rights - What next
Most of the civil liberties and human rights guaranteed by the Constitution or otherwise provided by law are intended to serve the purpose that political power should be utilised by the people and not merely for the people. That seems to be the purpose of all important civil liberties and human rights, such as equality before the law, non-discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, abolition of untouchability, freedom of speech and expression, right to information, etc.
If the main purpose of civil liberties and human rights is to enable the people to directly utilise the political and economic powers placed in their hands, it is obvious that the most important of the civil liberties and human rights is the decentralisation of power and empowerment of the people through a suitable media such as the panchayat system in rural areas and through municipalities in town and cities. However, although the Constitution makes it necessary to provide for well-functioning panchayats and municipalities, it is found that almost everywhere the people are deprived of power by such means as postponing the elections of panchayats and municipalities or the undue empowerment of Government appointed Secretaries of gram panchayats and municipalities or empowering the local MPs and MLAs.
are very few places where themselves have been able to exercise the power
granted by the law. It is however found that in every place where people
are allowed to look after their own affairs, they have achieved real progress,
which is spectacular in some cases. Hence the next step in Indian path
of progress is to ensure that the Indian people are able to exercise power
at a grass root level by removing all the impediments created by the local
self government, by MPs and MLAs and by other vested interests, so people's
self rule become a reality.
promote the spirit of self-reliance and mutual cooperation amongst the
people is, therefore, the main task of non-party organisations (NGOs)
like radical humanists, PUCL, socialists, progressive Gandhians and all
those who are willing to work 'with' the people and not merely 'for' the
people. The few places where the ordinary people have taken power in their
own hands and tried to improve their lot, have achieved spectacular success.
Let us go to villages and to the centers of the deprived people in towns
and cities 'for' the purpose, not of working 'for' them, but of working