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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Is this not casteism??

I was reading through a news column carrying the judgement of  the Supreme Court of India in which it over ruled a prior judgement of Bombay High Court. This judgement was on the KG basin gas dispute between the Ambani brothers. The court also commented that " Gas was not a personal asset, it belonged to the people and only the government had the right to fix the price". I really feel surprised by the fact that two billionaires were fighting over something that they do not own!How can two billionaires fight over the price of gas which belongs to the people? If they are able to do so in the capacity of being heads of two big corporations, how do we justify their capability of heading the two corporations? After all, they inherited it from their father!!

Another day,I was listening to the speech given by Mr Rahul Gandhi at Aligarh Muslim University in December 2009. He was speaking about the participation of Muslims in mainstream politics. It was good and encouraging,but, i did not find anything so new that i personally could not have thought of! I do not contest the fact of Mr Rahul Gandhi being a bright and good person. But, are only these two qualities enough for a person to possess the level of power that Mr Rahul Gandhi possesses. There are many bright and good people in the country struggling to make their ends meet. In India,I have accepted a system which, in principle, says that every person should be given equal opportunity. The term 'eqaual' is acceptable with a band width,which means everybody cannot be exactly the same but, how can one define equal opportunity between me(a middle class man) and the "Gandhis" and the "Ambanis".

I protest against this unjust law and tradition. Also, please note, i am not speaking like a fanatic communist, i am speaking on the principles of democracy. I am speaking withing the existing framework. I do not want everybody to be forcibly made equal, instead, i want the opportunity provided to everyone be almost equal. Also, i do not want people to inherit political and money power because this gives them the opportunity to affect my personal life. I can also backward integrate this fact to people who might be "out of the bandwidth" of equality compared to me. I feel really sad when i see and elderly man pulling a rickshaw or a child selling something at a traffic signal. I often think about the ways to help them and many times end up only giving them money.But, this is not the solution, there has to be a systematic change which brings the opportunity part in the "band width of equality". I also feel bad when i hear of the excesses done on rural people in various parts of the country.I hope readers are able to appreciate my point.
In the context of political power, which is already a debated topic,we can stop its inheritance only by educating people and by creating a platform for common man to enter politics.There cannot be a legal barrier in place. The platform should reduce the risks involved in entering politics. Although, the risk of criminal intimidation to an upcoming politician has reduced in many areas, the element of financial risk remains.Once this risk is mitigated or reduced, we will find inheritance of Political Legacy difficult.

In the context of money power,about which we generally do not discuss,  inheritance can be legally stopped.I am not talking about people inheriting a few crores, i am talking about people inheriting hundreds and thousands of crores. This might sound bizarre, but, you think by your self with the help of this example. How much can two billionaires brothers influence the petroleum policy of the country in their collective favour? Petroleum policy has a direct effect on us. Are those two brothers far more capable than any one of us?? Then why this difference?? Is it only because they were born to particular parents!! There are many such examples available. We talk about the rich influencing government in policy making, but, we have not been able to think about a systematic way to stop this. We only depend on the moral standing of a person which is not a systematic approach.

I have a solution for this, "Inheritance of property above Rs 100 crore should be legally prohibited". I believe Rs 100 crore is more than enough for a person to lead an ultra luxurious life. Even with this amount, a person would enjoy fair amount of influence in the system. But, this is something, i consider, within the "Band Width of Equality".

Readers might consider this to be an unjust way. Because, this is our conventional way of thinking, son deserves to inherit his father's wealth and a father has the right to give his wealth to whomsoever he wants!This is the same way people used to think when the idea of  breaking the caste barriers was proposed long ago.Don't you consider inheritance of Political and Money power as comparable to casteism where a Brahmin's child was a Brahman. Although in similar comparison, in the present system a Sudra's child can progress and become a Brahman, but, the Brahmin's child still enjoys the advantage of birth. What i have suggested is that you put this Brahmin's Child in the Kshatriya's & Vaishya segment and then if he is competent, he will graduate to become a Brahman. He should directly not be given the powers of a Brahman which entitles him to influence policy decisions of a state!

I am a strong believer in systemic approach to problem solving. Thus, I believe that this form of Modern Capitalist Casteism should come to an end!! Right to inheritance of property and power to delegate property rights above a specific limit should be scrapped.

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