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Dictatorship: Re: Utkarsh's modifications



Utkarsh's view:

> >(Sanjeev)b) On the second (dictatorship), the reason why I >introduced
> it was the very often-heard argument in >various "educated" circles that
> we were better off >during the Emergency and that our population was
> >coming under "control" through Sanjay Gandhi's strong >methods. Our
> psyche in India harps back to monarchies >and to dicatatorial styles. 
> To make it very clear once >and for all that dictatorships of any type
> will be >unacceptable, I think I would favor retaining the >statement.
> 
> In my understanding, a pseudo dictatorhip in India is possible with
> something similar to emergency. I am not sure that even mention of world
> dictatorship is required.  Are we suggesting that we propose to amend
> the constitution of the emergency like scenario. 
> 

My response:

I have a small problem with this view. Emergency powers are not something
to be lightly used. In India these powers were grossly misused. There was
no foreign attack on India nor a civil war. Even the British did not
enforce such draconian powers during the Quit India movement, though they
were foreign rulers and had no stake in India, per se. 

For example, Mahatma Gandhi was not bottled up under TADA or such rules
without trial, and his followers beaten by ordinary constables, nor
forcibly sterlized as many men of his age were, during the Emergency in
India.

Unfortunately, we have not learnt our lessons from the Emergency incident. 
Our democracy is very weak if a lot of people still think of that era as a
golden era of our independent existence (I keep hearing:  "trains ran in
time, clerks came to office in time," etc.). Unless specifically blocked
out, any one person can solitarily cripple democracy in India, yet. One of
the common debates I have had with **many** educated Indias, both in India
and outside, is about why dictatorship is not the solution for India. 
This latent demand for a dictor in India keeps sprouting up, despite our
love with democracy. 

As you suggest, if need be, we must amend the constitution to empower the
use of Emergency only in two cases: foreign attack and civil war (suitably
defined). If a JP rises to object against injustice in our own land, or if
a High court finds an election to be invalid, that should never be the
reason for anyone representing this "ideal" party that we are working
toward, to declare emergency and grab 'pseudo-dictatorial' powers.

In any case, in my view, keeping this statement does not harm us; keeping
it out, could, some day, harm us.

Sanjeev