Asit Nath Tiwari
Is India’s current government moving towards dictatorship? Political parties will answer this question according to their convenience and citizens will also give it according to their loyalty to the party. This is happening for the first time after independence. When a large part of the country’s population has begun to speak not as citizens of the country, but as a supporter of political ideology, and in this situation, the possibility of responsible and accurate answers to political questions has become almost insignificant. There was a time when the weather of the country was reflected in the expression of the people. Now the deception of politics has made its place in all the expressions of the people. However, if the next generation is to respond, we must preserve the role of responsible citizen.
We must be very careful when looking for answers to the question that was asked at the beginning of this article. We cannot dismiss the question nor can we say that the government is a one-shot dictator, but we must tell our generation that if such an attempt is made, what should be the role of the responsible citizen of the country . In this direction, we must first list the leaders who stood up for democratic values, who made concerted efforts to strengthen India’s democracy.
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If we want to select the top three politicians of India, then it will be a big challenge before anyone. Still, on the basis of merits and demerits, you will definitely come to some conclusion. Formal democratic politics in India was initiated by Mahatma Gandhi. Before this, Bal Gangadhar Tilak was definitely preparing the ground for democratic politics, but all his efforts could only prepare the leaders, they could not ensure the participation of the common man in large-scale politics.
In 1916, Mahatma Gandhi returned to India giving direction to the popular movement in South Africa. The first thing Mahatma Gandhi did as soon as he returned to India was to prepare the masses for democracy. For this, he used to take out the Bajapta newspaper, used to writing letters and articles. They knew that pro-British newspapers would not talk about democracy in India. That is why Mahatma Gandhi made information and public relations the first weapon.
Another great thing that Mahatma Gandhi did was to connect people with his ideas on a large scale. Before Mahatma Gandhi, Congress had a large group of politicians, but it did not have the power of the common people. Mahatma Gandhi, who came to Champaran in Bihar in 1917, first associated the common people with the Congress and the national movement. Small meetings, meetings with peasants and workers in towns and villages and then their direct contact with lawyers, doctors, landowners and educated youth taught India for the first time the method of mass movement. Whatever India is like today, mass movements play an important role in it. We cannot see Mahatma Gandhi limiting it to the freedom struggle only. His work in fields such as untouchability, cleanliness, non-violence, employment in handicraft industries, education make his vision clear.
After independence, India had a great army of politicians absorbed in struggles, embodied in ideals. Leaders of great stature like Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Lal Bahadur Shastri, Ram Manohar Lohia were present in the country. But at that time the country needed a leader who had a strong involvement in international politics. There was a need for a leader whom the world admired and whose words were taken seriously. In this case, then the stature of Jawaharlal Nehru was the greatest. Nehru studied Fabian socialism and Irish nationalism. Nehru created the structure by doing development, the same remains the basis of India’s development even today.
There are also many challenges in selecting the third best politician in India. Jai Prakash Narayan was not only a great freedom fighter but also proved to be a great advocate for the freedom of the common people after independence. No one can deny that after independence, the ruling class had started to be facilitator since the time of Nehru. Not only that, the ruling class was also beginning to consider itself of high status. Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri themselves had expressed their concern by accepting it many times. In 1974, Jai Prakash Narayan repeated the same experiments in a limited way through the Saptakranti, which Mahatma Gandhi had done in Champaran, Bihar in 1918. You can find the ideas, ideals and sacrifices of these best leaders of India only and only in democracy and you can use their experiments when there is any possibility of dictatorship. These leaders had laid the foundation of India’s strong democracy today. So don’t be afraid of this danger.
Disclaimer: The author has been a senior journalist, these are his personal views.