Let’s Organise Indians for a Strong Republic

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The people around Anna Hazare in Ramlila Maidan have injected a dangerous element into the Indian polity that presents a threat to India’s national interest.

This is a Facebook page for people who believe in preserving and strengthening our democratic republic, regardless of political views or ideological persuasions.

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Defending the Indian Republic by upholding the Constitution

Description
We believe that preserving and strengthening the Indian Republic – by upholding the Constitution, constitutional institutions and constitutional methods – is the enlightened way to seek a better future for the whole nation.

Mission
To defend the Indian republic from being undermined from within and attacked from without.

To practice and promote constitutional methods in our society and polity.

27 thoughts on “Let’s Organise Indians for a Strong Republic”

  1. “promote constitutional methods in our society and polity”?

    The constitution has to be upheld only by the government.
    Constitutional methods may be advocated to the state machinery such as the intelligence agencies and the lawmakers. Asking a society to abide by the constitution is nonsensical.

      1. This is unhelpful. Do correct me where I am wrong. Do let me know how a society can can behave unconstitutionally.

        1. Constitutional methods are: Use our right to vote (nobody goes for vote), use Right to information, …

  2. Hi Nitin,

    I’ve been a regular reader of this blog for many years, I have enjoyed participating in your usually erudite and well researched posts and discussions.

    But your comments on your twitter page and your general attitude to the entire Anna Hazare Movement has been condescending and vitriolic. It is disappointing to see you use a tone so demeaning to people like Kiran Bedi that she should not touch the Indian Flag. I too disagree with some aspects of the movement but would not call the people at Ramlila a threat in any direct or indirect way.

    I sense that you are rapidly losing a sense why the National Interest was started and the many educated people who have supported you through this will be most disappointed to see you reduced to just another caustic blogger.

    I will be removing this feed from my list.

    Wish you the best.

    Ravi

  3. Nitin,
    Before you become a laughing stock in the press, please stop promoting “constitutionalism in society”. Seriously, it’s ridiculous. I write as a well-wisher.

      1. Nitin – Trust me,you’re not the one I’m laughing at right now.

        Your stand that India doesn’t need a Lokpal has made perfect sense all along.What we need is a Police and CBI with minimal political influence.

        1. FWIW, I believe that the LokPal is dangerous, but it should be opposed with clear and logical arguments. It’s utterly unnecessary to counter it with fallacies of unconstitutionality.

  4. Here is the preamble to the Constitution:

    WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

    JUSTICE, social, economic and political; ———————– FAIL !!!

    LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; — FAIL !!!

    EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; ————————- FAIL !!!

    and to promote among them all

    FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation; ————————- FAIL !!!

    IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.

    Also, I am not very enthused about the constitution which restricts free speech.

    You can forget about the implementation of Indian constitution. These rules are broken by the government everyday every hour since 1950.

    Now, we have tried the constitution for 61 years, with illiterate population voting in scum every time.
    I am sure illiterates (making up close to 50% – technically, there are other illiterate in spirit) will continue to vote them in, thats fine, I want the maniacs they put in power to have fear of danda.

    Other than that, they need to have reforms so that there are not many scams to begin with – fear of immediate prosecution will reduce the incentive to have the regulations and loopholes which result in these scams – so it might actually help bring reforms 2.0

    I am not an Anna fanboy, especially the crap he pulled in Ralegan w.r.t booze consumption, but that could fly over there because of uninformed/obedient villagers.
    ….. but he sure is tough as nails …. he is a fasting champion. I am glad he is not my grandfather.

  5. Shouldn’t constitutional methods be more of a government thing? The constitution should prescribe what the government is allowed to do, including ignoring unreasonable demands of citizens. Citizens should be able to do whatever, as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others.

    The problem today isn’t that the methods of Kejriwal & Co are undemocratic, they are perfectly peaceful, and hence cannot be said to infringe on the rights of others. They have the right to demand whatever bill be passed, just like you and I can. The problem is that the government doesn’t have the moral authority to tell them to go take a hike, as they should have.

    Given that, shouldn’t we be looking at how the moral authority of government can be reclaimed? IMHO, that will be the basis of a strong republic.

