Friday, 29 May 2020

Decline Of Democratic Values

Updated: September 1, 2012 5:32 pm

Every active, alert and enlightened citizen shares a common concern: shocking decline of democratic values in the system of governance. Those who felt a sense of pride in global appreciation of democracy taking deep roots in independent India are now a worried lot. The country now faces serious security threats of external aggression. Presently, it is facing externally-sponsored terrorism. It has issues of violence and rebellion in the northeastern region and the Naxalite hold extends over 200 of its districts. Details of huge scams and heavy scandals are being unearthed practically on daily basis. Even such sacred sectors like judiciary, defence forces, education and health are no longer free from serious misdemeanors on the part of the high-ups.

Corruption is extending its vicious hold everywhere—unchecked and unfettered. People’s representatives, at every stage, are losing credibility pretty fast. Cases of disproportionate assets linger for decades together and the guilty often grabs political power directly or holds a sway over it as supporters of the ruling conglomerates in the era of coalition governments. The country which after over six decades of Independence should have been building on its gains in a system of governance based on Gandhian principles is now struggling hard to somehow prevent the steep decline in democratic values the serious loss of credibility of its political leadership.

India of 2011 is struggling hard to find ways and means to combat corruption, bring back its black money stashed abroad and to wriggle out of umpteen cases of scams, briberies and scandals. It is indeed a tough job. The greatest loss is that of mutual trust between the citizens and the government. That India needs to evolve and implement a system of good governance appears to be the top priority before the people of the country. The present volume, by a seasoned defence expert with vast strategic experience, captures this critical concerns based on sound analysis of events and facts.

The inferences arrived at could lead to definitive suggestions for improvement and transformation. With precision and conclusions arrived at after considerable effort, the author of the volume presents a model of good governance that could like to be tested and implemented. The elements of this model emerge as the response to the gaps and aberrations that have cropped up due to indiscretions of individuals and absence of honest intentions in the existing system of governance.

The description under “India-Vision and Reality” is presented lucidly in the context of external and internal threat perceptions which have been incisively analysed. It is followed by fundamentals of good governance and a description of the national agenda that the model for restoration of good governance is already promoting. The book provides details on centre around zero political interference in the work of civil servants, accountability at all levels, citizen support to genuine PILs, special provisions for removal and prosecution of corrupt ministers, eschewing of caste-based and communal politics, protection of environment, transparency, and several other aspects that normally come up in discourses on concerns before the nation.

The book contains some significant narrations several of which were authored over ten years ago. These are relevant to emphasise the point how decline in the values system amongst the politicians has assumed shocking proportions during the last couple of years. It is best summarised in one of the quotes in the book: “Today we have police stations without having the rule of law. We have law courts without getting justice. We have elections without having democracy. Our system has collapsed because our democratic institutions have been reduced to empty husk devoid of real content.” This could have been valid even a decade ago but for the severity of the magnitude of destruction of institutions. The author Major General Vinod Saighal has done a service by presenting his version that paints the future picture and offers sincerely a genuine solution in the shape of Model for the Restoration of Good Governance (MRGG). India needs to give it a thoughtful consideration.

 By JS Rajput

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