Why does the government exist?

“Long, long ago in a land far, far away….. or maybe even right here, early humans moved around in small groups. These were families or tribes and they owned no property. They hunted and gathered and gave birth and died. And moving on, moving on all the time.

Along the way they discovered fire, domesticated some animals and learnt to obtain a more regular source of food such as milk and meat, invented the wheel, language, writing.

By and by they stayed in one place long enough to grow their own plants and crops. It was less dangerous than hunting for sure and a more steady supply of food than gathering perhaps?

Whatever the reason, humans started living and occupying defined spaces. It is possibly here that the need to identify paternity started since the men wanted to defend their own property and keep it within their own family and eventually have it inherited by their own children. (this was how patriarchy got started too but that is for another post !)

As these tribes grew into village settlements we needed someone to manage rules and disputes and provide leadership during conflict and disaster. This was the beginning of government.

It takes many forms– monarchy, dictatorship, democracy (which can also express itself in many ways—from referendum in Iceland to one party ‘elections’ in China and Russia.)

So, basically the point is that people came first and government came later and we should never ever forget that!

Government exists to serve our interests, but that occurs so rarely that this idea has almost been forgotten. Governments have become complex, thriving on corruption and inefficiency, supporting war mongering and fostering a convenient ‘nationalism’.

secular oke

The spaces where citizens can speak out and demand accountability are getting squeezed out. Even in a country like India which calls itself the largest democracy in the world, activists are in danger because those who want to silence them know that they will not be punished. Kalburgi, Pansare, Dabholkar, Gauri Lankesh…the list keeps growing of outspoken people who were silenced by bullets and whose killers are still at large.

gauri

On the eve of our Republic day here is the preamble to our 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;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this 26th day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
Here it is again, as of 2017

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA,

“Having dispossessed the adivasis and pushed them into a downward spiral of indigence, in a cruel sleight of hand the government began to use their own penury against them. Each time it needed to displace a large population – for dams, irrigation projects, mines – it talked of “bringing tribals into the mainstream” or of giving them “the fruits of modern development”. Of the tens of millions of internally displaced people (more than 30 million by big dams alone) – refugees of India’s “progress” – the great majority are tribal people. When the government begins to talk of tribal welfare, it’s time to worry.”

51-determined-Jal-satyagrahis

( jal satyagraha at Narmada Dam site)

having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN

SOCIALIST

“India spent a total of Rs. 4.5 lakh crore on healthcare in 2013-14 at 4 per cent of the GDP, of which Rs. 3.06 lakh crore came from households. Public spending is abysmally low, constituting around 29 per cent of the total health expenditure — 1 per cent of GDP”

chronically-ailing

SECULAR

“Union minister Anantkumar Hegde said that he wants people to identify themselves by caste or religion and not secularism, and that the government will change the constitution.”

napoleonbonaparte1-2x

DEMOCRATIC

“Naxalism signifies a particular kind of militant and violent armed struggle by the peasants and tribals who accept Marxist-Leninist ideology. Inspite of Naxalism being termed as the biggest problem in Adivasi areas, the social problems are actually much wider in the form of unemployment, poverty and an untold number of socio-economic injustices. Additionally, more than 200 of India’s 640 districts are indirectly under Naxal control.”

REPUBLIC

Does real power rest with the citizens of India? The outside observer will notice that this is not the case. The interest of the state and its organs is put above the interest of India’s people”

gau rakshak

and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE,

rape

“Here’s an ever-growing list of statements by politicians as reported in the media, ranging from idiotic to insane.”

social,

“Don’t criminalise marital rape, may disturb institution of marriage: Government of India”

sindoor-pad_759

economic

ambani pray

and political;

“By 2025 there will be 200 million young people in the age group of 21-41 with no jobs or less jobs and nobody knows what to do with these people. Government policy does not know what to do as they don’t have proper data.”

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

newcoverpadma

 

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;

“Despite constitutional protection, positive discrimination policies and earmarked budgets, India’s 104 million tribal people remain among the poorest and most nutritionally deprived social groups. In 2005-06, 54% of tribal children under five years of age were stunted, which is a measure of chronic undernutrition.”

d2c722dd0aaa8c1f9b973aed40ef72c3

and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual

“Union minister of state for home Hansraj Ahir on Monday reportedly told doctors who did not attend an inauguration function in Maharashtra that they “should join Naxals”, adding “we will then shoot you with bullets”.

and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

“Both commercial forestry and intensive agriculture have proved destructive to the forests that had endured the tribal agriculture for many centuries. Adivasis in central part of India have been victims of the Salwa Judum campaign by the Government against Naxalites.

Activists point out that military operations in tribal areas routinely kill or injure innocent villagers who are then more likely to be recruited as cadres. “If I was a person who is being dispossessed, whose wife has been raped, who is being pushed off their land and who is being faced with this police force, I would say that I am justified in taking up arms if that is the only way I have to defend myself.”

adivasi

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this 26th day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Why does the government exist?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s