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Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Plight of Minorities in India” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Plight of Minorities in India

 

Episodes like the large scale disturbance directed against Christian communities in various parts of India at the hands of its ruling party supporters, gunning down of totally unarmed by an Upper Caste gang etc. and such incidents against Christians, Muslims and Dalits (previously called untouchables) are not very uncommon in India. These days Christian missionaries in India are being accused (by the fanatics and their friends) of “inducing” people to convert to Christianity with “educational and other facilities” provided to the converts. When did humanitarian and noble inducements like the provision of “education, hospital for sick, shelter for the homeless,” become a bad and reprehensible things?

Calling these as “inducements” towards a change of religion is a stab at the heart of free speech and democracy. If attracting people with humanitarian good deeds is not right then the promise of a good government by a party has to be taken as an “inducement,” and hence undesirable. If someone provides “inducement” to somebody to commit a crime, the inducements that the missionaries provide are for something that they consider as elevating and liberating. It is only if one considers Christianity to be bad that one can denounce inducements for the same to be bad. But those who question the missionaries’ mission won’t come out and denounce Christianity to be bad because they want to wear the badge of “tolerance” at the same time, claiming that Hinduism preaches “tolerance.”

The truth is that no religion encourages its followers to go on a rampage of killing and looting others. Followers of any particular religion go on rampages only when someone or some group has something to gain out of that rampage. So one has to dig deeper if one really wants to know as to who is behind current Hindu rampages, and what are they gaining out of it, or what they are afraid of losing without such rampages, be it against Christians, Muslims or Dalits. The “tolerant” Prime Minister wants a national debate on “conversion.” On the surface, it may look only as bad as questioning freedom, free speech or democracy. But it is actually much more sinister than that if you take the religious element into account.

First of all, there is nothing wrong with conversion as long as it is not forced. Secondly, even if one does not try to persuade another person into converting, the former can be accused of trying to induce others into converting, just because he or she belongs to another religion. That is why the bogey of conversion is far more insidious and treacherous than it looks on the surface.

So what is really the motivation behind these sinister mischiefs? The family of Hindu fundamentalist parties, collectively known as Sangh Parivar (family of Sangh parties) under the umbella of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) have found that whenever there is communal disturbance (riots against one religious minority or the other), they have fared relatively well in elections. This is because even though a vast majority of Indians, inspite of being castigated lower caste Hindus, they call themselves Hindu. One would find it unthinkable to believe in a religion that bestows upon that same person a lower level station than upon some others. But inspite of the fact that about 70% of Indians are regarded as low caste Hindus, they do call themselves Hindus and worship some form of Hindu god or the other. And in the name of religion, the Sangh Parivar has found it easier to get them excited and vote for them (for the Sangh Parivar) when religious tension is festering. It is important to delve a little deeper into what causes people to follow and vote for the religious instigators.

In Southern part of India, the distance of the devotees from their gods is assigned by the priests and it is managed to be in proportion to the distance of their caste from the top of the Hindu hierarchy (the Brahmins.)

Accordingly, the untouchables should not even be able to enter the temples, yet most of them call themselves Hindus. It seems that once one accepts the mysticism of god, one becomes willing to accept any amount of illogical things contained within that package. Any amount of inhumanity, any amount of degradation, any amount of indignities heaped upon themselves or others become acceptable to the believers of god as long as all these irrationalities are contained within the enigmatic package that contains that god. The package seems to create a distance between its “believers” and logic, rationality, and questioning spirit of a person. It seems that all those rituals and stories that come wrapped up within the package, which one gets submerged in, and drilled with, from the time people are born puts a damper on the reasoning capacity of a person.

Otherwise why would a person “believe” in the religion that makes that same person a lowly untouchable being. Why would a person want to believe in a god while they are forbidden even from hearing the verses of scriptures about these same gods. If they somehow hear those scriptures, the scriptures command that molten lead be poured into the ears of those low caste individuals. If these low caste individuals perform a certain “yagya,” (a certain ritualistic prayer offering,) the scriptures demand such low caste individuals to be beheaded, yet even to this day many of the same low caste individuals, including very prominent ones, aspire to perform that “yagya.” What kind of rationality is that. What is it that makes them so devoid of sensible thinking? Could it be the unquestioning attitude one is drilled with from the time of their birth?

Any time there is conflict between Hindus and persons belonging to a religious minority, it assumes a religious overtone. Because majority of people in India are Hindus, the Hindus band beaters stand to gain as fundamentalist vanguard of the majority. This should give a clue as to who are the instigators of trouble in most instances. One would think that it would be mostly the illiterate masses who would be duped by this kind of trick of the fanatic Sangh Parivar. But unfortunately even the literate segment has come to buy into this kind of trickery and treachery, as vast majority of literate segment happens to be upper caste which has sold its allegiance to the Sangh Pariwar. Why are they more attached to the Sangh Parivar today than yester years? The reason is that the Sangh Parivar is the staunchest opponent of caste-wise distribution of jobs and other means of power, dubbed as Mandalization in India.

