Shankkar Aiyar, Visiting Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute, writes on how the tyranny of political expediency has ruptured the scheme of governance provided for in the Constitution, in this Bloomberg Quint article. Excerpts:
"On Nov. 25, 1949, concluding his eloquent defence of the draft of the Constitution of India, BR Ambedkar made a poignant observation. He said: “On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value.”
Ambedkar then posed a question that he had obviously been agonised about. He asked: “How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life?” Ambedkar went on to caution: “If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril.”
The spectre Ambedkar worried about persists nearly seven decades later. The echoes of the question are resonating across the political landscape. The anger among Dalits (and tribals) is about the persistence of inequities of the social structure. It is also about the systemic dysfunction that perpetuates denial."
Read the full article here.