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Secularism, Democracy and Economics
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Secularism, Democracy and Economics

sanket waghmare

Sanket Vinayak Waghmare

sanket waghmareThere’s no doubt that we are very fortunate to be in a democratic nation like India. But still, we always complain about the Government, Nation & Society. We never praise or utilize the benefits of what we already have, that’s none other than the Constitution of the nation. If you seek firmly, you will always observe there’s another democracy possible within what we have now.

The constitution provides us with democracy, but if one thinks meticulously, democracy is never possible or in existence without the concept of secularism. When we seek the meaning of democracy, more people suggest it as acceptence of what the majority wants. But democracy works on the idea that the majority and minority which exist are never kept permanent, they undergo change. But when democracy is defined by any permanent majority and minority, then beyond a shadow of doubt that democracy will be scorched on the same day.

If we want to retain democracy in our future there’s only one way and that is to impart the spirit of secularism into the nation. When we talk about our nation, I personally reckon it has got many achievements within itself. When India got independence, it was not even capable of producing a small needle but today it is an industrial nation and makes a big impact on the world. It could have even grown larger, but whatever the present scenario is, it is good enough to sustain and maintain its significant role in this world. The biggest achievement for all Indians is that we all keep alive the deep roots of democracy in the society and for this we have to thank the efforts of our ancestors.

On one side we have democracy and the prestigious constitution but on the other side, this is a country which has 50% of its population below 27 years of age. 35 crore youth filled with huge energies, talent and caliber with their average IQ at its peak are part of this nation. Whether one is living in a rural area, or illiterate, one has his own intellectual capability and his own consciousness. But why is it that today the nation has the maximum number of masses left unemployed? Why does the nation have the largest number of patients suffering from tuberculosis? What is the reason that India has very high infant mortality rate?

Is it not something to think about, that if we have such a powerful constitution and democratic institutions, then what is it that is stopping us from attaining development? Is development in terms of increasing GDP to be considered as real development? Is the development of the nation in terms of economic status to be considered as real development? The real development is neither the GDP nor even the economic status. Real development is improvement in the Human Development Index. For instance, the largest country in South America holds 3rd largest number of private planes in the world, but it has one third of its population below the poverty line. That is not the kind of development we want in our nation.

To prevent getting into such kind of a scenario, we need to raise and seek the reasons for lack of development, unemployment and dilemmas around healthcare, schools, colleges and  infrastructure. But we are not doing that. Instead, we are investing our energy in seeking the solutions for issues that doesn’t impact us much.

As the days pass by, one comes across incidents and events which we hope never happened in this nation. The suppression of large groups of population, aggression of one religion over another and, most importantly in India, one caste over other. All these happen only for the establishment of one’s ideologies over others–this is befouling the system in broad terms. We call India a secular nation and it is a most significant component to maintain democracy in the nation. If the suppression by majority is inflicted over minorities, it ultimately hinders the establishment of democracy in the nation.

Edmond Mbiaka says, “Stop talking about how you will build an empire, and start building it right at this very moment. Time never waits for anyone to feel perfectly ready.” That says it all. Time never waits for anyone. We have to decide now whether we choose the path of Progress or Regress. 

There are nations who support just one religion, nations which believe in their singular past, nations where masses are attacked for speaking for their rights, religion, caste or other individual or social issues. Are these the kinds of nations to be considered as a model for our nation? Are those places where masses enjoy complete independence to live their lives by their own will or where human rights are safeguarded? It is up to you to decide what nation is going on the right path and where life seems better.

The responsibility for ensuring all these rights and freedoms lies directly on the people making decisions in the government. It’s just not about government, but also the opposition in the legislature. Both of them share an equal role in the development of the nation. They should consolidate their energies and work towards giving opportunities to the 35 crore youth of this country. This human resource is to be degraded soon. When we talk about countries like Japan and China, Japan has already lost this advantage, China is losing this advantage and India is left with over 20 years to use this energy to raise the nation to its potential. Strategies should be thought out and polarization avoided to lead the nation toward development.

It is not that difficult to carve out a strong India, where every head bears a shelter, where everybody is covered with clothes, where there would be zero starvation, where everyone has access to Medicine, Health Care, Education, Infrastructure, Electricity and other necessities. It is possible! Both the government and opposition should avoid the pressure of losing or winning elections and focus on the improvement of the Human Development Indices and everything is possible.

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Sanket Vinayak Waghmare is an Agriculture graduate from Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola. He was an active member of Zero Hunger Challenge and Empowerment of Rural Areas project in Agricultural & allied sectors at Kharangana Gode (a village near Sevagram of Wardha district of Maharashtra State). Currently he is member of a youth empowerment group known as ‘The Youth Organisation’ which is based at Wardha.

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