have hijacked freedom
the world’s largest democracy and an emerging power of the 21st
century, is celebrating 60 years of Independence. "The Tryst with
Destiny" theme echoed in the Central Hall of Parliament last night.
But Jawaharlal Nehru’s ringing words to usher the dawn of freedom
seemed coming from a distant past.
Fali S. Nariman
Constitution is about
politics. And the real problem about politics in India is its
unpredictability. That doyen of American journalists, James Reston,
started his newspaper career as a sports writer. Some years before he
died, he told the Washington Post that he preferred sports to politics
because "at the end of the day you know who has won; in politics,
you have to wait 60 years to see how it all comes out." We have
waited — 60 years, and it is still not certain how it will all come
out. But one thing is certain. Our Constitution has survived — and
that is a plus point.
would be useful to cast a
rapid look at the governance of our country in the past 60 years, since
Independence. In the simplest terms, "governance" relates to
the effective management of the affairs of a country at all levels;
guaranteeing its territorial integrity and assuring the safety, security
and overall welfare of all its people.
democracy flourish with undemocratic parties?
barely, if at all, mention political parties. Their existence and growth
is nevertheless an integral part of democratic political processes, of
which the hallmark is free and fair elections. Political parties have
however acquired legitimacy in all democracies, and their existence in
sufficient number has even become a test for the democratic credentials
of a polity.
freedom for diversity to flourish
is no doubt that India has
been a remarkably vibrant experiment in the management of diversity. It
has, over the years, improvised a whole range of instruments, laws and
political processes to give different kinds of diversity, whether it is
of language, religion, region etc.
per cent success won’t do
T. N. Ninan
this month, the government
handed out a single contract, for building a 4,000 MW power station.
Sixty years ago, the total power generation capacity in the whole
country was less than half that figure. Indeed, India’s total power
generation capacity has multiplied more than 60-fold in 60 years, and is
set to grow by another 60 per cent in the next five.
nexus getting stronger
Subhash C. Kashyap
to a recent study, the
present Lok Sabha has the unique distinction of having as many as 125
members with criminal background. Serious charges of murder, rape,
kidnapping, extortion and the like are pending against many of them. A
media report puts their number at 139. They are all
"Honourable" members. They have not been convicted yet and are
not likely to be convicted in the near future. The cases against them
may remain pending for years.
policy must meet the needs of 21st century
current century will be
characterised by polarisation of economic and military power among six
principal actors, with Asian developments forming the central focus of
their policies — China, India, Japan, Russia, the US and the European
Union (EU). Unforeseen advances in science and technology will influence
human affairs and become an important factor in international relations.
must think of South Asia of 2020
the face of it, South Asia
presents a spectre of instability and disorder. Some of the western
portrayals of South Asian futures indeed draw scary scenarios. The
Carnegie Endowment’s index of failed and failing states for 2006, put
almost all of India’s neighbours close to dismal prospects. The
situation in some of these South Asian countries has indeed worsened
since the painting of such scenarios. Afghanistan and Pakistan look far
more vulnerable to jehadi terror.
of citizenship alone can see the back of caste
the Constitution in India
needs a major amendment it is in the opening lines. Instead of beginning
with: "We the people of India," the start up should be;
"We the citizens of India." With this single change the
tenor and cadence of our Constitution would acquire new dimensions that
would help us walk calmly into the 21st century and beyond.
Act before water stress undermines social stability
are looking for water on
Mars and other celestial bodies to establish the existence of life
even as our Planet Earth enters into a new phase of water stress and
uncertainty. Climate change now threatens earlier verities and
lifestyles. The worst dangers may be staved off but only if all of
mankind makes a concerted effort to avert a looming catastrophe.
The kind of education India should aim at
Pushpa M. Bhargava
24th March 2047
Kumar had just got through
Class XII. The school was five-minutes walk from his home. The maximum
any of his friends had to walk to school in any part of the country
was 15 minutes.
Needed a new science and technology policy
Dr M.R. Srinivasan
the field of science and
technology, India presents two completely contradictory faces. On the
one hand, foreign observers look upon India as a bottomless container
of S&T talent which in due course of time will, along with China,
dominate the global scene in the second half of the 21st century.