Monday, 24 February 2020

Can We Avoid Present Anarchic Conditions?

Updated: January 8, 2011 4:02 pm

A common man is now getting confused and also disillusioned by the way the social, political and economic affairs being handled by the government, particularly more after the globalisation concept brought in by the present Prime Minister, when he was the Finance Minister. There are many types of problems a common man faces today. None of the problems can be isolated and solved independently. They all are interconnected. Food security, unemployment, criminal activities, widening rich-poor gap, corruption at all levels, greedy politicians, law-makers becoming law-breakers, black money economy overtaking white money economy, terrorism from across the borders, chaos in education field, Naxalism and Maoism revolting against the government for neglecting development in their areas, paid news in media, helplessness of the Prime Minister and his colleagues, un-constitutional authorities getting superior than the government, economic frauds reaching historical heights each year (like Satyam, Harshad Mehta, Ketan Parekh, bogus stamp papers fraud by Telgi, fodder frauds in Bihar, Commonwealth Games, 2G spectrum, etc), parking unaccounted money in tax-haven countries, chaotic urbanisation, suicides by farmers and small entrepreneurs, etc. This list can still be lengthened. None of these problems is getting resolved for good. Even former NDA government could not reverse the trend set by Congress government in these matters. ‘India-shining’ was more publicised than the Bharat shining. The apex court of India has in frustration said on 10th October last year: Why the government does not officially recognise the corruption spread all over the government machinery? Can we say that the apex court is free from this? What shows impeachment thinking about a judge? There is a charge that CBI has lost its independence in investigating serious political and economic matters. It is criticised that it is being used as a tool of those in power.

                All this is showing loss of confidence of common man in the governance of our society. This deterioration has been more prominent since 1990s. The voting percentage of middle class people in urban areas has been hovering around forty per cent. This might still go lower in near future. This is the indication of disillusionment of this educated and thinking class of our society.

                Today, this same concept and marketing of globalisation has put the capitalist countries in irreversible depression. Those economies are struggling to control the economic crises, but they do not find any easy solution. This will get manifested into civil-war-like situations across the capitalist countries. Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Iceland, Ireland, and the USA itself are facing this revolt-like situation. ‘Tea Party’ movement in the USA is an indication of what would happen there in very near future. However, India is still holding on to the failed economic system imported from the West. The US government is propagating Swadeshi philosophy by saying: “Be American; buy American!” President Obama’s visit was to market their products and cut imports from India. Their globalisation mantra has now reversed into protectionism. This could happen in European countries too very soon.

                Many of our elderly people are questioning themselves why we fought war for our Independence from the British Raj? Now we have become slaves of the foreign economic powers. We take pride in getting some service jobs overseas in IT and other related sectors. Even our present Finance Minister is pleading with the USA for continuing the old practice of outsourcing (slavery?) from India. Who are benefitted by this inflow of funds? Answer is simple. Only the elite and higher-middle class, whose number is insignificant, have been the beneficiaries. This is at a huge cost to common people who are paying taxes. Those who fought for Independence of our country had some dreams about creating a society of moral, high-value living style, general welfare of all, economic equity, and ideal governance for maintaining due balance between the man and the nature. Now they all feel greatly disappointed on all the fronts.

What causes this chaos?

We certainly find some errors in the whole working of our country’s affairs. But a common man cannot pin-point any specific issue responsible for the present economic, social and political chaos. Everyone is pointing out one issue or another that is mostly dependent on the inputs received from the media. Common man is helplessly watching the entire circus of politicians, bureaucracy, judiciary, and media. The media is presenting him only crimes, corruptions and failure of governance. There is no space left for other social and welfare matters. He is aware that he is not figuring anywhere in the development programmes of the country. Rather, he is being exploited in the process.

                The governing state itself is responsible for this chaos and anarchic situation. Unless it is re-organised on the required lines, anarchic situation would never change for better. During Vedic periods, king was blamed for all these chaotic aspects. King himself must be an ideal person and his civil servants should always be faithful to him. Dand Niti must take place whenever the king sees indiscipline and crimes in his kingdom.

