Tuesday, 13 February 2018

ROLE OF STATE AND PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITY WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO INDIA


                                                                                           - Dr. S. Vijay Kumar
Here a State means, a Welfare State that is a  government where it plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life. The general term may cover a variety of forms of economic and social organization.

There are two main interpretations of the idea of a state:

A model in which the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. This responsibility in theory ought to be comprehensive, because all aspects of welfare are considered and universally applied to citizens as a "right".

State can also mean the creation of a "social safety net" of minimum standards of varying forms of welfare. 

In the strictest sense, a state is a government that provides for the welfare, or the well-being, of its citizens completely. Such a government is involved in citizens lives at every level. It provides for physical, material, and social needs rather than the people providing for their own. The purpose of the welfare state is to create economic equality or to assure equitable standards of living for all.

The state provides education, housing, sustenance, healthcare, pensions, unemployment insurance, sick leave or time off due to injury, supplemental income in some cases, and equal wages through price and wage controls. It also provides for public transportation, childcare, social amenities such as public parks and libraries, as well as many other goods and services. Some of these items are paid for via government insurance programs while others are paid for by taxes.

TWO MODELS OF WELFARE STATE: 

According to the first model the state is primarily concerned with directing the resources to “the people most in need”. This requires a tight bureaucratic control over the people concerned, with a maximum of interference in their lives to establish who are "in need" and minimize cheating. The unintended result is that there is a sharp divide between the receivers and the producers of social welfare, between "us" and "them", the producers tending to dismiss the whole idea of social welfare because they will not receive anything of it. This model is dominant in the US. 

According to the second model the state distributes welfare with as little bureaucratic interference as possible, to all people who fulfill easily established criteria (e.g. having children, receiving medical treatment, etc). This requires high taxing, of which almost everything is channeled back to the taxpayers with minimum expenses for bureaucratic personnel. The intended – and also largely achieved – result is that there will be a broad support for the system since most people will receive at least something. This model was constructed by the Scandinavian ministers Karl Kristian Steincke and Gustav Moller in the 30s and is dominant in Scandinavia.

The state shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing:
·        That the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means to livelihood;
·        That the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to sub serve the common good;
·        That the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment.
·        That there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;
·        That the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited by their age or strength; and
·        Those children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral abandonment.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHT:
The constituent assembly finding it difficult to place certain economic and social rights in the list of fundamental rights placed them in the category of directive principles. In this way the following rights found a place among the directive principles:
·        Right to adequate means of livelihood: article 39(a);
·        Right against economic exploitation: article 39(b);
·        Right of both sexes to equal pay for equal work: article 39 (d);
·        Right to work;                                 
·        Right to leisure and rest: article 43;
·        Right to public assistance in case of unemployment, old age or sickness: article 42;
·        Right to education: article 41;
·        Right to just and humane conditions of work: article 42;
·        Right to maternity relief: article 42; and
·        Right to compulsory and free education of children: article 45.
Public (Citizens) Responsibilities:

1). To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;

2). To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;

3). To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;

4). To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;

5). To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;

6). To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;

7). To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;

8). To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
9). To safeguard public property and to abjure violence;

10). To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement. 

A Good Citizen: A good citizen is believably a boon; an approbation to society. To perceive that the sphere of supreme civil power has certain responsibilities towards us is to realize we too have the same towards the State. Thus, we must be aware of both our privileges and duties. There are the established conventional duties that a citizen must follow, however to abide by those, one has to consider their duties more than what the term has to offer: a reflection of one’s morality. 

Law Abiding: Way back in history, when society meant only a dozen or two of people in a finite square feet land, “The Law” might have been undemanding in its approach. If a member of the community got caught playing with the law, he might have just been ostracized from the society. But today, in a global community, people are still looked upon for the probable occurrence to comply with the law because that’s what’s needed for the society to carry on. And needless to say that a society would turn haywires if everybody was to do according to their wishes. The examples could be relatively lesser in stature though. Like what makes traffic law an important one? Just because its implementation compels a follow up? No, because it architects the presumed behavior of drivers in absence of which travel is like nomadic marathon.

