OPINION: A mighty industrial state for the Indian subcontinent

To abolish great evils, it requires a mighty historical people's revolution

Tricolor Indian national flag tricolour Representational image | AFP

The basic problems of the Indian subcontinent are the abject poverty of our vast masses, the rising unemployment, the appalling level of child malnutrition, the skyrocketing prices of food and other essential commodities, and the almost total lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses.

I have repeatedly said that to abolish these great evils, it requires a mighty historical people's revolution, and thereafter, the creation of a powerful modern industrial state in the Indian subcontinent. And that it cannot be achieved within the framework of a parliamentary democracy that runs largely on the basis of caste and communal vote banks.

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Features and characteristics of the modern industrial state we will create:

1. Central feature

The central feature will be that it will be a welfare state, tasked with the object of destroying the great socio-economic evils mentioned above, which have plagued us for centuries. Our generation and our previous generations suffered terribly thereby, but we owe it to our children, grandchildren and succeeding generations that they too do not suffer similarly, but instead enjoy a high standard of living and lead decent lives.

Such a welfare state cannot be created without a high level of industrialisation, because only large-scale modern industry can create the wealth we require for the welfare of our people.

Without creating such a welfare state for our people, all other objectives are useless.

2. Its leaders 

Its leaders will be genuinely patriotic, selfless, modern-minded persons determined to rapidly industrialise and modernise our country.

Many people ask me where those leaders are. It is true that most political leaders in India, of all political parties, are a bunch of selfish, slippery, shifty, rogues, rascals, scoundrels, charlatans, looters, deceivers and mafiosi, who have no genuine love for the country, but only seek power and pelf. They are experts in polarising society on caste and communal lines, and inciting hatred, to get votes.

So I am not talking of these tricksters, swindlers, knaves and scallywags. I am talking of quite another breed.

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Nature does not like a vacuum. Historical experience shows that in the darkest periods of the history of many nations great leaders arose, e.g. in the great English, French, American, Russian and Chinese Revolutions. I am confident the same will happen in the Indian subcontinent, too.

3. Internal policies of the new government

Since India is a country of great diversity, with numerous religions, castes, languages, races, etc., the government will not tolerate attempts by anyone to create discord and hatred among our communities and give harsh and severe punishment to the offenders. The state will be secular. Secularism does not mean one cannot practise one’s religion. It means that religion is one's private affair, and the state will have nothing to do with it. The state will uphold religious freedom, but will not tolerate religious extremism and bigotry. It will be guided by the policy of 'suleh-e-kul' of the great Moghul emperor Akbar, the real father of the Indian nation.

As regards economic policies, the state will be pragmatic. Realising the value of capitalism, it will not seek its elimination, but its regulation in the public interest and welfare. We certainly will not tolerate a state of affairs in which a handful of big businessmen, who have become billionaires, own wealth equal to that of 70 per cent of India's 1400 million population.

The new state shall prepare and implement five-year plans for India's economic growth, taking the help of technical, economic and administrative experts. The plans will assess the anticipated requirements of food, clothing, fuel, etc., of the masses, and ensure that these are met.

As regards education and healthcare, these will be totally free for all.

4. External policy 

The state will try to promote peace and good relations among all nations. However, it will not hesitate in condemning powerful nations which oppress weaker ones. We will have a strong army, equipped with the latest weapons (made by our own industries, not foreigners), but it will only be used for our defence, not offence. 

5. Reunification of India

One of the cardinal objectives of our new state will be the undoing of that British swindle called Partition of 1947 on the basis of the bogus two-nation theory. 

On this, there will be no compromise. We must reunite, under a secular state, whatever the cost, otherwise we will keep wasting our precious resources and energy in hostility with each other. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are really one country, sharing the same culture, which were one from the time of emperor Akbar and were only temporarily and artificially separated by a British fraud.

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Later, if other neighbouring countries wish to voluntarily join our Union, they will be welcomed (with the right to secede whenever they wish).

6. Language policy

All languages of the Indian subcontinent will be given equal respect, and no attempt will be made to impose Hindi or any other language on anyone. On the other hand, state support will be given to all regional languages, and even to dialects, to prevent them from dying out (as indeed many have done).

These are the broad outlines, though of course, they have to be supplemented.

Justice Markandey Katju retired from the Supreme Court in 2011.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of THE WEEK.

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