  6. It is a very good happening that a Facebook page has been created to share the views of people to preserve and strengthen the democracy in our country. Anna Hazare has brought the problem of corruption to the main stage, which is welcome. However, his prescription for a Jan Lok Pal Bill is full of flaws and shows the impracticability of its implementation. Does he want this bill for namesake and keep the government away from the wrongdoers? Do the people around him think that he is the only saviour and does he and his team think (or they have well managed to create an impression) that they alone are Civil Society and represent the will of the people of India? This fasting drama has been very well enacted to create an impression among his limited followers (tech savvy at that) that he is second Gandhi and it is a second freedom struggle. The so called Gandhian’s approach is so dangerous to the democratic institutions of our country and their values. This democracy may be having hic-ups here and there, but it is functional. If the government of the day does not live up to its promises, there are umpteen number of democratic ways available to the right thinking public to make it fulfil them. Some small number of young enthusiastic men gheroing and shouting slogans against duly elected Parliamentary members, asking them to toe their line of thinking, deserve all condemnation. The so called Gandhian used foul language to describe parliamentarians and ministers. Is it Gandhism? The Team had gone few steps further to denigrate the duly elected members of parliament and council of ministers. They want to create an anarchaic situation keeping Anna Hazare amidst them. I think Anna has slowly become a prisoner of this team, who have been vituperative in their attacks. We need to have a strong defence of our democratic systems as well as keep public debates in high standards

  7. The indefinite fast is equivalent to blackmail and holding a gun to the parliament’s head. Its not really non violent, since there is an unspoken threat of violence looming in the background if something happens to the person undertaking the fast. It put a tight deadline which removes the focus on the topic and energies are focused on the getting the fast withdrawn. Not the right way to go when the thing u are debating on are important matters like law.
    Having said the above, people have a right to protest and express their grievances. Apart from elections and filing cases (which tend to drag on for ages) what other avenues are available to the people. Unless sufficient avenues are created or increased awareness of other methods if they exist doesn’t happen then such events will keep on unfolding.

  8. Yay! Let’s create a Facebook page to transform the society!!! To hell with Anna and his stupid brigade who are wasting their time in Ramlila Maidan.

  9. I happen to be your close relatives inlaw and told all my friends and relatives tht a person I know is going to be engaged in a conversation on NDTV prime time..and I am sorry I did that..you really cut a sorry figure in front of Anupam and Medha Patkar especially with your unwarranted and ridiculous comments against Team Anna’s methods..Even Mr.Jindal whom you thought you will get some support also declined..And your attempt to bring some ageold bollywood story really got a sorry cold shoulder from Anupam Kher..Pls Smell the coffee henceforward before you come to the studio 🙂

    1. Personal relations have nothing to do with this blog. But since you mentioned it, I’m sure you know that there’s complete freedom of thought and expression in the family.

      You might also want to know that neither this blog nor the TV appearance is has anything to do with being popular, looking nice, or seeking the approval of the people like Medha Patkar and Anupam Kher who I obviously disagree with.

      So your advice is wholly misplaced. But thanks anyway.

  10. Like previous comments, I generally admire your analysis (and writing) but you just seem to be allowing ideology to overtake common sense. You know you got ideological blinkers on when you start quoting books, speeches, articles (grammar of anarchy) against common sense arguments.

    Its a major misconception to believe that what anna has tried is something new or unprecedented — it hardly is. Its only his success that’s unprecedented, not his methods.. which have been used by countless others before him, to little avail. The govt backed down for 3 reasons – 1. there was no possible counterargument to the core of his demands (very very rare) 2. there was a groundswell of undivided public support, even though dramatically magnified by the media, that was real and widespread. 3. There was no pressure group/lobby on the other side. Again, something extremely rare. Its almost impossible that such a confluence of factors will occur again any time in the near future for any cause, and if it does, than its likely to be a cause based on non-sequiter arguments. So any attempts by anna or others to replicate this movement are most likely to fail on one or all counts. We only have to go back to the very strong anti-reservation movement only a few years back to see why such movements rarely succeed.

    Again, this is really not the first time there has been an attempt to ‘blackmail’ the govt into acting in a certain way.. medha patkar and assorted angry butterflies have been trying much worse for long without success. So really, nothing new has been ‘injected’ into indian politics. As for upholding the constitution, it was only upheld extremely strongly by the parliament at the end of the day, and that was largely inevitable. Besides, the INI platform’s sudden love affair with Ambedkar and ‘grammar of anarchy’ is a little inexplicable. The grammar of anarchy argument, when taken to its logical conclusion essentially argues for totalitarianism.. all protest at some level is anarchy. Just because some forms of protest are aesthetically unpleasing, doesn’t mean they are unacceptable.

    1. I too have been stupefied by the whole “grammar of anarchy” crapola -Nitin has to try West Bengal under commie rule to understand what anarchy really means – where the “comrades” were a law unto themselves – in fact it got to the point that they were so drunk with power that they got their a$$e$ handed to them in the state elections.

      What we saw here was a peaceful movement that STILL pined its hopes on parliamentary democracy. We should be glad that this is still peaceful.

      Frankly this whole August Kranti has been an eye opener for me – even though good arguments on the futility of Lok Pal can be made, this sense of ivory tower condemnation of a genuine movement has made me lose a lot of respect for this blog and its author. Sad but true.

