12 Jan The Cultivation of Democratic Governance
Constitutional morality is not a natural sentiment. It has to be cultivated. We must realize that our people have yet to learn it. Democracy in India is only a top-dressing on an Indian soil, which is essentially undemocratic.
This is what Dr. B. R. Ambedkar said after the departure of the British from India in 1947.
The point for us, as it was for Dr. Ambedkar, is not to be dogmatically pro- or anti-democracy but to note the facts and deal creatively with the reality.
Perhaps this was one of the reasons for the different trajectories of governance in the two countries – India dealt with the reality a lot more creatively than was the case in Pakistan. Think of the approach to the reorganization of states as one example.
Of course, there were other important differences and we shall elaborate on them as we go along.
We will also highlight the contributions of Dr. Ambedkar who, in our view, was one of the outstanding intellects of those times. It is a telling commentary that his observations are virtually unknown in Pakistan.
At the very least his cogently argued text of 1940 Pakistan or the Partition of India should be required reading for all who wish to understand the issues of those times.
The following was the poignant quotation on the cover of the book:
More brain, O Lord, more brain! Or we shall mar,
Utterly this fair garden we might win