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RE: regarding the ILP proposal
On Mon, 11 May 1998, Charudatt wrote:
> I believe your argument is too literal. Consider the US constitution's
> guarantee to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". The
> government cannot guarantee that it's citizens lives are preserved and
> if someone without shelter dies in the cold from exposure this right
> is not grounds for suing the government.
> As power is decentralized, a small set of BASIC responsibilities of the
> local government need to be stated and I believe that education of
> children is one of them that should be non-negotiable.
> I see the role of this right as preventing the local government from
> shirking its responsibility.
> BTW, I wonder what the context of the quote from Woodrow Wilson is. He
> blocked giving women the right to vote in this country during his
> presidency, yielding only when the political pressure became
I would like you to show me the web site which has the specific
provision on the US constitution that you refer to above. I have no
idea how much that provision is justiciable in court, and I would like
to read the section myself.
On the other hand, in India, Fundamental Rights are fully justiciable in
the Supreme Court, directly, except when suspended by an Emergency.
for the full text of our fundamental rights.
On the other hand, education is a Directive Principle of State Policy
(read: http://www.hsrc.ac.za/constitutions/ind4.html )
Article 41: The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity
and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work,
to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age,
sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.
Also Article 45: Provision for free and compulsory education for
children-The State shall endeavor to provide, within a period of ten years
from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory
education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.
I think we should focus on providing a true method of providing education
to people rather than consider too much of this mumbo-jumbo on rights and
directive principles. We know from experience and logic that this cannot
work, unsupported by specific policy instruments.
Therefore, as in all cases, I am making an appeal. No pious intentions
please: let us focus on a blue print for action: something that will
deliver education to the people. If you feel that there is a specific
method to provide education as a fundamental right [other than: we need to
prevent local government from shirking responsibility], then please go
ahead and let us discuss that method. I don't quite care for good
intentions. I have seen enough of those in my long life. I only care for
blueprints which can succeed, given the constraints we operate in. If we
too, will come out with nothing but good intentions at the end of our
exercise, then we might as well go home and watch TV.
[One final comment: The Wilson quote was not intended to glorify Wilson.
If a person's personal failings were to be a criterion for selecting
quotes, then one might as well close down all discussion, since the
question of these basic rights [life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness] arose from people like Jefferson, Maddison, Locke and Bentham,
many of whom were feudal, disliked voting by the un-propertied, and often
had slaves. Wilson was not the first to block the right of women to vote,
and we are not blemishless, either, in our personal lives.]