It is with great joy that I read the report in the columns of the September 16-30, 2011 issue of MEL on the public meeting in Sirsa, Haryana held on August 28, 2011 that deliberated on several questions facing the people of India, and in particular on the question of `How Can People Come to Power?'
The fact that this question has come into focus itself is an important landmark in the history of the struggles of the people of India for their liberation.
One of the important features of the struggle for the liberation of the people of India which has not received due attention is that it has always taken place in the streets, in seminar halls, in the columns of newspapers, in the countryside and in the forest. It is important to emphasize that it has never taken place in the halls of the Parliament or in the Legislative Assemblies. The reason for this is that the Westminster system of Parliamentary democracy that was imposed on India is one in which parties switch from treasury to opposition benches periodically.
This system gives room for hostile factions with the ruling circles to trade places, and also to take the pressure off the system from time to time. The history of the last sixty four years has shown that this system is incapable of solving any of the problems of the people. Furthermore, it is a crisis prone system: in the early years after independence the hegemonic role of the Congress party was unable to deliver, leading to the rise of other national parties and regional parties, and eventually to coalition politics. The ghastly side of this system is manifest daily in terms of horse trading, scams and the like which have filled the people with revulsion. The fellow traveller of this grotesque system is the complete disempowerment of the people.
Having said the above, and noting that the true opposition resides outside the Parliament, it is important to further take note of the rising consciousness of the people across a wide cross section. This will lead to the need for a proper organizing principle and framework which will become a powerful instrument for liberation. Thus the initiative of the Lok Raj Sangathan in organizing the public meeting must be commended and bringing to the fore the issue of the necessity for people's empowerment.
A. Narayan, Bangalore