Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Call for Tolerance

'Intolerance' has become the buzzword of this Bihar election. This week, Sonia Gandhi led her band of courtiers to Rashtrapati Bhavan, essentially asking for the President to dismiss the democratically elected government of Narendra Modi to please the elite of Lutyen's Delhi who are itching to manufacture a riot in the country and reclaim their throne. But then, none of this should come as a surprise: the Congress is the fountainhead of intolerance in India, it has become so addicted to power that it is prepared o destroy the country for it.

The question is: what can be done? How do we reclaim this as a country for all, and not a country of majorities and minorities, of Yadavs and Kurmis, of reserved and general, and of every other division that the Congress has created? The root of the problem is in the Constitution itself, which has been amended over and over, over a hundred times, to fit the illiberal machinations of the Congress party. The root of all intolerance in India is the idea that the state can be intolerant on behalf of the people - that the state can control the economy, education, sexual orientation, marriage, divorce, worship, food,... you name it, and its control by the state is constitutionally allowed, with highly subjective riders that any creative lawyer can overcome.

The first step to creating a more tolerant society then, is to make it clear that intolerance does not have legal sanction, not even by the government. First and foremost, the first amendment must be repealed and freedom of speech restored. The first amendment is the instrument through which the state can ban books and movies, it is the reason the censor board can exist. It must go. But freedom of speech is only one aspect. The most important instrument of freedom and tolerance is a free economy. The state must leave business, and it must do so in more meaningful ways than selling its stake to LIC. The state must not create corporations. Next, social freedom. Illiberal parts of the constitution such as calling for a control on cow slaughter, or laws such as a good chunk of the Victorian IPC, or the unending dole called reservations, must be repealed. And finally, legal equality. Special privileges for minorities must go, and a uniform civil code will have to be enforced. The country needs an actual justice system, and not the sham system we have now that takes decades to come to any decision, and where the biggest litigant is the state itself.

But I need not have wasted so many words. This whole thing can be summarized in one sentence: creating a tolerant society requires dismantling the Nehruvian state, for it is that very ideology and system that has turned us into an intolerant society. To see the downward slope that India has been traveling, one need only follow the history of the Constitution, from its origins through its amendments. An entire civilization was cut up into pieces and an attempt was made to impose a foreign, alien view on it. That is the root of all intolerance in the country, and destroying it will be only the first step in a long journey towards reclaiming our civilization.

And the Congress is the last agent to do that. 

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