animesh kumar

Running water never grows stale. Keep flowing!

Paralyzed Democracy

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Recently, the largest democracy of the world had to face tumescent bloating as the parliament burst into political brouhaha of ethics and principles. To whom would we confer the blame? NDA or UPA? Or the Judiciary? Or the constitution?

How vulnerable a government – that stands on fragile feet of mere numbers – might prove was apparent in the recent advent of Railway Minister’s vilification and opposition’s demand of his instant removal. However holy the demand may appear at first, it fumbles around the flawed number game of our very democracy. Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav controls 29 crucial seats out of 543 in Lok Sabha. If he is out, whole governing equations would have to be re-written. Certainly, in a sane democracy, he must have been kept out, but then, how would have UPA evolved? And in the premise of multi-party ( note the recent formation of national congress (indira) party ) democracy, like ours, where single party majority is unimaginable, if we see a criminal capturing a good number of votes, should we feel contempt? If yes, then on whom? From Rajiv Gandhi to Pappu Yadav everyone is “tainted”. If we can tolerate “tainted” Deputy Prime Minister, what’s a big deal in accepting another “tainted” Railway Minister?

No hand is a clean hand here. Had BJP forgotten its very own past, its own sullied Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and even George Fernandes? Mr. Fernandes, however, had resigned with a solemn vow to defer his incumbency until his offences are cleared by the court; but impatient NDA had soon taken him up, without waiting the verdict of the court that is still in haywire, throwing an imperial canopy over the public and the legislation.

Keeping aside his own sullied past and similarly “tainted” brothers, former Deputy Prime Minister, L. K. Advani, vociferously shouts that people with criminal records can be tolerated as M.P. but not as ministers – ignoring completely one fact that Indian constitution doesn’t recognize any such differences. What does he want to do? Does he want cleansing of the Indian democracy as a whole or is it just another political propaganda to topple the incumbent government and, above all, to divert people from the recent hiccups of its leadership issues? Or this old man has other plans?

Truly enough, this is not a matter of ethics that BJP is trying to portray! There is another skin beneath this much noisy present cacophony. There is a temptation of power. A win-win situation, where even if UPA doesn’t fall down, Mr. Advani’s continuance as BJP chief will certainly be bolstered. The change in government, if any, will not be an easy thing to achieve. And even if it happens, somehow, would it be sufficient to satiate the thirst of lately born ethics among opposition leaders.

Third front might have become an alternative but think, can Janata Dal (U), Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiv Sena shun their links with BJP? Can Lalu Prasad, Sharad Pawar, Shibu Soren and M. Karunanidhi turn away from Congress? Even If yes, the combined strength of BJP and Congress is 283 that makes it impossible for them to gather majority unless being backed up by either of the two vital players. BJP could have done some miracles but it is busy mending its internal disputes and relations with RSS.

Then, where do we look at for sanctification? To the apex court that would certainly be reluctant after the recent Jharkhand episode? And even if it butts in, people like Somnath Chatterjee, Speaker Lok Sabha, would come forward with a copy of Indian constitution in hand – that refrains Judiciary, constitutionally, from peeping into parliamentary affairs – in resistance to the act; that would eventually only denigrate its stature in people’s eye.

What does it all entail? Is the complete hierarchy paralyzed? Is opposition meant only to offer reluctance? Or, to channelize proper consensus, righteous debate, and long awaited development?

The parties must retrospect their past and deeds before they speak out to denigrate their fellow politicians – especially the vital players. The incumbent and the opposition both are digressed from their role and the Indian democracy is slowly becoming flesh-savvy and if something is not done urgently the remaining faith would also perish.

A sane democracy must accommodate differences but not at the cost of development. It is high time. Let’s behave mature. Let’s welcome opinions. If not now, then when?

Written by Animesh

May 5, 2005 at 11:39 pm

Posted in Candid

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