DailyPost 2554

Like any other art, science or expertise, its growth, name, reputation, credibility branding depends on the type of practitioners and more so the leading ones and the highest positioned ones. Whether the nascent art of democracy in this country was able to find quality practitioners or whether we were able to create quality practitioners for democracy is a trillion-dollar question. From the experience all around us, for the last few decades, one thing is for sure, that we have totally missed on the quality practitioners and over a period of time, it has gotten bad to worse. Indian democracy is at crossroads.

The challenge comes from the main stakeholders and it is not the people. The main stakeholder has been the politicians for quite some time and people have been at the receiving end. How do we grade the Indian politician as the quality practitioner of democracy? Our democracy revolves around him; from street level to the highest legislature and top echelons of executive power. Has the deterioration of public life and quality of governance directly related to the lack of quality entering political profession? Lack of knowledge of law may be, by a stretch of imagination be made acceptable, but the lack of respect of law cannot be condoned.

Quality education of most practitioners would have gone a long way, in making them qualitatively better practitioners. Or intense urge for learning and passion to deliver could have had the better of the elected representatives, so that by now it could become a standard funnel. A success at the latter would have been the real democracy in action. None of the two things happened and our democracy today is in a deep human resource limbo. This gap cannot be compensated in any manner. To make laws you have to understand law and should be practicing believer in the rule of law. On the contrary riding roughshod is their basic temperament which we keep seeing, reading of it and get impacted by it, in our day-to-day life.

Who will take the responsibility for the broken legal regimen in the country and lots of it can be put squarely at the door of bad enactment of law. The pre-occupations of the democratic practitioners, so to say, is for anything but law and governance in any dimension, whatsoever. The fact that counts for them is how best the system can be exploited. The legalese in a parliamentary debate is conspicuous by its absence. It’s like any other run of the mill political speech. From the role constituent assembly played to the role our current legislatures play, you would also be convinced that both cannot belong to the same democratic world. Parliamentary propriety can literally be thrown to the winds, as we have seen in a recent case. Legal immunity cannot be made synonymous to illegality in motion. The body which is the creator of law cannot be a non-practitioner of the rule of law, parliamentary immunity notwithstanding.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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