Thursday, December 22, 2011

An undemocratic people !

An interesting issue was being heatedly debated on TV channels yesterday. If the Parliament passes a Lokpal bill that provides only for a weak and ineffective Lokpal, do the people have the right to protest? Surprisingly, most participants, whether they be from the political arena or the media,  forcefully asserted that our democratic set up will be under mined if the supremacy of the Parliament vis a vis law making is questioned by people's movements like the Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption and the laws/proposed laws protested against.

The argument is as follows: our Constitution vests the power to make laws in the Parliament. Ordinary people elect their representatives to the Parliament, and having once cast their vote for X, they should then  repose complete faith in the wisdom, experience, and bona fide of X, trusting him to make sure that the laws that the Parliament makes are the ones that serve best the people's interests.

They should not question his actions even when they smack of indifference to  what is best for the people in the people's own wisdom. He's becomes wiser than them, you see, once he's been elected by the very people whose wisdom  becomes suspect once they have cast their vote. Even if they cry themselves hoarse that what they want is not what he and other august Parliamentarians are planning to enact as law, they will not be heard. They"ll be told instead, in the supercilious tones that the clever use for those who are simple, that they must let Parliament do its job, that the Parliament knows best.

What IS the Parliament's job? Is it to enact laws that promote the welfare of the people , or is to enact laws that the Parliamentarians THINK achieve that objective? If it is the former, and indeed it is, then it is the people's right to articulate what best promotes their welfare. If what  people say they want  is at odds with what the elected representatives think is good for the people, then  in a system which is by the people, of the people, and FOR the people, it is the people's view which should prevail.How then can it be unconstitutional for the people to protest against a proposed law that they do not perceive as serving its stated purpose, and to articulate what they think its contours should be?

Are they to remain silent simply because they cast their vote and elected to the Parliament men and women who appear, as a class, to be  interested only in perpetuating a status quo that is hurting ordinary men and women ? Can they only speak when its time to cast their vote again? The wise men and women who drafted our Constitution would have declared that to be a travesty of the spirit of the Constitution, which states clearly, unambiguously, and emphatically that the people are the source of all sovereign power that is exercised in their name. They can speak, demand, and protest as and when the Parliament or any other organ of the government is perceived to be acting against their interest.

The reason why so many elected representatives, media personalities, intellectuals and academics are reacting so strongly to the people's protest against a weak Lokpal, and going to the extent of describing it as unconstitutional, is that all these years, they have arrogated to themselves all the wisdom of 1.2 billion people. It is as if they, and they alone, know what is best for the "people", as if they are in a distinct and superior and select class. So now when the "people" speak, they are aghast. The reaction is no different from that of the ruler who'd look askance at the ruled asking him questions. We, the people, remain the "ruled", notwithstanding our having won independence from the British decades ago, and the "rulers" remain, notwithstanding the departure of the British!!

In the history of our nation, we are at a cross roads. Either we let ourselves be "ruled" or we decide what is good for us, we decide what we want, we make ourselves heard whether by casting our votes or in a myriad other ways.

We, the people, are the democracy -----how can we be accused of being undemocratic?  So, speak up !!



  2. I think the only way to solve the root cause of corruption prevalent in our society and among the politicians, is by changing the ELECTION MECHANISM of our country.

    The very SIMPLE MAJORITY SYSTEM of election of MPs and MLAs is to be indirectly blamed for the growing corruption in India. The manner in which we elect our representatives is itself at fault. For example, if there are 100 voters in a constituency who vote to elect their representative from among the 3 candidates and the results are as follows :- Candidate 1 gets 45 votes, Candidate 2 gets 30 votes and Candidate 3 gets 25 votes. So, the candidate 1 is elected, although 55 people did not want this candidate to be elected.

    In this way, even if the people do not want a person as their representative, then also with such election mechanism, the corrupt, criminal, unwanted and gangmen enter our legislature. What is even more saddening is that large number of candidates are nominated for election from a constituency, so that the votes are divided and with the simple majority system, enable the blacklisted candidate to be elected.

    Regarding the banning of tainted candidates from fighting elections, these candidates are allowed to stand in elections “till their crime is proved in the court of law”. But it’s a fact that the case goes on for years and these corrupt people continue to be a part of Parliament / State legislature. This is the only cause of ANNA HAZARE’s failure in forcing the govt. to table the ‘effective’ LOK PAL BILL in the Parliament. Will the corrupt sitting MPs allow such step to be taken which will be harmful for their own livelihood as politicians ???

    Anna and his team must include the change in the basic mechanism of election process of the country from Simple Majority system to Proportional Representation (as in the case of President’s election) in their movement .

    Only then, will we achieve our objective of eliminating corrupt politicians, and thereby corruption from the society as a whole.

  3. Hi Priya - Very well written. Only sad thing is that what our parliamentarian speak in parliament and claimed to be voice of the region they have been elected is not known to the 95% electorate of that region. Till this gap of communication remains we remaining 5% will have to fight hard.


