by no means logical conclusion of an enlightened and veteran leadership at the centre.

Thus, there are divergent views on urgent national issue and interest, the Government is divided on party line and because of petty interest and regional feeling, they ever prepare to resign from their responsible post as has been seen in the case of Telengana at present juncture.There are many hypothetical reasons being raised even by so-called intellectual and so-called international analyst that bifurcating and dividing the State, the power of States will be weakened. But they have failed to analyze that due to frequent agitation and political and economic disparity and unequal treatment among the minority communities, neither the Centre Government nor the State Government can be strong enough to function. This is also an incomplete, illogical and biased analyze and conclusion that most of so-called national and political observers are drawing in their mind and creating the consensus for their motivated interest only at the moment. It is crystal clear from their illogical conclusion that they have not studied the root cause of the internal disturbance, regional problems on the grounds which may be big national problem in due course. North Eastern States are still far from the national stream where militancy is still not fully diffused but on the way of rising their arms up again in any time in the coming days, although, Central Government is making significant headway to curb it in NE region in the recent times. While the Governance and administration of smaller states and the criteria of smaller states are too much discussed and many political analysts opined that the creation of State on the line of language, community is a wrong notion, the fact is that the country is already divided on this line and still on the verge of division, but if governance is for the people who directly elect their rulers in case of smaller states like Sikkim, it has shown good result too and therefore, the positive aspects of the creation of small states must not be discarded due to such illogical conclusion or statement. The concept of Bihar for Bihari, Maharastra for Marathi, Gujarat for Gujrati, Bengal for Bengali have already and adversely affected the life of other Indian communities. If all the communities are not well safeguarded politically, socially and economically, the real transformation of democracy in India cannot be successful.

Until and unless a strong and committed Government at Centre led by quality leaders of high caliber cannot realize the root cause of the growing demands of Smaller States within the frame work of the constitution and take bold decision, the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and many freedom fighters including the framers of the constitution to give equal status and rights to the people of India irrespective of region, caste and community cannot be realized. It is also illogical to say that Home Ministry and Government of India is unaware of the causes of the demands and root causes of the problems, but the inertia and the sluggishness on the part of leader and Government in democracy is highly condemnable. In democracy, a leader is elected by the people to act for the interest of the people, so a leader either must act and deliver the goods or he or she must be prepared to quit like in do or dies situation. If the leader cannot live up to the expectation of the people, they must exit honorably. The woes and condition of the various people demanding for autonomy and separate state cannot be therefore improved by mere economic package or deal. If the leaders are not sincere enough to act as per the aspiration of the people, the country cannot march towards right direction. If there will be equal opportunity for all and no Matsya Nyaya, then India really becomes more strong, independent, most vibrant and largest democracy in the world in real sense and practice.