April 10, 2011

"Victory of Democracy." Ohhh really!!!!

So finally Govt. yielded to pressure and acceded to all the major demands of Anna Hazare. Celebrations erupted all across the Nation. Some people said "People power won" and some said "It was the Victory of Democracy." Initially it really did look like that after all Democracy won, because in a democracy, people have the ultimate power. But contemplate a bit and you will end up pondering and asking yourself whether democracy really won, whether this victory really signifies the victory of democracy and whether we should really rejoice at this victory.....

Just 2-3 days back, Anna Hazare said-“If the government alone drafts the anti-corruption bill, it will be autocratic not democratic, there will be discrepancies."
Now think over it, ok, there may definitely be discrepancies in the bill but is it really autocratic if Govt. alone drafts the bill??? If Yes, then tell me how do you define autocracy and how democracy. Isn't in democracy the elected representatives are entrusted with the task of framing and amending laws?? Democracy hinges on the three pillars of Legislature,Judiciary and Executive, all three being interdependent on each other but having clearly defined areas of working. People elect their leaders and put their faith in their leaders. The leaders become the part of Legislature getting exclusive rights to frame laws and amend already existing laws.
Cut short to the present situation, a few unelected representatives will be taking part in framing Lokpal Bill. Nothing looks unusual till you ponder over its future implications-more and more joint committees getting formed to frame laws. Now think over it- Common men's participation in framing of laws, isn't it diluting the powers of Legislature,isn't it wandering of electorates out of their own domain, and most of all, isn't it going against the very basic tenets of democracy??

After that, let's talk about the proposed Jan Lokpal bill. The draft presented by the INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION team, is again against the principles of democracy. The selection committee to chose the chairman and members of Lokpal, is all supposed to be unelected representatives (baring two elected ones-chairpersons of both Houses).The presently envisaged Lokpal system seem to be empowered with immense power and authority. The most notable fact is that it would be JUDICIARY (court) and EXECUTIVE (police) both rolled into one, in short an all powerful,supreme institution completely chosen and governed by unelected representatives,the institution being so powerful that it may go on to override the powers of even some already constituted fine institutions in our country. So our elected representatives' power will be waning gradually,implying thereby that the hugely important electorates' power will loose its sheen. Electorates will no more be having the ultimate power-the power of voting someone out, because unelected representatives might be having their say in framing of laws and also in these all powerful institutions like Lokpal. Don't all these developments look dangerous in a democracy??

It's an irony that people have started to despise persons whom they themselves have elected to power.
The biggest irony is that WE FEEL PROUD OF OUR GREAT DEMOCRACY BUT WE HATE POLITICIANS AND POLITICS !!!! People have lost hope in their own elected representatives. People have started thinking that any law framed by their elected representatives(politicians) will be a weak,poor law. Isn't it a dangerous sign for democracy?? We are trying to distance ourselves from politicians when we know very well that politicians are one of the pillars of democracy.What worse time can we have for democracy. And then people say-"It was the victory of democracy!!!"

Its not the victory of democracy but merely the victory of 'people power' which came down upon the Govt. as a strong force due to severe anger in common men against the rampant corruption lying all around. An end to this rampant corruption was what all in the mind of people while they came out for this cause. The Gandhian protest by a well known public figure made the support even more swelling. While demanding these things, people didn't realize that they may be actually acting to weaken the pillars of democracy, because all that mattered to them was a solution to this never ending corruption trail, which they had got  totally fed up of.

But then, what's the way out?? Isn't there some other way than these direct participation of common men in legislation?? Well, there must be. Democracy can't be so weak that it goes down on its knees in such situations. Ups and downs are there in the lifespan of every system or institution. An institution has to continuously keep evolving to keep pace with the changing times and situations. Making the three pillars of democracy more firm and immune to the threats surrounding it would be the best thing to do.

The "Right to Recall" could be a very good weapon in the hands of electorates against the corrupt politicians. With the fear of getting recalled by electorates, politicians will become much more accountable and responsible towards their duties. With so much of corruption all around in politics, such a tool will further empower our electorates. Apart from that, electoral reforms too are very necessary. The "Negative voting" concept though being criticised by some section, can prove to be a very strong deterrent to the political parties from fielding tainted candidates in elections. Like in the case of various public services, for being MLA or MP too a strict educational qualifications must be introduced. Similarly the age of retirement too should be fixed. Similarly such reforms need to be introduced in Judiciary and Executive bodies too. The Executive bodies' vast dependence on political structure must lessen. Too much of interference by political power in executive bodies is not healthy. It needs to be changed. There should be clear demarcation of duties between judiciary,executive and legislature; at the same time there should also be a clear working relationship defined between the three. Finally I would say, we should give democracy a chance!!!

******              ******          ******               ******            ******