Paying Taxes: The idea of tax is indispensable because it pays for things that most individuals could not possibly haul for themselves, such as infrastructure projects, public security, general services, health services and much more. While it’s peremptory that the government sets tax slabs judiciously, it’s equally important that all citizens pay their due taxes intensively and punctually. Even Chanakya had said – “All experts shall fix revocation in such a way that neither the donor nor the receiver is harmed” in respect to his opinion on the governance – that the conferrer must be happy to give and the receiver should be able to meet his target.
All that a citizen has to do is have faith in their elected government and consider paying taxes as a form of serving the needs of all.

Voluntary Voting: Persons who do not vote lose their voice in the government and also lose their stand in the selection of the type of governance one wants. We are inclined to the tendency of assuming that one vote doesn’t carry any value but unless and until voting does not take the shape of national attitude in us, joined by hundreds more, we are failing ourselves. While many people have their own instrumentalism of what constructs a good citizen, there is little consensus to exactly what this would be. One cannot be forced to realize his/her responsibilities towards their country which is why the need for developing a feeling of ownership is highly essential. If being ethical, fighting injustice or expressing one’s voice is non-negotiable in respect to citizenship values, then the following adds on to its glories.

Respect for Country: Let us remember a saying of a great Telugu poet – Gurijada Appa Rao “ Desha mante matti kaadoi, Desha mante manushuloi,”that means, “a country means men people and not just simply soil”, and another saying in Telugu is “Manchi annadhi penchu manna, gatti melu thalapettavoi”, this means, “Strive for goodness and help others”. A country is not just the land where you were born – its potential is far stronger than just that. Living together in the same place over many years configures people in a habitual way. The weather, the way of talking, the soil and maybe some acquired traits – these things put forth a slight but very real influence over time. While most understanding of nationhood do comprise an aspect of shared heritage, as people that are associated to each other are disposed to share common origin of thinking, feeling, and responding to the world, yet it is very much beyond genetic explanations. Without a prominent connection to roots it is quite rare for man to keep on going amidst conditions that require the full application of one’s ability and attention. The real understanding of roots happens when man gives himself the benefit to connect to those who prefaced in shaping his culture and thereby appreciates the same with the challenge of reformation. In other words it could be healthy to take pride in one’s cultural inheritance. That explains even if one’s love for their respective country is not on the higher scale, it is necessary to respect its existence and fight for its true worth.

Tolerance: The worldwide celebration of the International Day for tolerance was an annual observance declared by UNESCO in 1995 to procreate public awareness of the world’s diversity, reminding us of the beauty of our universe. If there had not been any diversity, the world would appear colorless, monotonous, unattractive for the best reasons, and void of constructive competition. Establishing tolerance and harmony amidst such diversity has become very crucial and important, and fostering reciprocal love and affection has become vital. How about the willingness to accept or to tolerate, especially opinions or behavior you may not agree with, or to behave sensibly with those who are not like you? Does that not sound calm? Let’s say that to express one’s point of view in a decent and respectful way while taking care of the sentiments of others not only makes good citizen out of men but also good humane.

Moral Courage: “Right is right, even f one is doing it. Wrong is wrong, even if hundreds are doing it.”Having the courage to do the right thing even at the risk of inconvenience, ridicule, punishment, loss of security or social status, might seem very outright and challenging. But moral courage is that rise above apathy, and cynicism in our political systems, socioeconomic divisions, and cultural/religious differences which lets one overcome the fear of failure. History still celebrates icons of such ideal like Lord Raama, Lord Krishna, Chatrapathi Shivaji etc. All these need one understanding though – We need to be good citizens of the World and not just our land. Because we need the World more than it needs us.

To conclude, all citizens MUST realize that “Rights and Responsibilities go hand in hand. Hence, while they are fighting for their rights, they should also fulfill their responsibilities.


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