Press Releases Archive
Secularism does not mean doling out of subsidies and making reservations to minorities in elections or educational institutions or jobs, Lok Satta President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said here today.
Addressing some 500 Muslims, who had come in a procession from Jubilee Hills to the party headquarters and joined the party, Dr. JP said secularism meant providing equal opportunities for all irrespective of their religion or caste.
Pointing out that 80 percent of patients who throng Government hospitals in places like Hyderabad happen to be Muslims, Dr. JP said that attempts should be made to guarantee them quality health care and education, job-oriented skills and livelihood security. Dr. JP said he was happy that a large number of Muslims had chosen to join the Lok Satta Party in the belief that there could be no improvement in their lives until there was total political transformation.
Mr. Mohammed Ishaq Khan, who led the rally of Muslims, said it was their conviction that Lok Satta policies would contribute to Muslims’ development that made them take active membership in the party. Among those who took part in the meeting were Mr. Mohd. Abdul Khadir, Mr. Mohd. Mujibuddin Shakir, Lok Satta Party Secretary Vijayender Reddy, Lok Satta candidates Mrs. Pratibha Rao and Mrs. Subhashini contesting from the Jubilee Hills and Khairatabad constituencies respectively to the Assembly.
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today accused the traditional parties of chanting the social justice mantra to corner votes in the ensuing elections and not to render justice to the downtrodden sections.
Traditional party Governments have deliberately chosen not to transfer powers, resources and personnel to local self-governments simply because the downtrodden and women have a say in their functioning thanks to reservations, Dr. JP told a conference on social justice. Had they been social justice votaries, they would have devolved powers on local bodies.
Representatives of SCs, STs, BCs, minorities and women from various districts attended the conference held at the Lok Satta Party headquarters. Messrs Syed Jahanuddin, Akurati Muralikrishna, Jupally Satyanarayana, Vijay Singh, J. Irammurthy, Satish Gowd and Gajanani were among the leaders who took part in the conference.
The Lok Satta President pointed out that there could be no social justice so long as parties remained private properties of certain families, which have mastered the art of catalyzing politics into business. The dynastic political enterprises would not allow power to slip from their fingers by enabling the disadvantaged to have a say in the functioning of parties or governments. That’s why these parties have ceased to function democratically.
The political enterprises make social justice impossible also by indulging in corruption and siphoning of the scarce resources to enrich themselves at the cost of the deserving downtrodden. They also deny social justice by centralizing power in their hands as decentralization might give a say to weaker sections and come in the way of corruption.
In this connection, Dr. JP referred to the Switzerland Government’s decision to relax bank secrecy provisions and allow access to American tax evaders’ secret bank accounts to the U. S. Government. Reports say that Indians had secreted as much as US $70 billion in Swiss banks, but politicians as a class have chosen not to pursue the black money trail.
Dr. JP pointed out that the political enterprises have developed a vested interest in perpetuating poverty since they will have a ready reservoir of poor people who can be hired as political workers or serve as vote banks.
Dr. JP said Governments fiddling with categories of backward classes or shifting some to the ST list did not amount to social justice. He recalled that the architects of the Constitution envisaged a society in which every one enjoyed equal rights. But because of rotten politics, the weaker sections had been deprived of their rights. The Constitution did provide reservations for certain sections for a definite period but politicians see virtue in continuing them forever so that they can set can set one caste against another and reap political advantage.
“Real social justice could be ensured only when every one has access to quality education, health care, employment opportunities and social security. That is possible only when the political system is cleansed thoroughly. Kerala is a standing example to the role education plays in uplifting any community. If Ezhavas, one of the most backward communities once, have developed, they owe it to Narayan Guru, who promoted education among them. The present Kerala Chief Minister belongs to that community.
Dr. JP said that internal democracy in parties and proportional representation to all castes and classes, genuine decentralization of power and an agenda that helps people stand on their own feet alone would ensure social justice.