Indian Express (who else?) reported on Sunday that the government of India is ready to release a 15 point program which will mandate spending based on religious percentages. In short, if the minority population is 20% then that percentage of money will be spent only on minorities. In effect, rather than getting rid of caste based reservations, this government is ready to unleash yet another way to divide the country. Sometimes you have to wonder why our politicians learnt only the worst things from the British.
In any case, I was reading the American declaration of Independence the other day. It has been said that it is one of the most influential documents in the history of mankind. One of the great historians Samuel Eliot remarked that “if the American Revolution had produced nothing but the Declaration of Independence, it would have been worthwhile”. The essence of that declaration can be found in just this one single paragraph:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
In the context of the recent pronouncement of the UPA government in India, it seems that this declaration has been turned on its head. In the hand of the Indian politicians this is how it might look like:
We hold these truths to be self-serving, that all men, women and minorities are created to be our vote banks, that they are endowed by their religions to vote as a bloc with certain rights that are for ours to take and theirs to give – That to secure these rights, religious and caste groups have been instituted among people, deriving their power from the vote bloc they belong to. That our form of government will pander to the lowest common denominator and will try its best to divide and rule according to its own benefit. It is the right of a group of people as belonging to a particular religion and caste, that when the government stops responding to their unreasonable demands, they can and will try their best to sabotage it regardless of national interest.