Friday, August 15, 2008

Editorial 'Whither this downslide?' in LAW, 15 August 2008 issue


Sri Sri, the great poet of Telugu literature, had long back lamented in these terms the tragic plight facing our countrymen. Even after 60 years of independence, the evils he deplored – corruption, nepotism and black-marketing and greedy selfishness – are growing by leaps and bounds. Inflation and unemployment are racing uncontrollably. There may be considerable development on capitalist lines but the fruits are largely gulped by tiny sections of the people. The great majority are leading uncertain lives, to say the least, and the downmost ten percent are on the verge of starvation and in danger of extinction. Socialism has become a mere catchword and the Constitution is being undermined by its own supposed protectors. Concentration of wealth is touching new peaks, scorning Article 39, and the commons are thrown to destitution saying the inefficient and unlucky deserve such fate in a competitive society. Market economy is assuming ominous dimensions and new sort of East India Companies are being invited. Basic amenities are lacking for common people. Welfare society is becoming a dream of the past. One Abhinav Bhindra no doubt deserves all congratulations, but the basic fact that ninety percent of schools and colleges do not have minimum sports facilities tells the reason for our stark failure at Olympics or elsewhere. With participatory management always held as a laughing stock ideal, the workers have no future or even present. Honest and hardworking peasants are being driven to suicides. Only the rich and the elite are cosy. This is nothing but an oligarchy parading as democracy in an age when even developed capitalist countries are striving for high humanitarian, libertarian and social welfarist principles at least in their domestic arenas. The only remedy seems to be a grassroots revolution, but can ‘we the people’ do that? §§§