Between the years 1787 and 1796, Gracchus Babeuf through his Correspondant Picard instigated a failed revolution which came to be known as the Conspiracy of the Equals. It was aimed at provoking an armed uprising of the plebeian masses against the bourgeois regime with a final view of creating either a “pure democracy” or an “egalitarian communism”. Since it was the age of monarchs, these ideas were more “terrorist” than “revolutionary”. Babeuf and his supporters were executed.
With the modernization of political systems, the “conspiracy of equals” got renamed as Democracy. The fall of empires, such an idea was no longer revolutionary. In 1951, when the constitution of India was laid, its citizens went for a deep slumber, believing they have got true democracy. But recently, their hibernation was broken and they rekindled the old idea of “true representation”. Alas, the movement instead got renamed back – “Conspiracy of Indian Equals”.
Citizens of India are “the equals” and today with Anna Hazare as their leader they are conspiring to make this country “corruption free”. The ruling class i.e. the politicians, is fighting tooth and nail to hold their forts of power. Panic creation is their last hope. Democracy is synonymous to freedom for Indians.
Any suggestion, however far-fetched, that can disturb this liberty makes the citizens uneasy. Political leaders like to play with that fear. Few months ago, Anna Movement was called a US attempt to destabilize India. Today, any attempt to even discuss issues outside parliament is called “Threat to Democracy.”
11th December’s token fast was a historic moment for India and its democracy. The will of the people forced imminent politicians to come out of parliament and discuss the Lokpal in front of their employers. There was no use of force or arm twisting, a simple invitation to join the “Citizen’s
Most of the opposition parties came, but the UPA representatives were still busy playing the “panic” card. Lok Sabha gets referred as the “House of Commons” in the constitution. It is a place where we send our representatives to present our aspirations, our ideas and our decisions. But when that house is not working for some reason or the other, people have the right to debate issues outside. Congress has the right to not get pressurised. Congress has the right to not get involved. They even have the right to launch a counter-protest. But all this only isolates them more. According to the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution, “Parliament and the State Legislatures embody the will of the people and the essence of democracy is that the will of the people should prevail.” If the people want point-by-point public debates, how can the government call it “unconstitutional?”
No one is denying that “Laws can only be made in parliament.” But why can’t the laws be debated and discussed on streets? Rahul Gandhi’s speeches during Congress rallies in U.P are fair, but Arun Jaitley speech at a neutral “people’s” rally undermines the constitution.
When they say “Parliament is supreme,” they are not worried about the possible unrest. Instead the thought of losing power is what frightens them. Our preamble says, “We, the People of India, are solemnly resolved to secure to all its citizens EQUALITY OF STATUS and OPPORTUNITY.” But the parliament somehow twisted it to make the Prime Minister “First amongst equals.” All the MPs and MLAs became VIPs for whom the traffic needs to be stopped. In such a state of affairs, what moral right do the politicians have to throw the constitution book to our faces?
The Lokpal will certainly be made in Parliament, and that’s how it should be. But India’s bourgeois regime needs to wake up to the citizen angst. Middle-class is rising and a few intelligent people are enough to turn the same innocent farmer against them. A living embodiment of Gandhi in Anna is more powerful than the changed surname of the “Nehru dynasty.”
An IT engineer, an Accountant, a Doctor wearing a Gandhi cap is more imposing than a politician donning fake khadis. Tyranny of the majority won’t be allowed to flourish. The lack of knowledge in farmers can’t be allowed to be used as an instrument of power. Today, through the Anti-Corruption Movement, we even have the live and practical view of the how the democracy works.