Our benevolent State

The Supreme Court is deciding on a petition that challenges the forty-fourth amendment to our Constitution which deleted the “right to property” – article 19(1)(f). I had written about it, among other things, a couple of days back.

The petition is irrelevant. So is any possible favorable decision. And the answer lies in the petition itself-

Though the 1978 constitutional amendment was to permit government to acquire land for public purpose without being dragged to courts by big zamindars, the alteration of the status of the right to property never intended to harm small landholders, the petition stated.

Egalitarian constitutions have no integrity of their own. So they can be made to take any form and shape that the Will of the public demands. What is the guarantee that some socialist government that is elected in ten years time won’t have some new scheme up its sleeve; last time the targets were the zamindars – land lords, this time it could be anyone who owns more than one house? Our constitution is DEFECTIVE BY DESIGN. It cannot be repaired, or salvaged, or saved. A free India needs a constitution that is based on the idea of freedom from the State, not subservience to it. But the oldest question in the world will continue to plague us nonetheless. Who will watch the watchmen? Who will provide the guarantee that a constitution that has an integrity of its own will always be adhered to? I don’t think anyone can.

From the Times of India again, comes the story of corruption in the income tax department. the CBI has arrested an ITO, an ACIT, and a CA. Naturally, other income tax officials are not happy. But this case is hardly surprising, as I have said before. I don’t know how many of you are aware of an incident CNN-IBN reported a couple of years ago where confidential information provided to the IT department “somehow” ended up with the Bombay underworld and income tax filers received threats from them. Our benevolent State at work.

Another report – the cops will throw you in jail if you smoke imported cigarettes that don’t carry a warning label-

After banning smoking in public places, the Mumbai police have now decided to crack down on imported cigarettes whose packets do not carry the statutory warning. People caught selling or smoking such cigarettes will be fined. Cops also plan to request the courts to send repeat offenders behind bars.


* One cannot sell or smoke cigarettes of foreign brands that do not have the statutory warning, telling people of the dangers of smoking.

* Penalty for the first offence is a fine of Rs 1,000.
* The maximum punishment is a prison term of three years.

So, the State assumes that unless cigarette cases carry a warning, people have no way of knowing that smoking is injurious to health. Further, to save you from injuring yourself from lack of knowledge, the State is ready to send you to an already overcrowded prison for a period of three years. Our benevolent State at work, again.

Murray Rothbard said

“Instead of a bumbling and inefficient tool of society, the radical [libertarian] sees the State itself, in its very nature, as coercive, exploitative, parasitic, and hence profoundly antisocial. The State is, and always has been, the great single enemy of the human race, its liberty, happiness, and progress.”

To that I will add Voltaire’s “Crush the infamy!”

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  • warthog  On February 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    so true.NO amount of tweaking the constitution would fix it.We need to have state rights and limited govt.
    here is a video about republic vs democracy.
    We have a mob rule.I hope one day we have US type of constitution with emphasis on limited federal govt,states right and most imp of all absolute rights AKA the bill of rights.
    I am eagerly waiting ron paul of india

  • Kalidas  On March 1, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Warthog.. the U.S. itself has devolved into a mobocracy as of now.. wouldn’t you say?

    Moreover, people in India are trying to emulate that and have started glamorizing the big M as the Indian B.H.O..

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 1, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    that’s what a democracy is isn’t it? the majority have there final word. one group wins and the other is left unsatisfied.

    • Aristotle The Geek  On March 1, 2009 at 3:27 pm

      # “that’s what a democracy is isn’t it? the majority have there final word. one group wins and the other is left unsatisfied.”
      Yes, but “unsatisfied” doesn’t even begin to describe the actual situation – “persecuted” is a better word.

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 1, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    yes, but may be the total opposite in india.
    i don’t think the minorities of india are persecuted. there were two anti-islam riots after independence namely, in 1992 and in 2002. and they’ve made numerous movies on it too. nearly every muslim has something to do with 1992. even slumdog millionaire included that event. this has given a rise to the fallacy that there’s a big threat to muslims in india.

    • Aristotle The Geek  On March 1, 2009 at 8:49 pm

      You are assuming that “minorities equals religious minorities”. I wasn’t writing about religion here but about minorities in general – actually, that thought didn’t even cross my mind. A Rand quote from the side panel-

      The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights, cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.

      If you are a smoker in a land of non-smokers, you are a minority. Same is the case for all other “vices.” If you are a capitalist in a land of thieves (socialists), then you are a minority, again. That was what I was referring to.

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 1, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    I wasn’t writing about religion here
    whenever i hear the word “persecution”, religion instantly comes to my mind.

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