  11. I dont feel good about saying this – since I have enjoyed and respected Nitin over the years for his incisive and balanced analysis – but I am starting to suspect that there is an unspoken agenda, and not just his commitment to constitutionalism, which is driving his outrage over the Anna movement. For starters, note that he has not a made a single adverse comment about the government’s thuggish attempt at muzzling the protest through Anna’s arrest – apparently, a government abusing its powers to stifle dissent almost as a policy is a trifle thing and does nothing to undermine constitutional principles. Your post on that topic was such an intellectually dishonest exercise (let SC decide if that was unconstitutional, bah!) and was a clear giveaway about prejudiced stance. BTW, your stance stood out in sharp contrast to someone like PB Mehta, who while being stridently anti-Anna, did not mince words in condemning the govt action.

    I also do not recollect Nitin voicing his disquiet when strong doubts emerged that UPA might have bought the votes for its July 2008 confidence motion. That the highest law making body of the land might have become susceptible to corruption, and that too on matters related to grave national interests, does not really damage the constitutional system, right? Or maybe, it didnt matter as long as the objectives were in in line with ‘National Interests’ (pun intended). I also do not remember Nitin getting this worked up when the central government succumbed to a similar agitation – except that it was more violent – by the Telengana activists. Anna Hazare did not invent agitational politics or fasting as a political tool – these have been practised numerous times in the past since 1947, and many a times to great success. So for Nitin to claim that this particular movement is somehow unique in the extent of damage that it causes to the constitutional framework does not hold. So what exactly agitates Nitin about the Anna movement – I strongly suspect it has more to do with the fact that he finds the objectives of the movement undesirable (i.e. the Lok Pal institution) and more importantly, the people behind this movement are at the other end of the ideological spectrum; I guess these people becoming politically more powerful scares him. I suspect that Nitin would have had a more sympathetic view, say if, Anna was fasting for fast tracking the reform process!

  12. While Mr Pai’s stance on protecting “constitutional principles” has been imputed to ‘hidden agenda, intolerance of opposite viewpoints, ideology’ these claims are as unsupported as the purported crimes of Mr Pai.

    A loaded argument requires the minimum courtesy of a plausible conjecture. Suspicion of objectives and sensing a mission drift deserves an explanation more elaborate than a comments page can offer and it would reflect well on us ‘concerned readers’ if we utilise our right to ‘speech’ and do the needful.

    With regard to Mr Pai’s stance on the Lok Pal bill, i might agree with his idea that decentralisation and reforms are a better bet for handling corruption monetary or otherwise. However assuming that Mr Pai is arguing that this agitation is weakening ‘constitutional principles’ then i beg to differ.

    1. I am not asking Mr Pai to define ‘constitutional principles’ as even the respected Supreme Court has shied away from defining the exact contours[1]. I would however like him to attempt an outline so as to give a perspective for us ‘concerned readers’ to focus on.
    2. In my opinion undermining if any that this agitation is supposed to have achieved or engaged in is specifically aimed at the executive not at the legislature or the constitution. The grammar of anarchy stance was possibly made keeping in mind a perfect separation of counter-balancing institutions viz., the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. However with the advent of multi-party systems , the executive is supreme. The judiciary has been trying to handle this imbalance and fighting a rear-guard action with the executive eg: the ninth schedule cases, Keshavnand Bharati among others.

    Further the impact of this ground swell of support may have been over-emphasised. If we assume that the middle class is the primary fuel for this agitation; their primary concern is not corruption but a sub-conscious understanding of the limits of 1990 reforms and a felt desire for more.
    further the fickle nature of middle class support and lack of any recognisable organising structure will only ensure that this agitation will be one among others in this season of agitations.

    – Mike

    [1] basic structure doctrine.

  13. If events of the last few days have proved anything it is that our democracy is indeed in good health, capable of overcoming hiccups and no where has there been an attack on our constitution. In fact the constitution was upheld in letter and spirt.

    If managers of the agitation are being accused of overstepping their limits, those opposed to it are now going ballistic themselves. I think personal pique and ego is getting the better of sober judgement.

    The Republic, democracy and the constitution are not in peril.

  14. India ceased to be a constitutional republic quite some time back (Shah Bano any one ?) – you have to be some rip van winkle character to not realize that we are a populist country at best…

    Your Anna Hazare tirade would not be so comical if it were not so tragic – sorry Nitin but you have been a mute bystander to history being made… I agree with you that a Lokpal would not exactly do much good – but you are missing the point repeatedly – for the first time in India’s history politicians have been made to eat humble pie and not take corruption as their birth right.

    Hazare has FORCED the Govt to acknowledge that it has ZERO moral authority or credibility to talk about reigning in corruption – and in the process has shown that there is a middle class vote bank out there which will no longer take corruption as an incurable disease – for the first time we have shown that we are mad as hell and are not going to take this any more

    The peaceful protests have shown that people are finally resting their hopes with the parliament to do the right thing – your paranoia about them seems to be really tiresome

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