Sunday, November 15, 2015

Social and economic inequality undermines democracy

B.R. Ambedkar was largely responsible for writing the Constitution of India. He gave the following sober warning which seems even more relevant today, particularly in Western democracies.
“On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value.  
How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up.” 
I first encountered this quotation on a large poster placed on a building wall at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely on target and not before time . Chesterton would not have believed, I feel sure, that his pinpricks into the tedious and shallow discussion of the god of democracy would still be promoted as gospel by the Fabians and their facile followers one hundred years later . Give the Iraqs democracy - that will save them!