  5. Hi Priya ji you will the corrupt sitting MPs allow such step to be taken which will be harmful for their own livelihood as politicians ???very nice.

  6. Is reservation n Quota Secular or Democratic.
    I think quota takes away the basic essence of being Secular or Democratic. Parties hv won elections on quota politics, as the beneficiaries njoi n dnt find it hurtful to take away something which was rightfully others.

  7. "We the Undemocratic people of India, solemnly pledge that we will fight against Corruption n if required against the corrupt, as the leaders I choose have become larger than the cause they were appointed for-SERVICE to Nation" My country with corruption is not SOVEREIGN, not SOCIALIST, not SECULAR, nor DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and neither secure to all its citizens.

    Jaago Bharat Jaago !!

  8. Good article! Che Guevara "We should not allow the word “democracy” to be utilized apologetically to represent the dictatorship of the exploiting classes." The same goes here with the Parliament. They are hiding behind the Parliament.

    Again they are elected representative and so they have right to do so, which is the result of elections that are always fictitious and managed by fat wallets.

  9. The MPs clearly don't know about the model using referendums as a public opinion..And Mr. Lalu Yadav clearly established the government's paranoia with his comment.."Sara power to daroga ke pas jayega"...With his a track record of high profile corruption Mr. Yadav does not clearly want the power with the daroga....The governments intentions are as clear as deionized distilled crystal clear water....

  10. India needs a massive revolution or a revolt against the corrupt government and the corrupt system adopted from the british regime. I got to know from Dr. Rajiv Dikshit that India is under lease from british rule to Nehru family and co. for 99 years and hence we can't change any of the laws made by the british. British queen can enter india without passport and Visa, The British made IPC, CrPC, CPC, Indian police act, Indian Independence act and numerous other heinous acts are still preserved by the congress just to stay in power and to continue oppression like the way british, we are not independent yet....where is the freedom? Who elected Nehru as the first prime minister of India? Certainly, not the people of india. Who told him that parliamentary democracy with existent british laws and acts is best for India? did he conduct any referendum? any opinion poll? British started cow slaughter only to create divide between hindus and muslims in India...why can't we stop cow slaughter today? Every day lakhs of innocent cows are brutally butchered by machines in this country....does this means any respect to hindus where they live in majority? That bloody parliament and rashtrapathi bhavan are built by british rulers to loot india in their time? why are we using the same parliament building? why don't we demolish those remains of british rule and construct our own parliament and other buildings? They are not doing so because these corrupt politicians want continue the british loot legacy..We, the people of india have tolerated it for more than six decades. But, it is high time and we should combinedly revolt and build a true people friendly government. Jay Hind...Jay Bharat...

  11. The Blog articulates what we the ‘civil society’ has been experiencing. Our 'leaders' are behaving like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand approach!
    It is shocking and surprising that this malaise has now spread to a large section of the media which has been corrupted by the ‘leaders ‘of our Parliament- favours in the form of reasonable land / advertisements in their media are doled out, awards given etc…
    In all this the middle class salaried employee is hit the hardest!

  12. I think we should borrow the concept of powerful presidential system of US in our country rather than the PM system, where to become a PM I need to have a majority in Parliament.

    If we had presidential system, today even Anna Hazare could have become President! directly elected by people!

    Today, politicians tell him "ki aap chunav lad ke aaoo", which they know will not be possible in todays provision for him, but had we had presidential type system, such as of US, then people would have had much more power in their hand and people like Anna could had been President and run this country for the people.

  13. u r in civil services. Pl keep us posted how ur involvement is viewed by your employers ie the govt run by congress. Keep us informed how are they victimizing you, if any.
    well written. we are for jan lok pal. whatever doom the like like of laloo and others are predicting, let it come, we will face it. We the people will tide over that too.

  14. Why so much venom for Team Anna ? The person who said 'We salute Anna, We applaud Anna' allows parliament to be used as stage to throw daylong insults and jokes targeted to Anna. Before his protests you admit you were not serious about this devil of corruption ruining life of poor citizens. When he do not want backdoors and trapdoors built into proposed bill, he is undemocratic ? It was your duty to protect people and instead he came out to do it.

    Ask only 2 questions to yourself and you will get answers from within
    (1) What Anna has to personally gain if strong lokpal becomes a reality
    (2) What politicians has to loose if strong lokpal becomes a reality

    For your own future generations and for two-legged creatures you see everywhere looking for something to eat from garbage dumps, ask one more question - Do I have any duty at this crucial point in my life ?

    May the light within guide your path.

  15. Very true Ms.Priya. The way these people talk in the Parliment. Iam truly aghast. As rightly pointed out by you we have now come to a crossroad. It is for us to decide what must be done. If we just glance at the history, no system is perfect (democracy is only better than the rest). When atrocities abound in a system it is but the law of the nature that it must be subdued. What we are witnessing today is a preamble to one such catostrophic change. One by one India (we the people which also includes our so called Parlimentarian demi-gods as they perceive themselves to be) will cleanse the entire system and show to the world that we are truly the best democracy in the whole world.

