The India That Might Have Been (Part 11)

The Road Ahead

Freedom was a treasure and it needed to be cherished. Indians had got their freedom and seen what it could do. But the spectre of collectivism and control was never far away. Keeping freedom intact was an ongoing project.

The freedom Indians gained had to be made irreversible. India needed new rules so no future government could undo what had been done in the past decade. No future government should be ever able to mess with the lives of people. India needs a constitution that was consistent with a nation of free people, not a constitution that continued the British colonial rule of subordinating Indians to the government. The 1950 constitution of India placed the government as the ruler and the people its subjects. This relationship had to be inverted.

As it stood, the constitution of India is never read by anybody. At over 170,000 words, it was too long to be read, and even if attempted, it was incomprehensible because it was written in legalese. India needed a constitution that was written in plain language that every literate person could read and understand, and was short enough to be comprehended by an average adult.

For this, he had drafted a Constitution for Free India. This is what he needed to present to the nation and get their support so it could create the Second Indian Republic. He had borrowed ideas from the best, especially the Founding Fathers of America. This modern Constitution itself was just a few pages of simple text that anyone could read and understand. It put the constraints on those in power, and ensured the people would never again be enslaved by one of their own. Only then would Indians be free to achieve their full potential. He would go out on the road again to persuade people and win their approval over the next few months.

Once the Constitution was approved, it would create a new governance architecture of India, with power finely balanced between the three branches of government. His job was then done. He would leave it to a new set of leaders to take the nation forward. August 15, 2025 would see a new leader and he would retire from active politics. He did not want to cast a shadow over the next government. The test of his work of the past decade was how well the nation handled the transition and the future.

And so it came to his life beyond. He would be turning 75 next year – and while he had some years of active life still left, he wanted to ensure the ideas of freedom and prosperity spread globally. More than a hundred nations still had their people suffering in poverty because of their governments and leaders. He was hoping to take the Indian success story and persuade some of them to change course and free their people. This would be his legacy: 1.5 billion free Indians and, hopefully, hundreds of millions more.

He was ready for the national telecast. “My fellow Indians…”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.

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