Indian democracy has much ground to cover
By The New Indian Express
15th August 2012 12:45 AM
On the eve of the 66th Independence Day, the balance sheet of India as a democracy is mixed. Many democratic institutions evolved after Independence are in a state of erosion. The public standing of politicians in general is at its lowest ebb. Parliament as an institution is rarely a forum of serious debate these days. Yet, some good work gets done in the quiet confines of rooms where parliamentary panels meet to deliberate on specific issues. It is these that offer some hope in an otherwise gloomy scenario. What is reassuring more than anything else is that but for an aberration when Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency, parliamentary democracy has survived as a system with all its faults and inadequacies. This may seem a small achievement but seeing how democracy has crumbled in so many countries and been resurrected recently in some as people realised its value, India can deem itself as blessed. While institutions have suffered the onslaught of unscrupulous politicians, the silver lining is that there still are upright and honest people who continue to make a difference.
Reflective of the all-round erosion of moral values, an element of decay has set in among the political parties. They have become increasingly autocratic and prone to dilute their ideology in quest for power. Good leaders are hard to come by and the young are lacking direction because of the paucity of leaders who lead by example. Virtually no institution has remained free from corruption. While many parliamentarians are tainted, corruption has crept even into the judiciary and the media, both powerful instruments of democracy.
One may agree or differ with the Anna Hazares and the Ramdevs, but a massive public movement is called for to restore true democratic values in India. Democratic institutions need to be strengthened so that no autocratic leader is allowed to subvert the system in fulfilment of narrow, partisan ends. There is a dire need for electoral reforms so that criminals are not able to get elected to legislatures. A useful foundation has been laid for democracy but there is still a long way to go.
- You are aiming high, but beware of marketers selling you as an FMCG
- Deadly year for encephalitis feared in India
- A mobile phone for Kerala CM, finally
- India becomes Kenya's largest Asian trading partner
- Pakistan's Punjab government allocates millions for JuD centre
- Wedlock valid only if consummated: High Court
- Underworld has betting syndicates in vice-like grip
- NCRB report: 1,316 juveniles booked for rape last year
- Indian Coast Guards help rescue 26 crew from shipwreck near Yemen
- Army Major captures 'UFO' in Kerala
- Now pay less for roaming calls, texts
- Callgate: Doctors were prime target for Biju, Saritha Nair
- 73 dead, over 71,000 stranded as rains batter Uttarakhand, UP
- Congress raking up secularism issue to hide its failures: BJP
- Prices of 348 drugs to come down drastically from May 15
- Wedlock valid only if consummated: HC