Saturday, August 14, 2010

Independence Day: 10 Milestones in these 63 years

Political Independence was gained by India in 1947, but it took a long time for India to gain many other freedoms.In 1950, India turned a republic and in 1951, land reforms were initiated. Ambedkar reformed Hindu personal laws.1n 1973, judged were superseded in the appointment of CJI.The emergency took off our freedoms.The constitution abolished untouchability and the Narasimha Rao Government initiated economic reforms, which pushed us into an era of prosperity, writes Manoj Mitta in The Times Of India.

Read the whole article on Miracle Of Democracy.


"India gained political independence on August 15, 1947. But there were many more freedoms that were won, bit by bit, over many years. Some were the result of executive decisions, others were gained through legislative or judicial intervention. But all of them played a major role in helping to shape India as a liberal democracy. Manoj Mitta picks 10 major landmarks on the road to liberty."

"1. The promulgation of the Constitution, 29 months after Independence, was indeed the first major freedom milestone. For, it had more than turned India into a Republic on January 26, 1950."

"Nothing could have been, for instance, more alien to our caste-ridden society than the very notion of equality."

"2. The big political policy battle in the first three decades of independent India was to deal with the concentration of ownership or control of land in a few landlords and their intermediaries. The Jawaharlal Nehru government introduced the Ninth Schedule in the Constitution in 1951 in order to insulate land reforms from legal challenge. "

"3. Besides serving as the chief architect of the Constitution, dalit leader B R Ambedkar made the blueprint for reforming Hindu personal laws."

"4. The judgment delivered by a 13-member bench — the biggest ever — in the Kesavananda Bharati case in 1973 led to the first ever supercession of judges in the appointment of the Chief Justice of India."

"5. One of the casualties of the Emergency was the most basic of the fundamental rights, the right to life and personal liberty. "

"6. It took about three decades for the judiciary to make one radical departure from the Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence inherited from the colonial rule. The breakthrough lay in recognizing the Indian reality that a vast section of the population did not have the resources to approach the courts for enforcing their fundamental rights. In a bid to reach out to such needy people, the Supreme Court diluted the inherited principle of locus standi so that others can take up their cause in the form of what has come to be recognized as “public interest litigation”."

"7. The first time the President ever differed with the government on any legislation was when Rajendra Prasad came out on the side of reactionaries in opposing reforms to Hindu personal laws. "

"8. Though the Constitution outlawed untouchability, it was not until 1989 that India got a law specifically dealing with violent manifestations of this socio-religious menace."

"9. In 1989, the Rajiv Gandhi government amended the Representation of the People Act making it mandatory for all political parties to swear by, among other values, socialism. Barely two years later, the next Congress administration, which was headed by P V Narasimha Rao, jettisoned socialism in all but name when it ushered in economic liberalization."

"While the immediate provocation was to tide over a foreign exchange crisis, economic reforms have come to stay irrespective of the electoral fortunes of successive governments. The demolition of the licence-permit-quota regime unshackled entrepreneurial talents in various fields. This in turn earned India the reputation of transforming into the fastest growing economy after China."

"10. No list of freedom milestones of India can of course be complete without the transparency revolution wrought by the 2005 Right to Information Act.


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