The core-question is of individual state relationship:
Individual rights are against state but, simultaneously, a
strong state is required to protect these rights. A culturally
deficient constituent cannot create a better state. Therefore,
do we first have to have a new concept of state as a value? In
the workshop, Indian values were located only in ‘Vedant’
with C.Badrinath as the sole expert on tradition. Implicit in
this is abandonment of classic Indian concept of the state and
connected religious and cultural values. Unstated issue is
whether in that case India can remain a nation? Can a modem
constitution be the sole base for the creation and existence of
a nation? However, the accepted background assumption of the
conference is that India a functioning democracy. Is it only
because it is a mass democracy with a little of civil society?
One participant thinks so.
Greek tradition, Holy Empire was not much respectful of
individual rights. Nation-states emerged with concept of rule of
law to protect contracts with freedom of enterprise and market.
Three centuries progress made it slightly tempered by welfare
concept. Here equality means equality of opportunity. Equality
and liberty, together, in this sense formed the core of
secularism in the West.
The tragedy of
secularism in India is the hijacking of the concept by the
leftist. Dominant Nehrivian discourse in English justifies a
state concentrating all economic power remaining blind to the
fact that this has created a Hindu bourgeoisie power and an all
powerful Brahamanic bureaucracy relegating the Muslim traders,
artisans and craftsmen to ghettos. This has retarded the chance
of emergence of an Indian capitalist class and has bound India
down to a feudal order with romantic notions of Muslim culture.
Communism created a tyranny most oppressive of minorities. Only
freedom of market to sell labour can unshackle the caste bound
oppressed by the feudal lord. Marxist practice in India has
created the equation of traditionalist=Brahmanic=Hindu=free
marketist=supplicant of American imperialism=male chauvinists.
Cultural values here have been
sought only in texts treating Hindu as a monolith created by
Manu, sanctified by colonialists, and adopted by resurgent
Brahamanic Vedics and Vedanti. Tradition of polytheism,
treatment of philosophic school only as an opinion (mut) and of
organised religion as a path (panth), practice of ahimsa and
respect for ‘arth’ taking money as a scale of gain or loss
rather than feudal concept of prestige (ijjat) which are at the
core of democratic experience in India find no mention here. The
fault lies in selection of participants who are known Leftists
from JNU with some sprinkling from Delhi and Calcutta, with the
sole exception of Badrinath, who could have met only in the
heritage hotel of Neemrana with liberal pocket allowances, This
forcibly puts ordinary liberal ‘sanatani’ Indian and those
wanting freedom of market in the ‘other’ camp. This also
leaves out eclectic Muslim.