BY : H.R.Bangia
Whereas under Constitution of India Articles 19, 21, 38, 48A 49 and 51provide that the Centre/State should provide certain privileges for protection of certain rights and protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life. The Articles also provide for protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance and also to promote international peace and security, it is also the duty of every citizen of India under Article 51A (a) to (j) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions as per details given under Fundamental Duties: (a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem; (b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom; (c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India (d) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so; (e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women; (f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture; (g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures; (h) to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform; (i) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence; (j) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity, so that the national constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement. The problem of internal security would not have taken its roots if every citizen of India had undertaken the above fundamental duties that the time has come to be alert all the time to defend our country against all odds under the prevailing circumstances. Keeping in view the open threats of the nefarious forces; corruption in high places; extortion, hijacking and terrorists' activities at work, it is high time to save the democracy, which is at risk. No political party or together with the opposition parties can come to the rescue of the common man. Whichever political party may be in power there is no doubt that opposition parties do resist, desist or criticize the ruling party in one way or the other. This is because the coalition governments are at work not only in India but also all over the world. When coalition governments can work in other developed or developing countries, why can't it work in India? India cannot do anything other than to accept the mandate of the people and to run coalition government. The unreeling scenes created at the epoch platforms i.e. parliament or legislation, cannot be described even to the young children studying in schools what to talk about it in the streets. Time and again it is observed whichever party is in power, the other parties make mockery of the ruling party for making room to grab the power. It is not the case only in India but it is a global problem. It is disgusting to note that some of the elected representatives turn out to be black sheep. People should not be blamed because people are forced to vote any one of them so they sometimes think that they have no choice and they cannot cast negative vote for any one. The alternative is nothing less than the famous Hindi saying— andhoon main kana raja kaun hai and so they elect him accordingly. What is the existing scenario? Rampant corruption in high places cannot be stopped unless their conscience and morale do not allow them to do so. Instead innovative methods are being used in corruption, extortion, hijacking and terrorists' activities. All these factors are the causes of not only internal but also external security risk as well. Corruption alone has usurped 85% of the amount earmarked for developmental works as only 15% reaches the beneficiaries for many reasons. Various kinds of terrorist activities have completely negated our efforts of all developmental projects for the welfare of the needy. Out of 24 proposals posted to the Board of Approvals, only 8 have got the formal nod for implementation of New Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for reviving manufacturing in the region. Protests over forced land acquisition, the eastern States have slowed down granting space for industrial projects' implementation of new SEZs. On one hand the developmental projects are being delayed due to protests and on the other hand the actions and acts of the terrorists are the impediments of growth and development. We also find gangs of school dropouts involved in the theft and robbery. Keeping in view India's geographical areas, vast population, diversity of cultures, languages and dialects and above all in view of present terrorism and violence, the issues of internal security are of utmost importance. Rampant corruption in high places cannot be stopped unless their conscience and morale is set right. Instead innovative methods are being used in corruption, extortion, hijacking and terrorists' activities that the time has come to curb such tendencies of the nefarious forces at work at large; failing not only ours but the future of our children will be at risk at all times. The terrorists take advantage of such events but our leaders only condemn their acts in one form or the other and every time assurance is given to the people that they will not succeed in their mission in future but the nefarious forces are repeating such acts in novel methods every now and then in other parts of the country and so on and so forth they continue to strike and our administration simply tolerates every time and gives solace and false promises to the people for curbing such activities of the nefarious forces. Our Government is unable to even have a clue of their abode and even if a few suspicious people are arrested they are set free, as they could not get evidence of their involvement. These activities are going on for years now and our internal intelligentsia is zero against the parallel administration of the nefarious forces at work not only in India but also all over the world. Democracy is at risk in India and it is high time to control such acts, actions and forces at large. It is once again reminded that the pillars of democracy are built on the shoulders of the people who elect their representatives to voice their feelings, aspirations and what not. In a democracy where a number of elected representatives are corrupt how can the people in general expect fair dealings from them? The question is as to who is responsible for creating such situations? Are not all the parties responsible for selecting such of their representatives? Latest case of massive demonstration is that of Rajasthan Gujjars followed by the neighbouring States for demanding ST status to get government employment easily. The first step for the ruling party should be to be transparent, quick and just in disposal of the grievances of the people so that they do not have to knock the doors of the judiciary. Where cases are pending a time bound schedule for disposal be drawn to give justice and relief to the aggrieved. People's participation in developmental work is must to avoid strikes and destruction of public property. Ruling party should take the confidence of the people in such a way that the people will cooperate with them and honour each and every order of the Government. Where 75 per cent of the people live in poverty, every one is busy in earning his or her bread and butter, it is only a handful of hired nefarious people who are involved in strikes and destruction of public property and thus they take law in their hands and create an atmosphere of anarchy and arson that the internal security of the state is disturbed in the name of religion, caste or creed. The Government should create such an atmosphere that people not only feel but also realise that there is no corruption in any public dealings. The time has come that the ruling party should deliver what it has promised and thus takes the people into confidence. It will not only create a congenial atmosphere in the State but the people will also honour every order/law of the Government. Democracy under such situations gets tarnished beyond description. The question here is who or which party is right or wrong. People are in fact fed up of calling and recalling for casting their votes. The time has gone when illiterates were not aware of the value of their votes. The Problems The problem is that due to the poverty and situations in which people are placed that the parties take advantage of it by bribing them in one form or the other. The government machinery has not considered its moral duty to impart moral education to the man of tomorrow. The fear is that it is not today but tomorrow also seems to be dark for the common man. People must be assured immediate justice from the three organs of democracy i.e. legislation, judiciary and executive. What type and kind of people can be of help to the Government in this hour of grief to save the democracy from erosion is the question before all of us to think and act fast. The solution One of the solutions to save the democracy is to motivate and mobilise the retiring persons to shoulder the responsibility towards the end of their career without any favour and fear because:
• they are always alert and sleep like dogs;
• they are honest, sincere and dependable;
• they have been tested for their competency;
• they know that the future of their children is at risk;
• they are well equipped for shouldering such responsibilities;
• they have lots of experience to share for constructive and developmental works; and above all
• they are prepared to be associated willingly and voluntarily for such social activities. What are their functions? They are expected to do the following simple exercises only:
• simply watch and carefully hear where there seems to be something fishy or suspicious around you
• lead a normal life wherever living but act fast on noticing some thing 'abnormal' or 'suspicious'
• to coordinate with other colleagues for sharing their experience of defusing and handling difficult situations
• to avoid reoccurring of the events and finally
• to act as an formal catalytic agent of information.
