Monthly Archives: March 2013

Myth of Indian Democracy

It is a myth that India is the world largest democracy. The fact is India is one of the world largest slave camp, being run by gangster politicians, oppressive and heartless bureaucracy and supported by licensed rowdies designated as ‘police’. The ruling dacoits in the guise of politicians have firmly rooted in power and paved way for their sons and daughters to succeed them with the active connivance of the corrupt bureaucracy. Remember this is the same bureaucracy and police which earlier carried the orders of the British before 1947. Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the first Home Minister of Independent India (Independence for crooks to carry their activities with impunity) instead of dismantling the bureaucracy and police which worked as mercenaries for the British retained it. For the common people of India it was just the change of masters, the brown replacing the white.

Only an insider know the state of affairs in India, worst form of oppression, exploitation and abuse of power by the politician/bureaucracy nexus who have made the commoners impotent. The outside world has a rosy picture of India with its so called free press, holding of elections regularly, growing economy, etc. But the truth regarding free press is that only the English media is somewhat free as its readership is microscopic, mainly elite and the English speaking middle class. While the former has benefited by the ‘System’ the latter is least bothered about the state of affairs in the country. Their only aim is to get good technical education, if possible fly abroad to a western country or get a job in an MNC. Moreover this class even though aware of the filth in the ‘System’ is not ready for big sacrifices required for fighting the ruling mafia. In case of vernacular press, reporting any scams or questioning the acts of politicians, results in the latter sending their goons to silence the former. Recently the politicians enacted a law called ‘Right to Information Act’ (RTI). But it is of no use as the rowdy politicians don’t   care even when all the irregularities committed by them are published by newspapers. The politicians attitude is like this—‘you publish, people read, then what’? They know that people are not going to raise their fingers against them. After all this is India, not France, Russia or America.

Not Democracy but Rowdycracy: One unique feature of Indian rowdycracy is that anyone can join the ‘System’. If you are a habitual liar, thick skinned, shameless, has the capacity to maintain thugs and doesn’t hesitate to take lives then the job of politician is for you. But if you insensitive, heartless, but want some quick bucks, but not ready to take risk, then you can join the bureaucracy. Apart from steady income with pension you will be accountable to none and have all the privileges of being a part of the ‘System’. If you are a sadist, psychopath, having urge to rape, assault and torment people without the fear of being punished, then join the police department, for not only you can fulfill your lust but also get regular salary, pension and bribes. While in other countries children feel safe in the presence of a policeman, in India the mere mention of his name will make children to defecate. Women especially uneducated and from rural area avoid visiting police station to file complaints for the fear of being raped. Filing false cases, collecting protection money from petty street vendors, business establishments and a share in looted goods are some of the work one is supposed to do in this department. In return for this freedom and license to kill and loot people they are supposed to guard the politicians and suppress any voice of dissidence by the people fighting against injustice. If at all the politicians and bureaucracy in India are having a field day it is mainly due to the protection given by the police to them. They had done the same job while the British were ruling India.

Since November 2000 Iron Chanu Sharmila has been fasting in Manipur demanding repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (A.F.S.P.A).  She has since being arrested, force fed and charged for attempt to suicide by the Government. And this is the government which swears by Gandhian philosophy of ahimsa. Earlier in 1953, Potti Sriramulu became a martyr fasting continuously for months to fulfill his demand for the formation of a Telugu speaking province. Only after his death the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, (claiming to be a close disciple of Mahatma Gandhi) did decide to constitute a committee to go through the issue. If Nehru had really believed in ahimsa and Sathygraha he would had heeded to the plea of Sriramulu immediately after one day or two the latter beginning his fast. What would be the state of health/body if one fasts for a whole day, only a sensitive person will know. But right from the day when the British left and Indian politicians took over the reins of power they have been preaching us, the common people to follow nonviolent methods to get their legitimate demands met while at the same time they don’t hesitate to use brute force to suppress people’s voice. The present Indian government use the same method adopted by the British in making the Indian masses impotent. The common people are implicated in false charges and imprisoned, family members are harassed all for raising their voice against injustice, inequalities and corruption.

