Friday, December 02, 2011

Parliament or People?

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
– Sir Winston Churchill
A very important question being discussed in India consequent on the legendary Satyagraha of the 74 year ‘young’ Gandhian, Anna Hazare is whether the parliament has unlimited power so as to ignore questions asked by people or whether a large group of people can question the authority of a duly elected parliament. India is the largest democracy in the world and the size itself contributes to peculiar problems. The Indian democratic system has survived in spite of many challenges and the whole world will definitely look forward to its survival. All systems of government have merits and demerits. But democracy is the most preferred system of modern world.
The present tussle between Anna Hazare’s Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Andolan (People's movement against corruption) and the UPA government should certainly cease if the democratic system in India is to be strengthened.
Now, coming to the question of supremacy of the people and the parliament: Personally I believe that the question itself is unnecessary in a strong democracy.
In India people’s participation in every thing has been misunderstood as the participation of the ruling parties. The concept of political parties came into existence only as a matter of convenience. Democratic systems of government in all parts of the world have committed many mistakes by giving too much importance to the ruling parties. We find an ocean of changes in the key positions of the executive whenever the government changes consequent on elections. This change will be drastic if the newly elected government is formed by the political parties who were in the opposition earlier. In theory we stipulate that the executive should refrain from political bias. In practice we are quite adamant to post politically biased officers in key positions so that the political interests of the ruling parties are safeguarded, often ignoring the interest of the general public.
I strongly believe that the term opposition itself is a misnomer in a true democratic setup. Why do we call the political parties and the independent MP’s/MLA’s not included in the ruling front as opposition as though they are destined to oppose every thing?
The unnecessary divide as ‘ruling’ and ‘opposition’ is, to a great extent, to entertain the common electors. Often the undesirable and corrupt practices of the political parties are justified by citing similar practices of the opposition earlier. For the common electors this is often sufficient to justify the parties towards whom they have a slight bias! ‘Divide and rule’ is a well known technique practiced by all selfish governments. As the world’s largest democracy, we have to strengthen our system by upholding our age old tradition of satya and dharma. In other words, we need to work hard to achieve a democracy populated by elected representatives who are capable of practicing truth in thought, word and deed.

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