DEMOCRACY HAS TO BE PROTECTED BY THE PEOPLE

– R. K. SINGH

(Asian Independent)

 Democracy is commonly known as the form of Govt. “of the people, for the people and by the people. “But nowadays one more phrase, ”protected by the people “should be added. People of the country are bound to be the collective guardian and protector of democracy. Major organs of this system i.e. Parliament, Executive, Judiciary, free and fair Press play their well defined roles for achieving the objectives of the government inline with the constitutional provisions. Any deviation, by any organ, for a longer period can play havoc with rights and life of the citizens. Parliament consists of elected as well as nominated members from all walks of life. Once the elections are over, the elected representatives of the country take oath in federal assembly/ parliament houses dedicating their services to uplift the standard of life of the citizens. These Members of law making bodies both at state as well as central level are expected to participate actively in the discussions and debates on various matters of governance. There are certain rules and constitutional privileges and entitlements specially designed for them so that they perform their duties in a dignified manner. On the one side, they are expected to contribute their best for framing suitable laws whereas on the other side they are supposed to meet the aspirations of the people of that particular jurisdiction by raising the issues of the region and arrange the release of funds for overall development from the central exchequer. Ruling political party forming government has edge over opposition party in such situation. But unfortunately, majority of these members follow the whip of the party high command even though it may go against national interests.

The Executive, is mainly responsible for implementing the provisions enshrined in the Laws. Prime Minister or President whosoever is entrusted with executive powers leads his Cabinet of Ministers for the whole country for that cause. They are assisted by a fleet of senior officers of bureaucrats, from Police, Revenue, Economists, Defence and other departments of public interest.

It is a horrifying fact that in recent past, certain unprecedented developments, have occurred raising serious concerns for the whole humanity believing in the advancement of brotherhood, peace and protection of human rights on this globe. In the recently concluded Presidential election in USA, Donald Trump lost the game to Joe Biden. It was people’s verdict against Trump’s attitude and by and large, his mishandling of Covid pandemic during trying times. But Donald Trump’s reaction to accept his defeat was unworthy of a statesman of his stature. He came down to the level of childish play and instigated his followers to attack US Capitol building to disturb the parliamentary proceedings. Whole of the World witnessed these hooligans acting contrary to the desired decency of a US citizen. USA has deep rooted legacy of democratic values. Mr Trump has lowered the glory of the office of the President of the most powerful democracy on this planet. Several Asian countries in the Indian sub continent too are facing rising challenges from military’s intervention, terrorist organizations, religious fanaticism, atrocities on minorities, concentration of wealth in few feudalistic families, starvation in poor demographic segments, outraging the modesty of women folk by the rowdy gangs sheltered by local leaders, poor nourishment of the children and poor education and health access at affordable cost.

India too is passing through the most difficult times never seen before in the post independence period. Since 2014, the year Mr Narinder Modi took the reigns of the country as Prime minister, the citizens have been made to suffer consequences of one decision or the other. Demonetisation without proper preparation, wrong GST implementation, privatisation of profit making public sector enterprises, merging of public sector banks with the sole motive to benefit the selected big business houses, amendments in labour laws and above all wrongfully passing the farm laws. All decisions seem to be inclined towards premeditated strategies to achieve goals set by Hindutava mindset. Press, majority of TV channels and investigation agencies have been pressurised to toe the BJP line. Debates by lapdog channels are conducted to serve certain stuff compulsorily to the masses. Opposition leaders are confronted with the issues of yesteryears and snubbed by the anchors in live shows. Judiciary is also visibly under pressure to either stay the matter or decide in the favour of the parties politically close to the government as observed by eminent Jurists and experts on constitutional matters. Suo motu notice even on serious issues under its nose is not taken whereas granting interim relief to govt favourites is always available overriding the genuine stand taken by lower courts. Several retired Supreme Court Judges who are the real ‘conscience keepers of the nation’ are openly voicing their views on social media about trespassing the role of the Executive by the courts. This image of Judiciary has never been so low ever since independence.

Secularism, ”the watchword of India’s constitution” is under constant threat. Minorities and socially downtrodden classes are being wilfully targeted by upper caste gangsters and terrorists. Ruling party workers in villages issue social boycott warrants to the labour class to work with no or meagre wage. “Dictating in the democracy“ scenario is being imperceptibly established. Fabricated data about good governance is generated to show flowery picture to the citizens and the outside world. If any information is sought under “Right to information” act, it’s delayed, denied or detracted. Prime Minister, Mr Modi has not conducted even a single press conference for the last six years. His white lies have been recorded several times like those of Mr Trump. He believes in hiding facts. Nowadays his misadventure to benefit his chosen corporate trio, Adani, Ambani & Anil’s Reliance during Covid, is under fire for framing three farm laws detrimental to the interests of the farmers. For the last almost two months , lacs of land tillers and dependent Agro labours are agitating on the roads surrounding Delhi. Not only men but women, children, senior citizens, artists, small shopkeepers, commission agents are protesting peacefully, without any provocation. Whole of the world including UNO has taken serious note of these food growers sleeping under inclement cold weather. Mr Modi has not yet met the farmers and has arranged to put the ball in the court of Supreme Court while farmers kept them away from judicial jargon. Farmers feel that court should declare these farm laws as unconstitutional since these are under state subject.

People are real power house in democracy. They should learn to be alert and well equipped from all sources including social media. Intellectuals, writers and jurists should be whistle blowers whenever attempt is made to weaken any pillars of democracy and must use their right to protest against such step. Safeguarding the borders is important but more important is the protection of democracy through internal vigilance.

– R. K. SINGH
 Bureau Chief (India)
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