  16. Well, I have something to say about this all : Read On..
    1. India is failing to prevent corruption because we ourselves are corrupt at our core.
    2. We fail to retain the talent from India in IITs, NITs, AIIMS, IIMs in india who go abroad and have no contribution in changing india. It is not their fault but our own because we let them go by not providing them a platform to grow.
    3.Even if Lokpal is setup exactly as Anna Proposes, it will not solve the problem. Reason: The politicians are hell-bent on doing corruption and will find a loophole. The problem is that we don't have good enough politicians who strive to chnage india.

    4. We cannot beat negativity with negativity. It only adds to the whole negativity. We need to inspire positive and bright people to join the system and bring a change. For that we need to provide them a platform where they are safe even when the raise a voice.

    NIT Surathkal

  17. Democracy is something similar to the Middle Path that the Buddha exhorted us to take, avoiding extreme indulgence or extreme deprivation or suffering.

    Democracy is the middle path between Monarchy where there is one king indulging and Anarchy where everyone is king leading to suffering.

    In a democracy we need to elect not a king but a representative (a servant) to serve the needs of the community. The servant who serves cannot become the king and ask to be served per his/her interests. It is his duty to serve.

    Unfortunately this is lacking... our servants have become kings... Its monarchy and anarchy at all the same time.

    So democracy needs to be restored... not just in the parliament but in every heart and every citizen of this nation.

  18. Indian and most of Indians have forgot Democracy in last 60 Years and Now when Anna Hazare telling us the correct meaning of democracy, Politicians and Some Intellectuals are not able to digest.

  19. Those who are usually discussing any issue on TV are doing a role-play (a natak) for TRP of that channel. These people are the vultures who eat the half dead too, if he is weak.

    Radia tapes have permanently exposed the 'trusted and respected' media, just as Bofors had done for the Politicians.

    There are no short cuts - as poet Muktibodh had explained in his long poem - ANDHERE MEIN - future can be built only from the virtues of the people.

    We will have to individually improve as well as learn to behave as civilised in our collectives. Anna or no Anna - our nation will be built.

  20. This is really an important point.!!! How can these parliamentarians can think of getting the sovereign power to legislate alone.!!!
    The parliament is the sole body to create law.!!! Thats technically correct..but it'll be wrong to hold it as the spirit of the consitituion.!!! how can the life of the 1.2 billion people of this country can be allowed to be held ransom by these handful of MP's, specially when.., these r now patch-less themselves..!!! Amar singh, lalu parsad., mulayam singh, mayawati..,We can give the management of the country at the hands of these individuals., unattended..., untouched, ... uninterfered.,!! This is a rediculous proposition.!!!

  21. @ chandramouli2406:
    Amazing thought process...
    But what is your contribution in this direction have you ever done any thing in the direction of your thought process...???
    Arvind kejariwal is one such example..And definitley we have many more such unknown personalities..Lets be optimistic and work to make india a strong nation :)....Cheers

    105(2) No member of Parliament shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in Parliament or any committee thereof, and no person shall be so liable in respect of the publication by or under the authority of either House of Parliament of any report, paper, votes or proceedings.
    This is the problem

  23. The time has come to bring out what need to be fixed and what are the effective methods to solve the problem. It will be foolish to expect corrupt rulers to go to the temple of democracy and make rules which will remove them from the Parliament. This is the only step wrong in the process of this movement. If we have to bring about the change without disruptive forces taking charge then we have to show patience and educate and participate in the process of election, it is in fact the mute and silence of an average of 40% of the absentee voters which enables the useless people to come into politicis and rule us. In the forthcoming elections in five states we should bring out this fear in the mind of the current parliamentarian that no body can and will be elected if he has any criminal record and vote only the honest people. No party has delivered an honest Govt. every body has used the occasion to make a quick buck and make the life of his kiths and kins better without caring for the need of common man, yet claim they are all working fir the common man. Let us all turn the next election into real battle field and defeat all these forces which have been fooling us in the name of democracy. We should insist on rejecting the candidate if we find the same old bunch of crooks thrust upon us.

  24. My comments may be unrelated to the above blog but is a related story. I strongly feel the ones who are against corruption are the ones who dont benefit from it. Seldom we find people from Govt bodies actually protest for a strong Lokpal. Ofcourse Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal & Priya are exceptions .. thats why they make better leaders, but a predominant section of the protesting population doesnt come from this niche circle.

  25. Very true Priya and its awesome seeing more people from your background coming to support the People's voice. But I wanna say one thing, that on one side its only 552 max members and on the other billions of Indians, still its taking so long. Isnt the bureaucrats who give idea for this government's lokpal bill also responsible. So many bureaucrats(IS) comes from the middle or lower middle class and they dont have the heart to say NO to the bidding they are doing for the politicians???????