                Today, the mixing of Western culture with our own meticulously preserved values and culture of thousands of years could be the major reason for the present situation. Additionally, the constitutional provisions for our governance could also contribute to this chaos. Even the social thinkers from Europe, especially after the French Revolution, have contributed to this cause.

What is the remedy?

It is certain that the present political system is unable to solve the crisis of trust of people. It is taking the nation towards anarchy in shorter duration. The scholars of political science are not in a mood to suggest the changes to ‘correct’ the present chaotic situation by recommending the revised system that might sound radical in nature. None of the political parties is interested in such a change as most of the leaders are happy with the ill-gotten wealth collected by them from the present system. These parties are seen to be interested in pushing own cadre into government services by aggressively pressurising the state for reservation of jobs on the basis of caste, religion, etc. Many of the leaders have been known as criminals, corrupt to the core, having links with underworld economies, etc. How can a common man then trust these leaders for his own development? No leader is at present in a mood to think on these lines. Many Chief Ministers and central ministers are facing huge corruption charges too. Ashok Chavan, A Raja, are the latest additions in the list.

                The writer of Hindu-economics has spent quite of his energies in finding solutions to these problems leading to anarchy. It is not necessary that there are no options in this regard. Major changes in the present democratic systems with minor changes in the Constitution have been suggested on the following lines:

  1. The President and the Prime Minister must be elected by the people directly since they are directly responsible for the welfare and safety of the citizens and the nation.
  2. The President should have the power to punish for bad and corrupt behaviour of all the members of cabinet excluding the Prime Minister, all members of both the Houses (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha), excluding their Chairmen, Governors of all the states and union territories, all the members of all the assemblies and councils excluding the Chief Ministers, all the Supreme Court Judges excluding the Chief Justices, and all the gazetted officers across the country.
  3. The President should give only one opportunity to the person from the above list in the presence of Jury. If satisfied about the guilt, the person should be removed from the post and prosecuted through legal process. In case of the PM and others who have been excluded as above, resolution in the House alone should finally decide the issue.
  4. The President shall develop appropriate spy system by recruiting persons with impeccable character of his/her choice. This will not have any links with the existing CBI, RAW, IB, etc. Rather, it will oversee these existing agencies.
  5. Present parliamentary practice should be judged. Today, the party protects the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues. In turn, cabinet protects the senior officers in the government. Opposition parties protect their wicked and undisciplined members. New procedure should weed out such elements to make the process transparent and ethical.
  6. Vote of confidence should be removed. Thus giving full term to rule for the party voted by the people. The system of issuing whip should also be done with. Let the members use their conscience and vote for appropriate person in the best interest of the nation. This will bring elegance to the parliamentary democracy, ideal for other nations to copy. This should serve as a warning that no one should be protected.
  7. The authority to remove any High Court and Supreme Court should be vested in the President alone. Similar will be the procedure for the chiefs of our defense forces.
  8. As regards the media, the President sue motto or on receiving complain decides the punishment for the published or televised material after giving a chance to hear the person so accused. Punishment could be to imprison the person and/or suspend the publication.
  9. Similar process could be drafted in respect of state governors having jurisdiction over others in the society, such as, self-government institutions like Panchayat, zilla parishads, municipalities, etc.
  10. The President will have to resign if more than half the number of states passes resolutions showing no confidence in the President. Similarly, if a resolution is passed in either of the Houses, the President will resign. In both these cases, no whip will be allowed to be used.

                Words of wisdom of Milton and Rose Friedman quoted by the author from “Free to Choose”, may illuminate us in the present situation:

                “When the law contradicts what most people regard as moral and proper, they will break the law whether it is enacted in the name of a noble ideal or in the naked interest of one group at the expense of another. Only fear of punishment, not a sense of justice and morality, will lead people to obey the law.”

                The choice is now with us. Either we helplessly wait till anarchy fully takes over and demolishes the civil society; or we move the matter without delay and systematically and democratically destroy the present structure of governance and implement the alternative system through the Constitutional amendments.

By DG Bokare

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