Political parties do not have faith in the people, they are just dividing them on the basis of religion-caste and other grounds to bring them into their vote banks. My struggle is that political parties should not use people for their self interests. That is why I am repeatedly talking of people’s participation.
The fight for Independence started in 1857 itself. From 1857 till 1947, lakhs of people sacrificed their lives. Patriots like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru sacrificed their lives smilingly. Countrymen, after a long fight, gained victory over the British and Britishers left this country. After a long period, on 15 August 1947, the country emerged from the fetters of slavery and drowned itself in celebrations of freedom. I have been a witness to that wonderful period : how much enthusiasm there was in people. On everybody’s faces there was the glow and brightness of joy. In every house a light was shining, but as time passed, that light became dull and along with that light, the enthusiasm of gaining Independence has also disappeared today from the faces of people. Now, we are certainly celebrating Independence Day, but the sense and meaning of Independence are no longer there. In the real sense, we have been celebrating Independence so far as independence from the British. Real freedom is still far away from us, that is why countrymen are celebrating 15th August i.e. are celebrating Independence Day, but in a half hearted manner.
Why did this happen, we first need to understand this. After liberation from the British, the Constitution of the country was made, but the difficulty began when political parties made a mockery of the Constitution and made all the interpretations the Constitution according to their calculations. It has been said in the Constitution that in a democratic republic, the people should choose whoever they think is fit or qualified or worthy as their candidate and elect that person to Parliament. But in 1952, when the country’s first elections were held, they were held on the basis of parties, whereas in the Constitution political parties are not mentioned anywhere. At that time itself political parties in the country which were not following or abiding by the interpretation of the Constitution should have been dismissed, because when democracy has come, then what role do sides and parties have. Mahatma Gandhi also said to the Congress Party that now that democracy has come, therefore, finish off sides and parties. But what happened was the opposite, the reverse of this and the 1952 elections were fought under parties and after fighting the elections, different sides and parties sent their people to Parliament people from the ‘janta’, the public did not go.
We say Lok Sabha. The sense and meaning of Lok Sabha is a ‘sabha’, a house of representatives sent by the people, but where is it a Lok Sabha, it has become only a ‘sabha’, a house of parties. The problems began from here. These parties encroached on democracy, violated it and finished off and ended the very meaning of democracy.
Mahatma Gandhi used to say if you want to change the country you will have to change the village first. But these parties sidelined development in villages and established their own self interests. So that people don’t get organised and stand up against them, these parties confused rural people with caste and creed and kept them out of the system.
Democracy means that system which has been woven by the people. Now, because there is no role of people in it, it is not democracy. It is a ‘partycracy’.That is why I am saying that we are not independent, we are in the grip of ‘partycracy’.
The real meaning of democracy is a system run with the participation of the people. The real owners are the people, those who have been elected and sent to represent the people are the ‘sewaks’ of the people or those who serve the people. The officers who are chosen, they too are chosen to serve the people, but here the opposite, the reverse is happening : the owner has become the person who serves and the person who serves has become the owner. If the system is working in reverse, then what kind of Independence is this? In the name of Independence, should it just be considered that the British went away? The conditions are unchanged, just the same as before. In such a situation the question arises, why have the sacrifices and the years of struggle for Independence of lakhs of people gone waste? Come, let us take a pledge that we will not let the sacrifices of our martyrs go in vain.
If democracy has to be brought in, people will have to increase the the degree of their participation. Every voter will have to become aware and decide to take a pledge not to vote for the candidate of any party. The people of the country will have to decide and who will be the candidate will have to be finalised by the people. The people themselves will choose their candidate, the party will have no role in that. The public will choose people with character and make them their representatives. In such a situation, ‘partycracy’ or the party system, which is actually a corrupt system, will be destroyed on its own.
