Statement of the Lok Raj Sangathan dated January 26, 2021
For the first time in modern India on 26th of January 2021 a massive rally is being planned in New Delhi by several organisations with concurrent rallies being planned in many major cities to coincide with the official Republic Day celebrations of the Indian Republic. These unofficial rallies have been called by a disparate array of organisations from farmers’ organisations to working class organisations to protest against a large number of unfair laws, the extreme anti-labour policies of the government, the high handedness of the ruling party, and desperate economic conditions of the largest majority of the people, to name a few examples. There have been long raging farmers’ protests against the passage of the three farm laws in 2020 which have remain unabated. So, the official Republic Day celebrations will be accompanied by protest rallies across the country.
There has been a growing realisation and growing discontent amongst the largest sections of the people that the Indian Republic as it was established first in 1947 and then codified by the Indian Constitution which was adopted in November 1949 and came into force on January 26, 1950 does not protect the interests of the largest section of the population. While nominally India remains a democracy, there is the growing realisation that all decisions pertaining to the over 1.3 billion persons residing in the country are taken by a minuscule minority that does not represent the people in any way. Every five years an election takes place and (a coalition led by) one party replaces another. There is a swap of the Treasury and Opposition Benches of Parliament whether it is in the Lok Sabha or in the State Legislative Assemblies. One thing is for sure: no matter which coalition or party comes into power, the richer section of society gets richer and the poorer section gets poorer. This is evidenced by the vast and growing gulf between the richest in India and the desperately poor.
During the British colonial period, the vast masses of Indian people fed up with their bondage rose in unison to get rid of the colonial rule. This movement was spearheaded by the newly formed industrial class and the rich landlords who envisioned a situation where they would replace the British rulers. In order to do so they portrayed the wishes and aspirations of all the Indian people as something they would respect. The leading parties of that era, the Congress and the Muslim League together vied with one another to play the leading role. When it became clear that it would not be possible for both to lead this programme, they collaborated with the British to partition India into present day India and Pakistan to be split along religious lines. This disastrous policy was then codified with the Partition. In the meantime, the British Parliament enacted laws to grant India independence and constituted the Constituent Assemblies to write down Constitutions for both India and Pakistan. The Indian Constitution was essentially the Government of India Act of 1935 with some other features borrowed from other Constitutions of the day. The key features in the Constitution, in addition to those mentioned earlier, are that the entire political power is concentrated in the hands of the Cabinet and the Prime Minister, with a President who would be guided by the decisions of the Cabinet. This while claiming over and over again, from the Preamble to elsewhere that the rule is that of the People. The entire matter today is coming to head because of the contradiction between the reality and what is claimed to be the reality.
All the above has led to intolerable conditions for the masses of the people. Today life experience has taught them that there is no real democracy in India. But rather it is only on paper. Since no discussion takes place in Parliament, the challenges and opposition and resistance to the patently anti-people nature of rule today is taking place outside the realm of the official channels, and outside Parliament. The growing discontent is present in the streets and in the homes, in the villages and towns as the system is getting questioned.
At a time like this Lok Raj Sangathan once again puts forward its platform which in essence is what is required in India is the rule of the People. It calls upon all sections of society, the working masses, the underprivileged and the weak, the youth and women, other oppressed sections of society to participate in the process of a renewal of India. It is a country with a great potential where its great people deserve a great future, free of want and suffering, of security and safety. It enjoins them to participate in this historic mission so that power is ultimately transferred into the hands of people.