Ishaan Joshi writes about why it is imperative to regain India’s lost democratic value.
Disclaimer: The reader is expected to accept this column as an opinion which highlights the author’s hypothesis on an exemplary representative government.
This might sound very despotic and inconceivable but we are no longer a democracy. For ages now there have been numerous battles fought for democracy. The idea has been to not just attain it, but preserve it, nurture it and grow it. If Democracy was a tree, it is welcomed by the sovereigns as an ovule of prerogatives which promised liberty, equality, fraternity and most importantly freedom, the fruits it must deliver in return of the constant efforts to water it though discourse and dialog.
This brings us to a very important argument. The essence of a constant discourse and dialog, to which the parliament stands as the undisputed intermediary. The idea is to have a dialog which can accommodate admiration and constructive criticism of the highest order. An atmosphere like this requires the quantitative participation of the people which could both appreciate and criticize.
Now in a democracy like India where the quantity of like-mindedness supersedes the quality of impartiality, its important to worship the quantum.
Not surprisingly we have witnessed this devotion of quantum destroying the doctrine of check and balances. The fact of a single party relishing a monstrous majority inside the parliament is a result of the ostensibly populistic ideology that distribution of accountability is destroying the democracy wherein the latter is completely purposeless without the former. It’s high time we accept the fact that we aren’t living in a democracy anymore. The current composition of the Indian Parliament, especially the house of the people stands as the biggest affirmation to this argument.
Indiscipline and disruptions have been an eccentric part of our parliamentary system and its day to day function. Not only these disruptions are considered to be a waste of Parliament’s valuable time, but these are known to have significantly tainted the image of this esteemed institution. Out of all the different flavours in which it can come in, the most plausible one certainly has to be a result of difference in opinion on a matter taken into priority. And that’s what differentiates an opinion from domineering. An argument can never be an opinion if it doesn’t have anyone to criticise it. Today those opinions have taken the embodiment of adjudication because no one is there to question it. And even if there are some, they are too less to criticise so no one can hear them.
Sadly, the Indian parliament itself is the biggest threat to all the customary, fundamental and constitutional rights that it promises to bolster, if not protect. Even more agonizingly, we are to be blamed for it, not the politicians or the parties that are eccentric to this democratic system of ours. The wisdom and a fair sense of judgement to ponder upon the repercussions of lending absolute power to someone lies on the kingmakers and not the king. And if we blindly render this absolute power to someone, we might gloat on being highly educated but have no right to call ourselves civilised. The most taken for granted fundamental right, the right to vote is pivotal to diminishing the possibility of the society becoming a jungle, where strong often prey on the weak.
So the next time we vote, let’s do it judiciously. Our votes can surely reinstate the dignity and morality of the parliamentary system which is becoming bleak because of the lack of dissent.
Let’s make India a democracy again.
Categories: Guest Writers