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Democracy might not be the best from of governance, but the inbuilt checks and balances are meant to deliver maximum good to the maximum people. The pillars democracy is both independent and interdependent with the purpose to deliver the best of both of the worlds. Together, they deliver democracy in totality and individually they ought to be role models as executive, judiciary and legislature, not to miss out on the fourth estate. The interdependence and clear-cut distribution of powers as per the constitution of India, makes them sentinels of democracy and also its robust operators. This in simple language can be called the checks and balances mechanism of our democracy.

The democratic checks and balances have been eulogized for a long time. Might be it provides the soothing treatment to believe that everything is running fine and nothing else needs to the done. For sure people in cozy democratic positions would never utter a word. If people / democratic organs get more power than what is constitutionally mandated, they are not going to crib. They would keep making efforts to apportion more and more, as has been the case. If they can make it work more favorably with tacit undercurrents between the pillars of democracy, so it be. We have been living a checkmated democracy for a long time now.

Checkmated democracy means that the pillars of democracy will give you a feeling of checks and balances and steering clear of what they are not supposed to do. In reality it functions the other way round. If we keep judiciary out of this debate for the time being, how do we describe the relationship between the executive and legislature and the role of the fourth estate as guardians of improving the functioning of democracy, by their control over the democratic mass communication and information system. How inextricably the legislature and executive are enmeshed that in public impression an elected representative is elected to execute things / promises and what not. Not even one person aspiring to be an elected representative would do so, if he were to remain only a lawmaker.

With Union Legislature being sovereign, the weakest professional expertise and practice in the country in the country is that of the law maker. The way elected representatives ride roughshod over bureaucracy would give you the feeling that they are their direct executive bosses. A constituency has long been transformed into an executive jurisdiction. Who decides the law agenda of the nation; the executive or the legislature? Executive more so the ruling mostly at all times have decided the legislative agenda. No ruling party would ever make its government accountable in the legislature. The accountability debate has been pushed to the electorate / elections for providing as carte blanche for the next five years. The elected representatives have the levers of power even if they are not a part of the political executive. Fourth estate and the social media the less said the better, was to what democratic pillar they are. What sobering impact has PILs and Suo motto judicial cognizance made on the powers that be in the Indian democracy, we would it leave for another day. Where are the people?

Sanjay Sahay

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