Dons of democracy


The people’s representative, elected (unfortunately?) by us believes that he/she, is a Don above all laws and regulations which apply to the common citizen. And the political parties, defeated in the elections, and, out of power, always declare, that, democracy is in danger, if not already, dead, writes Prof. H C Pande


In a democracy the opposition party/parties, are as important as the party/parties, running the government. However, the opposition does not run the government, it can only ensure that any action of the government does not violate the provisions of the constitution, and, breach any law, or rules & regulations enacted by the legislature, The constitution is like the railway track, policies endorsed by the parliament are akin to the railway time table, giving details of halts and stoppages, the government is the locomotive, and, the opposition functions like the Guard and ensures that, all the coaches are properly connected, the train stops at the designated stations, at and for, the designated times, obeys all the trackside signals, and, does not get off the tracks. We are a unique democracy wherein every elected legislator MP, MLA, or, MLC, wants to lay the track, write the time-table and be the locomotive as well. If in opposition, the Hon’ble member wants only to remove the ‘fish-plate’ and derail the train, leaving the Guard duties to God.

As of now, the people’s representative, elected (unfortunately?) by us. believes that he/she, is a Don above all laws and regulations which apply to the common citizen. And the political parties, defeated in the elections, and, out of power, always declare,that, democracy is in danger,if not already,dead. Going by the perennial diagnosis of the opposition,since some party,or,the other,is always a loser in the elections and would be adorning the opposition benches,democracy in India is perpetually in danger if not dead and buried.

The Hon’ble people’s representatives,posing as righteous and law abiding citizens while contesting the elections,once elected,consider themselves,above all the laws of the land,and,those of nature,though (luckily for us)nature refuses to oblige.Man made laws are like plasticine in their hands to be conveniently shaped into whatever they like,whenever and wherever,the law is to be obeyed by them.The recent case of Rahul Gandhi takes the cake.A senior Congressman opines that laws in the book are not to be applied to the Gandhi dynasty for,after all,the divine right of Kings is eternal,constitution or no constitution.In a democracy it is not the Lords Spiritual,nor the Lords Temporal,but the Commons,that has to rule.The law has to take its course and any attempt to divert it,by any discourse of the dynastic ADC’s, is an irresponsible act if not a veiled attack on the constitution.Congress party alone is not to blame.Satraps of all parties of the Indian democracy(?) believe,a la Louis the XlV,

“L’ etat c’est moi”, that is,the state is me,and,as such,rules do not apply to the Rulers.The CBI should not inquire about their misdeeds,the ED should not investigate their sources of income and the income tax department should not raid hide-outs of their unexplained wealth.

The leaders of the political parties now, behave as Dons and for them,the D of democracy stands,for double- dealing and deceit.A policy enunciated,or,the measures taken,by a party in power,are hailed as revolutionary by the party leader so long as that party is in the saddle but the same policies or measures are denounced as reactionary by the same party leader,when the party is thrown-off the treasury benches.The hullabaloo on the farm laws is a case in point.The jettisoning of the old pension scheme,and,its replacement by a new one was suggested by the FM of a political party which is now sitting on the opposition benches and the same party leaders are now spearheading the movement against the new pension scheme.Unprincipled stand on national issues is,unfortunately,the main tactic of every political party.With the Dons dominating,a successful ,functioning,democracy would continue to remain a distant dream.

(Prof. H C Pande is Vice Chancellor Emeritus , BITS, Mesra)

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