Dictatorship and Democracy

A strange post at Churumuri-

[M]uch to the disappointment of anybody who upholds democracy and federalism, all the discussions about the [right to education] bill have missed the single most important facet of this whole thing: the complete usurping of power by the central government and the complete neglect of state governments in the matter of education.

I haven’t seen a single voice raised against this decadence of India, and must do my part.

While the people of India are busy discussing trivial details of the bill, they’ve forgotten that it is none of the central government’s business to assume the exclusive ‘right to education’ (as in the right to the portfolio of education) in the first place.

[…]

While India discusses the bill in letter, it misses the spirit of the bill which is simply designed to help the central government at New Delhi move one stealthy step closer to becoming a total dictatorship, with state-governments being moved one stealthy step towards becoming dispatch clerks.

[…]

The power to decide the constitution of the education system, all research, and indeed everything related to the quality of education is now unilaterally assumed by the central government.

The states now have no say in what constitutes a good education of their people. They’re just being asked to be clerks who shell out money for programmes decided by Kapil Sibals sitting in New Delhi.

The center forcing kids into school is “dictatorial.” The states doing the same thing is “democratic.” What about the parents and the kids? Who cares.

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Comments

  • blr_p  On November 7, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I’ve not noticed any posts by you on RTE, RTF & RTW. So what are your views on them ?

    First off, I agree they are not rights but just misworded entitlements as one of Swami’s recent articles mentioned.

    But what else ?

    • Aristotle The Geek  On November 15, 2010 at 8:26 pm

      I believe you’re referring to this article

      Politicians and activists constantly propose new rights — the right to work, to education, and now to food. The word “rights” is being twisted to mean entitlements, and there is a big difference.

      Rights are freedoms from oppression by the state or by society (through ethnicity, religion and gender). These rights do not entail government handouts. Entitlements, however, are welfare measures entailing government handouts. Rights are not limited by budget constraints, but entitlements are. So, rights are universal but entitlements are not.

      Historically, India has provided only limited welfare. It can certainly afford to provide more as it grows richer. Yet fiscal crises in the West warn us that entitlements can grow so rapidly as to threaten even rich governments with bankruptcy. Because of budget constraints, entitlements must be limited. But rights should not be limited. So, don’t confuse rights with entitlements.

      I don’t think there’s anything more to be added to the definition. I would say, though, that entitlements should not merely be “limited,” but non-existent. The government should not subsidize anything, or anyone.

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