Saturday, May 12, 2012

Indian Parliament turns 60

:: Need to balance between populism and responsibility When Indian Parliament celebrates 60 years of its historic inception on May 13, 2012; several key questions would mushroom in the minds of social scientists, political thinkers, the netas – political class themselves and of course the general people. I am deliberately avoiding the use of oft-repeated phrase ‘common man’ (aam admi) as the term itself has been rendered a tool of political abuse itself. Today people are getting disenchanted with the political system and as a result most worrisome questions those look for answers revolve around one single big question --- what would happen to the essence of India’s existence as a nation and as a practicing giant of ‘parliamentary democracy’ if people stay not only away from voting centres but get some kind of satisfaction in abusing the political class. In 2011, more than once the so called civil society – or to be precise a section of it – were found in direct confrontation with the netas and largely the Indian parliamentary establishment itself. Predictably, the neta class got together and took the shelter of ‘parliamentary privileges’ and sought actions against the erring individuals from Om Puri to Arvind Kejriwal. This blog column has no intention to hold brief for anyone. The confrontation in one form or the other is still on. But having said these, there can be denial that India as the world’s largest parliamentary democracy, today, is often known for being deeply troubled at heart. It is precisely at a crossroad and also at odds with many things it cherishes. The general refrain is that the country is now passing through a period that requires careful sizing up of its polity. But the electoral practice though is considered most suitable under the given circumstances is often abused by muscle and money power and thus wasted. The caste, religions and linguistic divisions not only throw up fragmented mandate, the root trouble is there is absolute lack of accountability, ethical approach and even history sheeters can comfortably make it to parliament. I am not sure of the approach the parliamentarians are going to take during the historical debate on May 13 in both Houses of parliament, but this issue needs to be addressed. Why in contemporary politics, we have no alternative between Mamata Banerjee and the Leftists? Or between DMK and AIADMK? – Similarly, why no room for a better choice between Samajwadi or BSP or even Congress and BJP? The ROOT PROBLEM IS LEADERSHIP CRISIS. If according to one school of thought (read voters, intellectuals and self-styled intellectuals) says Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the last leader of pan-India acceptance and credibility…. Why was he voted out in 2004? In 1996, Vajpayee himself once said, “I am often told Vajpayee is good as a leader but my party is not …… but have you all done to this ‘bhale Vajpayee’”. The candid reference was to the ‘politics of untouchability’ pushed as the national agenda. How do we then say, our parliamentary democracy has matured? (ends)


  1. Its is high time that " Aam Admi" takes lot of interest in the Parliament and try to do " Something " towards the politics of the Nation....but this " something " is not easy ...

  2. Congrats! You have successfully expressed the feelings of many. I think responsibility of democracy begins from an individual citizen. We individuals, already pushed to the wall by the menace of individualism, must realize our responsibility towards the society and oneness with it. The moment we start directing our every daily action towards the greater social cause, people surrounding us will also move towards a higher level of consciousness & accountability. This is going to be the mother of 'Constructive leadership' .

  3. I am surviving, despite government.