Democracy is imploding under its own weight! The system as it is in India is in total chaos. So is the standard of our parliamentarians. The divine altar of democracy – the parliament – has witnessed the worst of it, brawls among members, derogatory remarks against each other, etc. The srpouting of regional, narrow-minded (state interests over national) parties, and its by-product, the coalition government – has taken the already bursting-at-the-seams behemoth to a new burgeoning level. India’s most current problems, anarchy, corruption, non-accountability, criminals ruling, to name a few, has a direct link to the system of governance that we chose, about 65 years back.
Just a minute, don’t take out the sword to cut me into pieces. Let me reason. 65 years of this so called – of the people, by the people … - democratic rule, and where are we today? During this six decade, other countries have grown exponentially; technology has grown to phenomenal levels, but we are still where we were. Except for some powerful people, India’s mass population still reeling under utter poverty, reliance on methods that are long disappeared from rest of the world to find their daily bread, and our mindset, still stuck in the 18th century… BC! With poverty, superstitions, human sacrifice, selling / killing of girl child, dowry system, casteism all these evils at its all-time high.
Too many cooks spoil the stew
Who is running the show? Party boss? Or Prime Minister? Or the Rubber-stamp President? chief of defense staff? An overly active but morally declining (gradually) judiciary? It’s all about delegating, you see. Whenever there is something wrong, the opposition point fingers at the Ruling party, and ruling party retaliate by saying that the decision / policy was formulated by the opposition.
How many politicians sent to jail for misdeeds?
During the 65 years, how many politicians are send to jail for criminal charges, which are clear like daylight, but for some reason, not visible to the judiciary? Corruption, murder, dacoity, election manipulation, encroaching government land, rape, intimidation, abuse of power, the list is endless. Some brave whistle blowers bring some of these out in the open, but most of them are silenced, either by killing them, or bribing. Who thought A. Raja would come out so easily and will be celebrated like that?
31% of today’s MPs have criminal records! Including murder. Can you believe it? State party heads are embroiled in dubious cases against them, still it is in their power to decide who rules! People from UP have this logic-defying habit of electing murderers and dacoits to parliament continuously and over and again!
In Indian Democracy, vote is money, or the other way around! Does it make a difference? When a strong-hearted district collector took every step to prevent money distribution in Bellary (a northern district in Karnataka State), many of the voters came out in open, giving statements on media, that this is the time they can make some quick buck and the collector killed that opportunity, and I believe there were protests against the collector. Despite named in many scams, the candidate who offered most money (1500 per vote) won against the less fancied opponents (150 per vote). But the electorate took money from all the candidates!
Scaring the booth agents out, and right in front of the polling officer, votes were cast en masse. Liquor bottles served right in front of polling booths. Gun-trotting goons patrol obvious trouble areas to ensure the votes goes in their favor.
Me, my children, and theirs too!
In a brazen manner, every leader put his next-of-kin to take charge with / after him. Every plum post is reserved for leader’s relatives. And some shamelessly promote this while lambasting others for doing it.
Due to red tape and other political reasons many development projects die a premature death. Crores of rupees spend, but who is responsible? Newly built infrastructures collapse, who to blame? Lakhs of crores rupees spend on numerous things, but who is the beneficiary? This government says it is the previous one, that party says we have nothing to do with it. Don’t they keep records of who started, at what stage the other party took over, etc? A CM orders his followers to start genocide, and later denies despite a senior police officer giving testimony against him. The result? The officer is imprisoned and might be killed in the jail! Land scams, Mining scams, political murders, scams, scams, more scams! Nobody dares to question!
Caste based reservations
Hold your breath, the biggest joke of Indian Democracy! Caste based reservation. Where on earth, do you think, such a discriminating policy will be allowed? Isn’t it against the law of equality? During the initial years, when the neglected tribes and castes find it very hard to survive, this was required, and makers of this law stipulated that it will eased out gradually. But dirty vote-bank politics and other vexed interests made sure that it is grown to mega-proportions and come to such a threatening situation where even promotions will be on reservation! Ha!
I am not against a reservation for economically weaker sections, for education, giving access to best institutions etc. Once they are proved themselves, why a job / promotion reservation is required? Does that mean, even if you proved you are no good, you will be heading important departments because you belongs to a certain caste? What is the motivation to do good? Where is the example set? Wonder why our research organizations / public sector manufacturers / other departments always produce sub-standard products?
Have fun at the expense of Public!
Our hard-earned money is spent on giving all these incompetent and ignorant lot a luxury treatment a la foreign tours, luxury villas, imported cars etc. Every few weeks, petrol and essential good’s price increased. Would you ever consider cutting down the expense of yours, dear leaders? Great way to rule us. You have it in your power to beat up, even if it is a police officer doing his duty! You have it in your endless power to cheat us, and still come out on next election promising more!
Freebies! It’s raining freebies.
Some southern states indulge in this dangerous game. Offering freebies. If one government given free TV, the next one goes one step ahead and offer laptops. I believe in near future, they would be getting Hgh-end smart phones, digital cameras, luxury cars etc. India is prospering. What kind of a message these idiots are sending? That even if you don’t work, you get good things? Just like cast base reservations, this will also become a huge monster and will result in the collapse of the system.
Oh, so we are doomed? No way out? I don’t know. I am not a thinker. I am not a genius. After discussing with many like-minded people, I have drawn up a list of reforms, which is purely my way of seeing things. Opinions welcome.
Election process – revamp it.
Start from the root. There should be schools specially for training those who are interested in joining politics. Then make them attend exams. The first 10 or 15, should get a chance to draw up a comprehensive development program for their village. Let this be judged by a eminent group of people from all walk of life and rate it.
Their journey starts there. Allow the first 4-5 to start a debate among them, in public. And let the public vote for who is best in that. Until someone get a heavy majority (70%?) this should continue. Let the winner head a Panchayat, with runners up forming his cabinet. Implement what he has envisioned in his manifesto. If he fails to deliver, redo it, and find good, born leaders.
From these leaders, the next level should be identified. Ask every Panchayat head to draw up a plan for their district, and do the same. Every stage, the debate should be aired live, and at a convenient time so that maximum of the electorate can watch it. Just like before an important cricket match!.
From district level to states and state level to national!
Make them declare their assets, their immediate families and other close people. Every year declare anew. Any unproportional accumulation must be thoroughly investigated, and if any anomalies found, banish him / her from politics lifelong.
Retirement age for politicians
Set the retirement age. 60 / 65 maximum should be age to retire.
Two party system
Too many cooks spoil the stew. Let there be two parties. Those who can’t garner more than 30% of the vote banish them / merge with a party of their choice.
Scam trials should be fast tracked
Within 6 months of the trial give verdict and cease the entire property of that person, disqualify from contesting / holding any position in the country, and if convicted put him behind bars for rest of his life.
Appoint disciplined and clean record Military / Judiciary heads as advisors to government. This should be a term appointment by the concurrence of both parties.
This is my two cents. Democracy is dead! Long live democracy!