Friday, February 29, 2008

WORKING OVERTIME TO FINISH DEMOCRACY


Yesterday, for the umpteenth time squared by as many, India’s parliamentarians stalled proceedings in Parliament. Like always, they rushed with aggressive intent to the well of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, shouted like drunk men in a seedy bar do over loud music, and made sure that no business could be conducted.

Yesterday too, after decades of being in Parliament, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Somnath Chatterjee, got enlightenment, not quite like the Buddha, no not West Bengal’s Chief Minister, but the original one who had got it more than 2,500 years ago. Sitting in the Speaker’s chair, he at last saw what the whole nation, indeed the world, has been seeing for years with shame and disgust respectively. Indian politicians are the most ill behaved, irresponsible and uncivilized lot of Indians whose real place is in that seedy bar, not in the most hallowed institution of Indian democracy which is supposed to represent the will of the people of this country.

Mr. Chatterjee, you have seen and heard this ‘chatter’ before; you have even been a significant contributor to the decibel level with your booming sonorous voice on many a occasion. Why has it suddenly become a matter of great sorrow to you that Parliamentarians are not willing to work? Why are you only now realizing that this kind of disgraceful nonsense is going to finish democracy? Does it have something to do with fact that those shouting yesterday were from parties opposed to the Left, to which you belong, and its allies?

This chatter, Mr. Chatterjee, is not what is going to finish democracy. It is the kind of laws that these law makers are hell bent upon pushing through, simply to get a few cheap votes of an electorate that they are ruthlessly and quite horrifyingly cutting into smaller and smaller pieces, that will really help finish it. Yet, when the judiciary, the last protector of the constitution, free from the pressures and dishonesties of cheap politics, steps in to defend the constitution and rule of law, and rightly admonish the political class, you have no moral compunctions in shouting that this very Parliament is supreme and that the judiciary has no right to question the laws that are passed by these true representatives reflecting the real will of the people of India!

Tell us Mr. Chatterjee, how many MPs in this Parliament, in your honest opinion, truly reflect the will of Indians? Are not a disturbingly large number reflecting just the petty and parochial interests of an increasingly smaller of number of Indians being divided along more and more dimensions? Can you not see that this is the real cancer, along with blatant corruption and arrogance, which is going to finish democracy?

Neither the newly partially enlightened Mr. Chatterjee, nor others of his ilk, no matter which background they come from, have either the integrity or the courage to admit that they have collectively made a horrible mess of the power that the ordinary Indian has given to them by casting his vote. They are all collectively working overtime, as Mr. Chatterjee has discovered rather late in the day, to finish democracy in this country. They have to be reigned in along with their comrades in arms, the civil servants who are their instruments of execution, and quite firmly, if India wants to remain a democratic republic.

If that is not done, we might well have some kind of a revolution which will come swiftly and without warning. I have written on the subject earlier too and warned of the impending disaster. Readers may like to go through these archived posts to get a sense of the enormity of the problem and the effort required to pull the nation out of the mess that these politicians have put it into.