The President must send a strong message on the dangers ahead, if things go like this!
Just words won’t do. Decorous words! More ineffective!
But then, we have to move ahead and use some plain words.
The present day MPs come from a very much changed social strata. Why, the very same leaders of many new, regional parties are also a changed lot. Sometimes, the uneducated persons are now holding very powerful posts and positions. Why, even the media, the print and TV channels are owned by the very same uneducated, often corrupt elements.
Then, the very populism in politics also reached an unacceptable level. Now, the Election Commission too has stepped in. The Supreme Court had directed the EC to define the limits of these meaningless, why mischievous freebies, from free color TV sets to free mixers, grinders, fans and free laptops. Most laptop receivers can’t use it. There is likely to be a thriving black market for these freebies. In this Tamil Nadu lead the way to other states. All these are known and condemned, not openly.
So, we now see the MPs. They want to prove to their bosses that they carry out of secret wishes of the leaders to settle scores with the Central leaders. Now, the Central leaders themselves! Is it right for the PM, now, at the far end of his tenure that to go for an additional director of CBI by antagonizing the Leader of the Opposition? It certainly does any good to the image of the government.
In this time of tension and much cynicism, elections with huge money circulating, so many violations taking place in the deployment of funds, to curb and influence the media (this is a subject that needs to be discussed separately), what the Central government is doing reflects poorly of their understanding of the gravity of issues we are talking about.
When consensus building is critical, you go for confrontation!
This is not the practice of democracy expected from learned persons. Now, the danger is that the media, specially the electronic media, plays a very irresponsible role. The TV cameras give excessive exposure to the antics of Arvind Kejriwal for his extra-Constitutional attitudes, he is shown repeatedly on the streets when he should be sitting in his office of the Chief Minister and doing his job. What message he gives?
Become an anarchist and you will win power? Let him do what he wants but within the limits. Let not the TV cameras give all the attention to him or to Modi who is also exerting great pressure, it seems, on the media houses. That is what TV debates with eminent media experts seem to convey. Media ethics, media responsibility to safeguard democratic institutions and democratic conventions is now a top priority. A learned person like the Prime Minister must give great deal of thought and, why, introspection, to what he is doing at each moment. This is not forthcoming, unfortunately.
The appointment of the Additional CBI director by the Cabinet Appointment Committee is a poor explanation for a deeper narrow minded action on the part of the government. We live at a time when the distinction between the ruling party and the government is almost zero.
It is for the President, the Prime Minister and the party leaders to do the introspection. Only when these three personages do some serious thinking there is likely to be some change for the better. The disorderly behavior, breaking the microphone of the chairman (in the Rajya Sabha) tearing of papers that named the misact are fine. We have had it enough. It is time we have to do the introspection, the people are doing so, it is the leaders who have to act and must do the introspection.
Act now, with some speed. Otherwise there are danger signals on the horizon. See the other countries. Egypt when it toppled its dictator after a Youth uprising, the whole world hailed it as an Arab Spring. But what happened now? It is not spring, it is darkness. The very same Arab Spring proved illusory. The very same youth now votes for a return of the Army Commander as the President of a new Constitution! The Constitution was voted overwhelmingly.
What an irony! What is happening just now and very recently in neighboring and not so neighboring countries like Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries? Thailand, not so poor but again with a twist to democratic success! There, the protestors are an undemocratic, unelected body to supervise a democratic new Constitution. In the whole of South East Asia (where we were there in recent times) there is a state of uncertainty, insecurity, of course much poverty and yet with much new developments there is this uncertainty on the democracy front. Democracy is under attack for various reasons.
Standing at the far end of this South Asian archipelago, so to say and when we look back to India, India looms like a giant of a nation. India also looms large in the historic background for having played a cultural and religious force in the yore, thousands of years ago. In Indonesia, in Java, Borobudur, in Angor Wat, Cambodia, in Myanmar, Thailand (Burma )we see the impact of India, its Buddhism and Hinduism, in religion, in arts and architecture and why even in the rituals and worships and the very gestures of the ordinary people, in China and Japan, the deep impact and imprint of Indian cultural traits, the very humility in the gestures, the very folding of hands in Namaskar, no Indian can be left out of this all-embracing unity of the South East Asian countries and the nice peoples everywhere on the Indian mind.
India means much now when it comes to the practice of democracy. If we don’t do some urgent Constitutional reforms to empower the EC, to stop the practice of illegalities in elections, if we don’t empower the presiding officers of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to send out the erring members, there is no way to make the Parliament function smoothly. There are Constitutional and legal experts aplenty in the country. Let them sit together and implement working effective preventive measures to control the erring MPs. That is the only way.
Otherwise, India’s great democracy, great claims to name and fame abroad, might be pushed to more serious internal crises. Be warned about this danger!