By Col(Retd) PM Goswami
India achieved independence after decades of slavery under the Mughals and the Britishers. But alas! The selfless sacrifices and the valour displayed by our freedom fighters appear to be in danger of being pushed into yet another period of slavery within, under some irresponsible, pathetic, incapable, opportunist, shameless, corrupt politicians. Democratic rights are being exploited out rightly for persol as well as pseudo political gains.
Far too many dangerous trends have crept in to making the democracy almost a failure. The great institution of parliament has practically paralysed and failed to meet the aspirations of the general publicwho are desperately looking forward to a change, development and good governce. It is a matter of grave concern to note that any proposal/ bill/ amendment are invariably stalled in the parliament instead of a matured discussion to arrive at a plausible solution. Parliament no more appears an institution of elected wise men. Despite the proceedings being tele-cast live, the conduct of MPs during the discussions is far from acceptable dignified norms. Opposition parties feel glorified to stall the proceedings on frivolous grounds. More often than not, despite clearance by the Lok Sabha, the bills get stuck at the RajyaSabha due to lack of majority of the ruling party. This results in a deadlock and waste of time. So, where is the justification of wasting so much of public money for holding result-less parliamentary sessionsyear after year? Under the prevailing conditions, we need to critically alyse the validity of role and existence of Rajyasabha for vetting the bills/policies once againconsequent to clearance by hundreds ofLoksabha members. Lok Sabha MPs are the genuinely elected representatives of public vis-à-vis the Rajyasabha MPs who are nomited, cosmetic and nomited even after losing elections. Quite a few of them do not appear to have the capacity to discuss issues of tiol importance. So should we not debate the role of Rajya Sabha to ensure quick decisions and best utilisation of public money? I have no doubts that any suggestion to review our political system will be met with total defiance by the politicians. But regardless of the defiance and constitutiol bindings, we still need to discuss it in some appropriateforumsand press for review.
The unfortute gift of Indian Constitution to a politician is the assured tenure of 5 years on being elected. This assurance has now become a nightmare and a matter of serious concern in the public domain due to a large number of them being pathetic in their conduct. A number of politicians seem to relish issuing controversial statements with impunity being well aware of their ability to exploit the provisions of democracy. During this assured tenure of 5 years, they resort to doing and expressing anything and everything without fear of being sacked. Public interests are conveniently put at bay for 5 years. Corruption and insensitivity have become the order of the day. Corrupt officials are sheltered so much by some unscrupulous politicians that the government offices have become the hub for rampant corrupt practices.So why should the public accept the burden of such insensitive politicians? Why should we not look for an altertive for intake of better people to govern in best interest of the tion? Today’s democracy has become for the politicians, by the politicians, of the politicians (repeat of what I had written in 2013 also).
In true sense, the public themselves are to be blamed for electing such controversial people. So this brings us to the moot point to ponder whether our electoral system is full-proof to elect the right people for governce? The general feeling among the conscious citizens is that the votes can be maged and hence the election results are liable to be faulty.Uneducated and poor voters can be maged by cash and kind.Hence, two very important schools of thoughts emerge for consideration. One whether we should review our electoral system to get rid of the malpractices of maging votes by political parties and their candidates and the second is to debate whether we can select instead of electing the politicians. Very serious debates and discussions of various facets are required at tiol level to arrive at a consensus and fight for it if we want the tax payers’ money to be well utilised for development of the tion. Various time tested selection processes are already existing for selection of candidates for IAS/IPS/Army officers/state level civil service officersetc.Why can’t we think of electing the MPs/MLAs also in the similar lines especially under the present day scerio of technical advancement and all roundprofessiolism? An institution can be organised for their training and further disposal. Accountability must get one of the top most priorities. Todays’ politicians appear accountable at best to their respective parties only and not to the tion. If the suggestion to elect is accepted in principal, the nitty-gritties can be worked out separately by panel of experts. Though this might appear against the constitutiol provisions, it may be worth debating to get better people in the helm of affairs for governce. Provisions exist to amend the constitutionwhenever required.Right people as MPs and MLAs at the right places are the key to good governce. If we resort to selection, imagine the savings to public exchequer besides getting rid of the ridiculous rallies, meetings and social unrests.Hindu-Muslim divide will probably witness a diminishing trend.
Poor conduct of politicians is now causing a lot of frustrations among the general public. Questions are being asked if they are worth the tons of perks and privileges at the cost of tax payers’ money. Hefty pension for life after as meagre as a 5 years tenure only, huge tax free salary, number of free tele calls and electricity beyond comprehension, cheapest meal at the parliament canteen, innumerable free travels, free transport and house, 5 star hotel accommodation till allotment of permanent house, power to fix own salaries and privileges are only a few to highlight as to how much burden an aamadmi is undertaking for some insensitive and unscrupulous politicians. Isn’t this an irony? Coupled with the politicians, there is another bunch of persolities in the garb of party spokesmen who indirectly declare themselves as the second string politicians. The usual tendency to utter terminologies like “The tion wants to know,The public wants to know” are pathetic. They spread more of controversies than settle any. This must be dissuaded and referring to words like tion and public must stop forthwith. They have no authority to do so. Quite a few of them in fact have been rejected by the public in elections.Selfish views/ comments/ controversial statements aired by these unsolicited spokesmen are largely responsible for commul disharmony. Attempts to defend the indefensible by them for pseudo party politics sound very cheap and unteble.
Let us come closer to our state politics. Notwithstanding the noose around the neck by the central government on far too many issues, the state govt. appears uble to make its both ends meet through its own resources. The newspapers and the TV broadcasts are testimonies to the rampant corruptions and failure of govt. machineries. With two of its MLAs already in jail, it is probably question of time when we shall have this list longer sooner or later. I cannot really recollect if any of the state level problems have been addressed to public satisfaction. To me a few are flood mece, irrigation facilities, provision of adequate and proper seeds to farmers, shortage of power, lack of any worthwhile industry, drinking water facilities, poor road connectivity, ibility to get the double line rail track, ibility to mage adequate royalty on oil resources, ibility to address the never ending immigration of Bangladeshis, NRC update, rampant poaching of rhinos, corruption in government offices, poor rate of conviction of corrupt officials, ibility to provide adequate security to border area villages etc. The most unfortute of all the failures is to define who is an Assamese. Petty politics is prevalent on this highly sentimental issue also. What a pity? God help the state. 2016 appear very far, when probably we should see some new committed people elected for governce.
It is high time to think in terms of re-aligning Indian politics for good of the tion. Aamadmi is frustrated with the present state of affairs.