Indian Government is Illegitimate: It may sound strange but it is true that since 1947 Indians have been under illegitimate rule. Think over it. It was under the aegis of the British government, that a constitution body was constituted to frame a constitution for India. The members included those belonging to Muslim League, who did not participate in the framing of Indian constitution as their goal was to have a separate state of Pakistan. Then there were representatives from the Princely states who in fact were there to frame a separate constitution for their respective states not for the country as a whole. Sardar Patel who was in charge of convincing the Princely states to merge with British ruled India wanted the states to transfer at least portfolios like Defense, Foreign affairs and Communications with the Indian government and retain hold over the rest of portfolios. But later they under the influence of national sentiments decided to merge their state with the Indian Union and agreed for a single constitution. But the real question is who were the Britishers to decide on constituting a body to frame a constitution, as their rule itself was illegal, having conquered India by force and deception?. As the present constitution of India is framed (by plagiarizing from the constitution of other countries) by people who were elected by limited electorates (even they were supporters of the British as Gandhiji had on several occasions asked Indians to boycott the polls regularly conducted by the British and the Congress party had refused to accept the constitution of 1935). When the Congress party had as late in 1942 asked the British to quit India, how come within four years they could take part in the election held under the auspices of the British.

The Need of the hour is Electoral Reforms

After the introduction of adult franchise in 1947 fifty percent of the Indian population became eligible to cast their votes. Earlier it was 14 percent of the population and even less in 1900s. But that did not prevent the then government to enact laws which abolished sati, female infanticide, child marriage and acts which legalized widow remarriage, protected historical monuments and provided job reservations to backward class people. This shows that good governance can be carried out without the approval of the mob.

Just observe how political parties during elections paste posters all over the public spaces disregarding municipal rules not to deface the town. On the Election Day they dug up roads to set up pandals near polling booths to house their agents and on winning the election burst fire crackers right in the middle of busy roads hindering movement of traffic and polluting the atmosphere. This shows that political parties and their workers lack even basic civic sense and to these idiots we are asking to run the administration. But sometimes I feel whether they are idiots or the people who vote for them including those who think that if there is 100 percent voting everything will change.

Many people had earlier overestimated the role of RTI act. But now they may have probably realized that it is nothing but another toothless act. RTI activists are first silenced by threats and if it does not work they are killed. If still information about irregularities committed is availed through RTI and published nothing happens. For instance in various frauds, politicians like Kalmadi and Kanimozhi were arrested and sent to jail. But now they are back and even received hero welcome when released from jail. These politicians with their ill-gotten money take the services of top-notch advocates and may even come out clean. (We have seen how a magistrate in Andhra Pradesh gave bail to a politician after receiving bribe). These politicians may even win elections with huge margin as people show sympathy for them for having been to jail. This shows the level of political intelligence of our masses.

There are some activists who criticize the apathy of the middle class and literate to cast their vote and ask them to emulate the poor and slum dwellers who stand in long queues to cast their votes. But many do not know that unlike these activists these people are not under any illusion that by casting their votes their plight will be changed overnight. They vote because political parties ferry them to the polling booth in vehicles and give them money, liquor, biriyani and other goodies. For these people the Election Day is some sort of relief from their daily drudgery and a day on which they are pampered. Some of them (especially in rural areas) are also very innocent who believe in the sweet talks of candidates who go to their doorsteps, address them mother, brother, sister and fall at their feet to receive blessings.

Today new political parties like Lok Satta and Aam Admi party with a sincere intention to serve the people have come up. But remember the BJP’s former avatar; the Jan Sangh was also highly idealistic in its approach when founded by Shyam Prasad Mukerjee. But soon the party realized that in the present electoral system they cannot come to power and followed the footsteps of the Congress party in developing strategies on how to win elections through fair or foul means. Real change means just after a party comes to power the next day you go to any government office and get your work done without any delay, hassles or by paying bribe. The whole political system including the bureaucracy should be overhauled. As Indians are averse to radical reforms at least as a first step electoral reforms should be undertaken by restricting franchise and introducing changes like-

  • The age limit of voters should be raised to 30 for local bodies/ state assemblies and 35 for parliamentary elections. The upper limit should be 80.
  • For candidates standing for elections the minimum age should be 35 and the upper age limit should be 75.
  • Candidates wishing to stand for elections and those wishing to cast their votes should pass in a test wherein their awareness about the state/country’s history, constitution, culture, GK, current issues, working of the judiciary, government, etc. are tested through an objective type examination. A small amount of fee (Rs 50 or Rs 100) should be levied on those taking these tests and this will cover the expenses involved in conducting the test and paying remuneration to the evaluators.
  • The names of those who have passed the test should be entered in the central data bank of voters of a State and the passed candidates should be given voter’s ID card.
  • Just as a candidate standing for elections should deposit some money, voters should be made to pay a token amount, say Rs 50 for casting their votes. This move will make only serious voters to cast their votes and the money collected could be utilized for conducting elections.
  • Banning a sitting M.L.A/M.P from resigning and joining another party and contesting elections.
  • Banning candidates from contesting in more than one constituency.
  • A sitting MLA should not be allowed to contest parliamentary elections and a sitting municipal councillor from assembly elections.
  • Allegation of corruption and nepotism levied against sitting MLAs/MPs, Ministers, Chief Minister/Prime Minister should be tried by Special Courts and disposed within one month. As a first step the accused should be taken into custody, denied bail and all their financial transaction be blocked. The accused should be allowed to appeal against the ruling given by the Special Court in the Supreme Court which should also be disposed within one month.
  • The trend now is that if caught committing a crime, you could escape being punished if you are a politician. Hence punishment awarded to politicians should be so severe that criminals should think twice before choosing politics as a career.
  • Curtailing the privileges given to politicians like free air transport, bungalows, Z category security, etc. (For instance instead of giving each Cabinet Ministers a bungalow they should be allotted rooms in the Rashtrapathi Bhavan).

