Offstumped – Commentary on India


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Century of Entitlement in the name of Social Justice

On 15 Jan 2007  Offstumped declared War on Social Justice saying absurd questions were being raised on the constitution. Well the absurdity is official now and has been sanctified by no less a person than Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala. Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala Saturday said the central government should rewrite the constitution to better reflect the aspirations of marginalised people and minorities.  Outlining the policy of the DMK — a partner of the UPA at the Centre — for the coming year, Governor Surjit Singh Barnala told the state assembly that political, social and economic facets and the needs of the working class had radically changed in the past 50 years. Today, the backward, most backward, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have been forced to defend their hard-won rights and to ensure social justice, including minority and gender rights, he said in a reference to the recent Ninth Schedule Verdict by the Supreme Court. While the BJP has reacted guardedly to this demand the left including the CPI-M and CPI have come out in support of it.

So there you have it folks the grand culmination of the dubious politics of Social Justice, the psuedo intellectual political correctness of Social Justice and the Communal Socialism of Manmohan Singh resulting in the demand for a new Constitution. Offstumped examines the implications of this insiduous demand and what it means to India in the 21st century.

For starters the rationale provided by the DMK in Barnala’s address lays it out crystal clear for all of us. By framing the demand for a new constitution on the argument that “hard won rights” of backwards and minorities are being denied the DMK has cast aside all pretensions of Social Justice. Still Confused, well let us examine what so called “rights” are being denied. The 9th schedule verdict of the Supreme Court was not about any rights being denied. In fact at the heart of the ninth schedule verdict was the inviolability and primacy of Fundamental Rights. So if the Supreme Court’s verdict was all about upholding Fundamental Rights and not about denying any, what hard won “rights” is the DMK alluding to. Well the DMK is alluding to the fictitious and non existent “Right to Entitlement”.

Now what is that ? If you still dont get it, Offstumped is going to spell it out in plain english.

The DMK is essentially telling us that certain castes and minorities are entitled to not play by the rules. It is telling us that these castes and minorities have a god given right to unfair policies and practices. Hence it wants a new Constitution that essentially confers on these Castes and the Minorities the Right to be Entitled to political favor, the Right to be Entitled to be shielded from fair competition, the Right to be Entitled to tax payer funded freebies, the list goes on.

So what will this do the Nation if such a Constitutional Rewrite were to happen. It would ensure we remain a Nation of Oliver Twists for the next 100 years.

What kind of a Nation do we want to be in the 21st Century ?

This is a question that almost every nation big or small is right now confronting.

The US is confused between extreme fringe positions on socio-cultural issues and the many wars its waging beyond its borders.

The French have pretty much made up their mind on the kind of nation they want to be after the recent roll-back of flexible labor laws and all the nonsense we heard on Mittal’s bid on Arcelor.

The Russians, The Venezualans and the Iranians are announcing loud and clear that at least in this decade of the 21st Century that power flows from access to sources of Energy and it trumps the American superpower status and they will use this leverage to pursue their agendas.

So on pretty much with the rest of the world.

What about us Indians ? Where do we want to go from where we are ?

In a nation of billion people economic deprivation is understandable. Frustration and despair from extreme manifestations of this economic deprivation are also understable. A strong sense of entitlement that stems form this extreme deprivation is not just understable but also legitimate if we have to be one Nation.

What is completely un-understandable is this all pervasive SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT that runs across all layers of the society.

It is almost as if we have become a Nation of Oliver Twists.

Everybody wants “MORE” from the State at Tax Payer Expense.

- Elected Representatives want “MORE” Offices of Profit at Tax Payer Expense

- Just about every political party wants “MORE” reservations in Private Educational Institution at Private Citizens Expense

- Just about anyone wants “MORE” from the Government, be it jobs, be it dole be it free rice or free Color TVs

It is not just wanting MORE but wanting MORE with a deep sense of offense and outrage on being denied it or on being questioned on the legitamcy of the WANT.

It is this all pervasive malaise of entitlement that has Institutionalized the populist politics of social justice. which has at its roots a A MUTUALLY SHARED SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT between the populist politician and the so called backward and minority vote bank brokers. It is precisely this that has given the DMK’s Karunanidhi the arrogance to demand a re-write of the constituion.

Karunanidhi and his likes have thrown a poser at us





If we do not confront this question honestly we will continue to be a Nation of Oliver Twists in the 21st century.

Offstumped Bottomline: At the heart of the politics of Social Justice is a Culture of Entitlement. The demand by the DMK to re-write the constitution is a wake up call to all those who subscribe to the Right of Center world view. The War on Social Justice must be decisively won else we must prepare for another century of entitlement.


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8 Responses

  1. [...] the Social Justice politics of Affirmative Entitlement a step further, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP Supremo Mayawati has announced for the first [...]

  2. [...] the Social Justice politics of Affirmative Entitlement a step further, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP Supremo Mayawati has announced for the first [...]

  3. [...] indignation in the masses by painting them the victim. It is this victimhood that has spawned the culture of entitlement and a false sense of justice called Social Justice. The results range from Communal Socialism, [...]

  4. [...] of the Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi lead UPA stood out for legitimizing Communal Socialism and a Culture of Entitlement by giving both an aam admi [...]

  5. [...] Two Indias series – Entitlements in Tamil Nadu A guest post by long time Offstumped reader NR. This was originally posted on his blog here and was titled “The case of a Farmer who’s self respect was hurt by the selft respect movement.” [...]

  6. [...] Perhaps all those who swear by economic freedom should consider putting their money where their mouth is on the one state where the Spirit of Enterprise has decisively defeated the Culture of Entitlement. [...]

  7. Jonni says:

    What liberating knowlegde. Give me liberty or give me death.

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Opinions expressed on this site using the alias Offstumped are the blogger's personal opinions and do not in any way reflect the views of the blogger's Employers.
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