parliamentary democracy

Arvind Subramanian Pratap Bhanu Mehta

The problem with our so-called ‘liberal’ intellectuals and media persons: the blind leading the blind?

The problem with our so-called ‘liberal’ intellectuals and media persons By Justice Markandey Katju Recently Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Arvind Subramaniam resigned from Ashoka University, and there was a big hue and cry over it, as if heavens had fallen. ‘Intellectuals’ like Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Arvind Subramanian, Ram Chandra Guha, Subramanyam Swamy, Shashi Tharoor etc, and ‘liberal’ media persons like Siddhartha Varadarajan, Karan Thapar, Ravish Kumar, Ajit Anjum, etc. are oft flaunted and touted for their views and activities as if they are great thinkers. However, I regard them all as mediocrities and superficial. To give an example, it is obvious to anyone who has even a little understanding of Indian realities that since parliamentary democracy, which we have in our country under the Constitution, runs largely on the basis of caste and religious vote banks, and since casteism and communalism are feudal forces which have to be destroyed if India is to progress, but parliamentary democracy further entrenched them, it has to be replaced by an alternative political system under which there is rapid development, otherwise we will remain condemned to massive poverty, record unemployment, appalling level of child malnourishment, almost total lack of proper healthcare and good education for our masses, etc. But our brave ‘intellectuals’ and mediapersons will never address this issue, for challenging parliamentary democracy means in effect going outside the Constitutional bounds, and advocating a historical people’s revolution, which scares the daylight out of the heads of these folks. The very word ‘revolution’ horrifies them, as if they are facing a guillotine. But is it not true that everything has collapsed in India, our state institutions have become hollow and empty shells, while the people’s distress is growing every day ? So is India not heading for a revolution ? Intellectuals are the eyes of society, and without them society is blind. But what if our so called ‘intellectuals’ are themselves out of their depths, and never think deeply ? Will it not be a case of the blind leading the blind ? Our so called ‘intellectuals’ and ‘liberal’ mediapersons cry hoarse…