Think Twice before you Vote

Normally a person even with less intelligence can be fooled once or twice or at the most thrice. Then he/she will become cautious. But there is one country in the world where its people are fooled thrice (in local body, state assembly and Lok Sabha elections) every five years and this has been going on since 1952. But what is most intriguing is that those who are fooling a billion and plus people of this country are ordinary criminals and crooks. Your guess is right, that country is India. Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, S.Y.Quraishi had made a statement publicly that if one don’t have money in lakhs and crores or if one is not a ‘dada’, he doesn’t have a chance of winning elections. When a person of such authority is making this statement do we still need to take part in these sham elections? By doing so will not the world come to know how stupid Indians are?

A Banana Republic? To the outside world India appears as the world largest democracy with all its features of freedom, self-governance, equality, dignified living, etc. but only an insider could tell whether true democracy exists or vested interest are perpetuating their autocratic, feudal rule in the name of democracy. It does not require deep intelligence, research or analysis to find out the truth. Common sense and observation of the happening taking place in the country over the past several decades will be enough to burst the myth of Indian being a vibrant democracy. Everywhere in the world including U.K. the mother of democratic traditions, franchise was granted in a phased manner. But in India the elite who had mesmerized the masses with their slogans and false hopes gave voting rights to all irrespective whether they are aware of their rights and responsibilities. The elite know fully well that an ignorant majority can pave way for their perpetual family rule. Even now after several rounds of elections, both at the national and state level, the promises made in the election manifesto of all political parties are exactly the same as contained in the election manifesto made during the first general election held in 1950 with none being fulfilled. How can such a vast majority of people are being fooled by a bunch of rowdy elements on regularly basis? Firstly India has a population with a large number of illiteracy, who are poor and ignorant. Even the so called educated are politically illiterate, for instance we may have professionals like doctors, engineers, scientists, accountants, artists, teachers, etc. who may be experts in their respective field, but don’t have historical and political awareness, and hence lack ability to choose eligible candidates in elections.  Some don’t have interests also to take part in the political process just like everybody is not interested in sports or literature. So a small percentage of people with historical and political awareness are left who actually can participate in elections and can play an important role in choosing a right candidate and party to power. But as in democracy majority prevails and hence this small minority who are eligible in all respect to play a decisive role in the country’s democratic process are made redundant.

Arm Twisting by Mercenaries: The political mafia both the ruling and the opposition make use of the ignorant masses for their selfish ends, through using muscle power, distributing money and liquor, they purchase votes and the same story continues election after election. Now who are these people who have fine-tuned this art of remaining in power? As we all know while leaving India, the British handed over power to one organization consisting of elites from different states. They retained the same bureaucracy including the police and armed forces who had earlier prostituted their services to the British to rule over India. These mercenaries now began to work for their new masters. For the new rulers the British had left behind well trained and organized mercenary units. Soon after assuming power the new government could have dismantled the old bureaucratic set up and the army which had helped British rule in India for over 200 years. But the new government did not do so, they even did not heed to the advice of Gandhiji to wind up the Congress party, as their main intention was to rule over India, not bring any changes or improve the lives of the millions of masses steeped in ignorance and poverty. Hence they retained the same old bureaucracy, police, judicial system and the laws and the old constitutional set up, the Act of 1935 was continued with a few cosmetic changes. Just as the British during their rule to show that they were the masters, looked upon Indians, lowly and harassed them in various ways and made them go through torturous process to get their simple work done, our bureaucracy is following the same. For instance even now after more than six decades of independence, ordinary folks from rural areas dread to file complaints in police station or seek readdress of their grievances in government offices.