What is the Solution to the Problem?

The big question is where lies the salvation of India and its minorities? True salvation lies in Proportional Representational (PR) System of election prevalent in Europe and in many other parts of the world. Under PR systems, parties are allocated seats in proportion to the votes that they get. In that setup, no party would hope to get absolute majority, much less so in India. Most castes may be likely to vote for the best in their own caste or caste category or segment or religion or linguistic minority, as exigencies present themselves, and as they see it fit. BJP would be reduced to being just one of the several Hindu chauvinist parties, totaling not much more than their share of population (of about 15%).

After coming to the Parliament in proportion to their population, the post-election alliances of various parties is going to be much more stable and more rooted in the needs of their constituents. As can be seen from the results of most countries that hold elections under pluralistic system, a party getting 30-40% of votes very often gets an absolute majority, at the expense of smaller parties. In United Kingdom, the Liberal Party has consistently obtained more between 20-25% of votes in the last several elections, yet as a minority party, they have been able to win only between 5-10% of the seats. As a result of several disadvantage faced by the minority parties, the countries having plurality system hardly have any minority parties. On account of such disadvantage, parties that might have arisen to redress the voice of some segments’ distress get wiped off inspite of their continued woe. This does not happen under a PR system.

Look at Germany. They use a mixed system of election under which the results are essentially proportional. Their Green Party consistently polls 6-7% of votes and they are allocated seats nearly in proportion to their votes. For their share of seats, they don’t have to run around making unethical and uncouth alliances. Yes, for getting into the government, they need an alliance. But to get their fair share of seats in the legislative bodies they don’t need to make pre-election affiliation or association. Such will never be the case in India or United Kingdom or the USA, under their archaic plurality system. Under the plurality system, proportionality is more of an exception than rule.

All over Europe, except for UK and France, they have one form or the other of PR system. A party with 6-7% of popular support has no chance gaining any seat except in anomalous circumstances. For the sake of survival, the smaller parties always get forced into unequal alliances, most of the time tilted disproportionately in favour of stronger parties. These alliances, being uneven and unjust, almost always break down. This kind of continuous jockeying for artificially concocted and unjust advantage is the hallmark of plurality system.

Politics becomes synonymous with shrewd and unethical jockeying for power. On the other hand, under a PR system, party strengths do not undergo drastic changes subject to pre-election alliances, and 30-40% of votes is never going to be artificially converted into absolute majority. Besides, when people have parties of their own communities, they generally would not be persuaded to vote for an alien party on the basis of hate bating tactics, so such a tactics would not even be tried.

As the upper castes and their interest control all of the major Indian newspapers, they never delve deep into the benefits of PR System of elections. Only passing references to PR system are seen once in a while, most of the time discussing its most outdated form with obvious flaws. For example, they assume that under the PR system people would vote for parties only, and that it is the party bosses who would decide as to who is going to go into the legislative bodies. This obviously has the flaw of giving inordinate power into the hands of party bosses. Nominating power in the hands of political bosses leads to extremely corrupting and demeaning process of sycophancy among the followers of all parties. For the sake of personal gains a cutthroat competition in flattery and deification of the political bosses ensues. One solution to this flaw would be voting by the people for parties as well as for individual candidates in one and the same general election, unhindered by any nomination process.

Parties would be represented in the legislative bodies in proportion to the votes that they get. An Electoral College of all of the candidates, each carrying as many votes as they got in the general election, could decide who from within various parties would go to the legislative bodies. There can be many mechanisms of electing the final winners of seats in the legislative bodies, including several run-offs. The Electoral College could even come up with the, names of final two candidates who would go back to the country for a final runoff, to become the president, if a presidential setup is found to be more desirable. The parliamentary system wherein the legislative as well as executive power lies within the same body of representatives, does suffer from concentration of too much power within the single legislative body.

One possible method of electing from within the electoral college of candidates is given below. Let N be the number of votes per seat obtained by dividing total number of votes by the number of seats. Then all candidates who would get more than N votes would have to be considered elected. The rest (including elected candidates who are left with votes in excess of N votes) would have to vote among themselves, each casting as many votes as they got in the just concluded free for all election, finally filling up the rest of the seats. The candidates who are already elected by virtue of getting more votes (V) than N would have (V-N) votes to use towards the election of other candidates.

One could come up with innumerable ways of carrying out the will of the people, unfettered by intervention of any nomination process at the hands of political bosses. A solution does not have to he a permanent solution. In fact, it would be best for different states to choose different solutions and keep on changing them towards the better and better system of following the will of the people. Only this kind of evolving PR system would be best able to evolve consensus and fulfill aspiration of all groups or segments of the society. It is in this kind of society that baiting, instigation and atrocities against minorities is not going to pay much dividend.

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