Monday, June 01, 2009 Indian 'Democrazy'
But the ‘most unkindest cut’ to Indian democracy has come in the form of an ‘unelected’ leader for the newly elected members of the Lok Sabha. Writers of our constitution never even dreamt of such a possibility. Otherwise they would have definitely closed such a loop hole which is now wide open and being ‘mis’used for the last several years. The underlying moral strength of leadership in parliamentary democracy is convincing victory in elections and not nomination by party leaderships. What has happened now is complete hijacking of people’s mandate for nomination of someone who never faced the electorate. It is ‘mukhota’ politics of the worst kind. The eminently qualified Dr. Manmohan Singh could have got himself elected from any constituency anywhere in India to avoid such a controversy. That was the minimum he could have done for the sake of nurturing true democracy in India.
Dying Parties & Developing Families
Weakening of genuine political parties offering definite alternatives in all walks of life is another sad feature noticed during the latest general elections. In a true democracy we should be witnessing strengthening of political parties with clear cut policies in economical, social, political and even international affairs. In India this is practiced mainly by the right wing and left wing parties, and hardly by the middle of the road non-aligned political parties. Most of the centrist parties in India indulge in vote-bank politics and have their own captive voters in the form of some castes or belonging to some religion or region. Hardcore supporters of such namesake political parties have blind faith in their evergreen leaders and never bother to read their manifestos. And then there are some monolith parties which resemble more of a mediocre crowd of onlookers than a group of people with specific aims and agenda.
The weakening of genuine political parties is adding to the strength of family oriented political groupings. In fact this is a growing problem in the whole of south Asia and has made a mockery of democracy in these parts. In India it is now Nehru family at the Centre, Dixit family in Delhi, Karunanidhi family in Chennai, Patnaik family in Orissa, Hudda family in Haryana, Badal family in Punjab, Deora family in Mumbai, Abdulla family in Kashmir, Sangma family in North East, Reddy family in Andhra, Maani family in Kerala etc. etc. Every other MP is the son, daughter, nephew or niece of someone big in the same party. It is really a matter of grave concern and shame that the political party, that claims to be the oldest in India, is degenerating into a blatantly family party. Open and unabashed sycophancy is the main trait of that party... Posted by J.A. Kumar at 11:11 AM
After all, we all know that the DMK is a close-knit family business – there is Kanimozhi, there are the Marans, and there is MK Stalin, now deputy CM. This is not Socialism; it is Familyism. Society does not own the PSUs; the Family owns them all.
Of course, in this respect the DMK is much like the Congress, or the National Conference. The real reason for this phenomenon is not hard to find. Any “socialist” system of State ownership of industries always ends up as a system in which the “party” controls everything. These PSUs contribute to the party kitty in many ways: first, those “managers” who get to run the PSUs pay for their privilege – there are “kickbacks”; second, these managers also recruit party workers in a typical “jobs for the boys” arrangement with the Supremo; and thirdly, they offer huge scope for other forms of patronage. No Socialist Supremo would like to lose his control of State-run enterprise. Of course, poor “society” loses. All the PSUs lose money – Our Money. We learn the hard way that Society and Party are different things. (Just as State and Society are different.)
A genuine “political party” does not run businesses. All it controls are some departments of government that provide a few public goods and services - that too, only when it is in office. Such a party claims to “represent” the people who support it. In the case of the DMK, as with the Congress, the party does not actually represent anyone. Rather, it buys support at election time by offering freebies to the poor. The DMK has offered the poor colour TVs. This is the ugly story of Indian Socialism. And this will continue for another five years, for the same news report says that the Trinamool has also opposed disinvestment - just like the Left. I think Sonia and Manmohan must be happy with their allies. There is thus only one way to clean up Indian politics: Total and Complete Privatisation.