Among all these factors the questions are inevitable whether political parties will allow the confidence that they should choose their own candidate to ‘develop’ in the people of the country, and whether in fact so much confidence that they can choose and field their own candidate has come into people. The biggest reason behind raising these questions is the money power and muscle power that have come to dominate politics. In front of
capitalists or big businessmen, how will a candidate of the people, of the public be able to survive. This concern is justified, but history is witness to the fact that these very people, this very public has fought a fight against corruption. And if once again the people, understanding and taking this is as a second war of Independence, decide that we will not takes bribes and vote, we will not vote for those who are tainted, we will elect the candidates we have chosen to field, then, even large scale problems have been solved by the resolve and commitment of the people, this too will be solved.
We will also have to understand that youth power is nation power. Even though political parties are sowing seeds of partisan politics amongst youngsters to get them on their side, but you have seen that the youth of the country have now woken up against corruption. Similarly, the entire country will have to awaken like this. It will take time to for this mind change to occur, but the sooner people come out of this state, and come out to fight against corruption, the faster the country will become Independent in the true sense of the word.
To make the second fight for Independence successful, it is essential that the people should first destroy the pervasive corruption in politics. For this, people should select candidates from amongst themselves who are loyal, have character and are honest. My support will be with such ‘people’s candidates’.
I will tour throughout the country for them. I will remain in favour of such people and when, with the collaboration of the people, such candidates will win, then the concept of democracy will have meaning in the true sense.
The people understand all these situations. I am convinced that the country does not lack sensitive people, but politicians have always deceived these sensitive people. The Prime Minister of the country repeatedly says that we will bring the Jan Lokpal Bill, but this has not so far been converted into reality. The Government has cheated the people and I want to bring this cheating before this sensitive public. And I think the medium for this is through ’atma shuddhi’(self purification). Gandhiji had spoken about the path of ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) and’atma shuddhi’. Because of this and because I want to make the voice of the second fight for Independence stronger, I will be going on a fast for ‘atma shuddhi’ from the first day of the upcoming winter session of Parliament and I believe that its feeling will reach the people. I also believe that in the same manner that people came out on the streets in support of the Jan Lokpal on 16 August, 2011, this time the people will join hands against corruption in much larger numbers, not only because they have been deceived, but also because situations have been made much worse.
It is this worsening of conditions that has put guns in many hands amongst the people of the country. This country was a country which followed the principles of Gandhi’s non-violence, but it is a failure of the Government that the hands which were lifted for realisation are now being lifted for retaliation. And look at the fascist attitude of the Government instead of giving the strings, the threads of development into those hands, it is repressing them. The Government is under a misconception that it is the owner. There is democracy in this country and the day the people sitting in power understand this, that day all the prevailing problems in society will be solved.
Political parties do not have faith in the people, they are just dividing them on the basis of religion-caste and other grounds to bring them into their vote banks. My struggle is that political parties should not use people for their self interests. That is why I am repeatedly talking of public participation. There is no caste-cult distinction in the hearts of the people. In the minds of leaders votes have taken a seat instead of service to the people. The people of this country are above these thoughts, but one will have to maintain co-ordination among them. My attempt is to maintain this co-ordination. It may be that this will take some time, but I will walk with the people and take every step forward to reach, to attain the destination.
In the context of my second fight for Independence a question may arise, that when after the first fight for freedom those at the helm began walking along wrong paths, what is the guarantee that those people whom the public chooses will remain loyal? My reply to that is that the candidates the people will choose will be bound by the limits of the Right to Recall. If they will not remain dedicated to the public interest, the public will teach them a lesson by recalling them. Both the hands and the thinking of people are strong, so when they will choose people from amongst themselves on the basis their own parameters, then those chosen people will certainly will be those who think about the country and society.
The people know what cost had to be paid for the fight for Independence. The people should not forget that sacrifice and should step forward to protect and maintain that independent and ideal India which those martyrs had envisioned. This will be a true homage to those martyrs and it is this thinking which will be able to give real independence a true form.