K-Rail is definitely a progressive thought for establishing a better infrastructure for the State. The same will change the face of the State, if properly and timely implemented. However, the Government should address the concerns of the dissenters and take their views into consideration before proceeding further. The Government should be able to alleviate the doubts of the general public about the financial liability the project can impose of them in long run and also disclose the proper source of funding, feasibility of the project and the utility of the same. The Government should also consider the words of wisdom of personalities such as Madhav Gadgil, who had warned us about the impending geographical derailing and Mr. Sreedhran , who had shown us the railings to success, before jumping into conclusions. It is not wise to express your authoritarian skills rather than displaying your leadership skills.
Freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right guaranteed to a citizen of India by the Constitution, which is one of the basic features of our democracy. The right to express envisioned in Article 19 , coined with the ‘life and personal liberty’ specified in the Article 21 is the most important factors that lead to ‘right to equality’ celebrated in the Article 14. Without the freedom to express, a totalitarian as well as authoritarian government will emerge and that will make the democracy more fragile and weaker. In a democracy, dissent matters a lot. Right to protest is one of the critical organs of a free society and , it is worth to note that, those who had escaped from the massacres of communist totalitarian dictators were dissenters. Those who had not protested had got eventually crushed under the iron boots of the authoritarian governments , and , remember, the history shall repeat in each and every nook and corners of democracy, unless and until you stand up and speak out against such new age dictators.
In order to make a long-lasting decision, the government should listen to the voice of dissenters and take those dissents into account before proceeding with a decision. The words of dissent shall bring more transparency to the transactions and the same shall expose the tyranny of a corrupt government. Right to dissent is equivalent to right to vote. That right will bring more liberty and freedom to the society. The bad ideas will often highlight the virtues of the good proposals and the same will help the society to take an informed decision. After all, right to dissent will make the decision makers more cautious and eventually help them to come out with a proper and healthy decision.
A leader who is trying to challenge the opposition and imposing ‘his own decision’ of the public in a unilateral manner, in the guise of development, is truly undemocratic and dangerously demonic in character. A society that nurtures, protects and respects the dissenters is the healthiest democracy and it is not wise for a political leader of a democratic country to state that “ You have to take care of your teeth before you remove the stones”. The said statement is a tight slap on the face of our democracy with a huge uproar that "I am the ruler and you are my slave, we are not equals" !!
BIJOY P PULIPRA