The Proposal A number of officials retire from service every month. Presuming that 50% of the retired persons are fit and are willing to be associated with this task, the nation will have huge number of persons for deployment in this hour of crisis situation to save the democracy. It is thus a high time and is possible to make use of these ex-servicemen including civilian officials (who are getting pensions from the Consolidated Funds of India) and associate them for this task to save the democracy. Their services can be utilised very easily because the life span has increased due to maintenance of quality of life by the service class. They have also faithfully served the government to the entire satisfaction of the government. As credential to their contribution in service they have become eligible for pension. Since these ex-servicemen are spread all over the country and are also available even in the remotest villages of the country where they are to spend the rest of their life, they are the best assets of the nation to depend upon. Moreover the kind of work, which is to be entrusted to them, is very simple and easy to accomplish by them without any stress or strain. Rather they will feel happy to know that they are still the assets of the nation and can shoulder such responsibilities even after retirement. The Concept of the Scheme It is proposed to start this Scheme on a Pilot Project basis by the Ministry of Home Affairs by creating a Cell for Mobilisation of Retired Persons for social work. Networking of concerned Departments of the concerned Ministries is to be done accordingly with clear instructions and orders on this behalf. It would be appropriate to lower the age of senior citizen from 65 years to 60 years for providing them the facilities from the age of 60 years so that they get the benefit immediately after retiring. It would motivate the ex-servicemen and civil servants to come in the orbit of this Scheme very easily. These senior citizens can be deployed in the areas of their interest after identifying their aptitude, sphere and areas of interest. These senior citizens can be made use of for at least for five years to the service of the country without any obligation to the government, as they will act as watchdogs in many fields. Even common man in the street notices many irregulars but fears to be associated or involved to bring the culprit or the facts to the notice of the concerned authorities since he is not protected but he seems to be harassed. No government can function without eliciting the cooperation of the people and if such faithful servants' interests are protected they can be the best asset of the healthy nation and get all kinds of culprits to book by informing such agencies which are already existing for the purposes. There is no need to get the character antecedents of the willing ex-servicemen or retired civil servants verified again. Straight away they may be got registered as Senior Social Welfare Officers and issued special kind of Identity Cards. A Top Confidential Pamphlet of Special Instructions (which may be updated from time to time) indicating the Serial Number and date of issue may be prepared and supplied to them so that they may act accordingly. A network of this task force may be prepared through which they are always in communication and or touch. On observing any abnormal kind of the thing they will immediately bring the facts and report the matter to the concerned authorities from the place where they are living or deployed. How to start the Scheme? Senior Social Welfare Officer (SSWO) will be willing to shoulder this responsibility without any honorarium or amount. However, if it is felt that some amount is essential to incur for conveyance or medical treatment of the aggrieved, the Controlling Unit of the concerned area could reimburse the same to those SSWO. It is high time to implement the Scheme immediately to save the democracy, in this hour of crisis situation. As such recently retired officers may be informed, by a special notification of the government to find out who are interested to do such a kind of social work for the country. They may be deployed on these simple terms and conditions, which may be formulated at the Ministry's level. The Scheme may be highlighted in medial - electronic and print so that other potential kinds of NGOs, organisations of reputed may also offer their services in this Scheme. As for the future recruitment of the ex-servicemen, a provision may be made in the conditions of service to furnish an undertaking before relief to serve the country for at least a period of two years from the date of discharge or superannuating, as the case may be. Their continuity on yearly basis for further period of three years can be considered provided they are willing and are medically found fit every year till the age of 65 years for the purpose. The job description of the Retiree The job description of these ex-servicemen is very simple and does not involve any stress or strain on the retiring employee to be deployed as SSWO but it should be incorporated in the Special Pamphlet so that there is no deviation from such instructions. Instructions in the Job description may be very simple and may not implicate the SSWO in any form and he/she must be heard on priority and respected by the authorities at all times. The services of these people will be very useful in surveillance, elimination of corruption, empowerment of weaker sections of the society including the women. SSWOs will become a useful Data Bank for a number of activities to be undertaken by the government from time to time. People's participation in these activities will avoid strikes, protests and curb innumerable evils in society. People at all times will cooperate with the SSWOs in identifying and getting arrested the culprits before they succeed in their efforts to strike any establishment of the government or the civilian people in general. Funding The yearly expenditure on this account will be negligible and can be met from the contingent expenditure which is otherwise spent on disastrous management funds for mobilising people by the Government at various avoidable accidents, natural calamities like flood, fire, earthquake, and the like. There are a number of MNCs, BPOs, industrialists, and the like who can be motivated to contribute for this noble cause. Only Appreciation will do wonders. The SSWOs will feel elevated if the Controlling Officer issues a letter of appreciation to them on observing that some of the SSWOs have done creditable job in their areas. They may also be felicitated at some public functions to keep their moral high and the time will come when they will say, "for a noble cause strength comes from God". Meritorious may be given awards by the President of India