Mockery of Democracy: We Indian have made a mockery of democracy. While the voters are ignorant about their role, politicians’ sole aim of winning elections and coming to power is to enrich himself and his family. The way elected representatives scramble for cabinet post and start dissidence if not given clearly show with what intention they get elected. But the voters with poor memory, lack of political education or awareness and also helplessness continue to be fooled in every election and are not able to think how the system could be changed. Imagine ISRO decides to launch a multi- purpose satellite. It is a multi crore project and hence everything has to be planned minutely including constituting a team of brilliant space scientists. We have a selection panel consisting of a farmer, a carpenter, a historian, a doctor, a lawyer, a bus driver, a soldier, a poet and a space scientist and selection of the scientists is through majority of votes. Common sense tells us that in this panel only the space scientist is eligible to select suitable candidates. But will he be able to do so considering that others have no idea of determining the caliber of the candidates who have applied for the posts. Also just imagine the competence of scientists whom these panel members are going to select and how successfully these selected scientists would work for launching the satellite. The above concept look stupid isn’t it? But this is how we Indian are behaving in the governance of our country. We are not serious about politics and governance and unfortunately until and unless the political system is set aright no progress can be achieved in the economic and social front.

To give more examples, in TV channels we find expert singers/choreographers as judges even to select small kids in singing and dancing competitions. Small business companies reissue advertisement if they don’t get suitable candidates for the post called for and in the advertisement they highlight that those applied earlier need not apply, which shows their seriousness for choosing the right candidate. We have University professors framing questions for candidates appearing for I.A.S. examinations. But ironically no expertise is required for selecting those who are supposed to give orders for I.A.S. officers and frame policies and programmes for the nation. Isn’t this pathetic and stupidity that to govern a vast and varied nation like India no qualification (I am not talking about academic degree), ethics, statesmanship and leadership quality is required and all sundry can act as arbiters to select.   Remember it was the politically ignorant people who exercising their voting rights defeated Baba Saheb Ambedkar twice.

Between a rascal and a scoundrel: Some people think that 100 percent voting or compulsory voting will bring changes which are nothing but a mirage. In West-Bengal about 84% of the eligible voters cast their votes and brought Trinamool Congress to power. But has anything changed there? Mayavathi ruled UP for five years. Has the condition of Dalits changed for the better? Lalu Prasad Yadav ruled Bihar for 20 years. Has it transformed the life of at least the Yadav community to which he belonged? Compulsory voting will takes away the right of the people who choose to stay away from casting votes as their conscious does not permit them to choose between a rascal and a scoundrel. In case if someone wants to vote for a particular party, its candidate will be the opportunistic who had been associated with all political parties at one time or the other during his political career. In case of casting a vote in favour of an independent candidate, there is no guarantee that once elected he/she will not switch loyalty to the parties aspiring to form government, in the name of ‘development’.

According to Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) democracy can be established only in very small countries in which direct representation can be achieved. Just because other countries have adopted this process does not mean we should ape them. Even in western countries people were enfranchised gradually. In India ignorance, poverty, illiteracy and superstitious are plenty among the masses.  Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins in their Freedom at Midnight says that as India’s independence was nearing, many people were of the belief that in free India everything including food would be free. Even now as reported in newspaper, voters are incited with liquor, goodies, money for casting their votes. Many cast their votes on caste and religious lines. The practice of enticing voters with money and liquor are continuing since decades with the Election Commission not able to do anything substantial, except occasional seizure of the same.

Passion for Public Service: The great statesman Gopala Krishna Gokhale felt that public service or politics was a whole time affair and only people who had a single minded devotion to the public cause could prove to be good politicians. To train young men in public life he started the ‘The Servants of India Society’. Here first class graduates were given five year training in various subjects and given stipends. This shows aspiring politicians should have good knowledge about the country’s history, politics, constitution, administration, oratory and linguistic skills, international, economic, environmental and a host of issues. But in India if you are a rowdy or criminal and want to legalize your nefarious activities, you join as an apprentice with a politician (who himself was a former rowdy who got promoted as a politician by working as an apprentice with another rowdy politician) and then by pleasing him get a ticket to contest municipal election and later assembly elections. During the British rule, Gandhiji and other nationalist leaders used to urge Indians to boycott elections as participating in them would give the British a moral stand to say to the world that they were running India with the consent of its people and cover up their misdeeds.

Now by not participating in the elections until electoral reforms are made all right minded and politically conscious Indians could show the world that democracy in India is farce and there are still people in India who have common sense. One thing people should understand is that the present system has immensely benefited the rowdy politicians and hence they will resist any attempt to change the system and there will be violent clashes. But people should be ready to sacrifice for the betterment of society and nation.

Ithihas

Kaleidoscope of Indian civilization