I have been teaching political science for well over 33 years in one of the leading universities of our country-the MS University of Baroda, and the gap between theory and practice of our Constitution-particularly in present day politics- really pains me. Without a vision of an ideal in our life or even in the life of nation, we cannot move forward.
The makers of the Indian constitution were great visionaries in their own right. They had imbibed the best from their education and that was clearly reflected while they were drafting the constitution. While teaching Indian constitution, I could sense the impact of great political philosophers thinking (like Plato’s Ideal State’s concept, John Locke’s emphasis on the consent of the people and also Rousseu’s democratic ideal etc.).
When I began my academic journey Nehru was very much alive, and at the back of my mind used to feel that the country was on the right track. I thought the legacy of freedom struggle and the sacrifices made by our freedom fighters would act as constant reminders to our rulers. But as time passed by, not only did I start getting disillusioned but now have lost all hopes of India reverting back to its pre-independence spirit.
It’s time we shake off the obsession of our tolerance if we really want to liberate our country from the clutches of the present day political vultures. It’s not democracy which has failed us but we as people have not lived up to its expectations, hence it’s time to remember the reasons which prompted the revolt of 1857.
By Harish Chandra Shukul