DailyPost 2444

Weird as it may sound, it is high time, that we have clear cut parameters of it, which will clear a lot of smoke, which is deliberately created by one party of the other. The need for the electorate is very clear, being a part of the democracy brigade, by their franchise, they need to know whether the democracy is becoming more robust and vibrant or by any chance getting regressive and retrograde. An election can create different types of governments and they too an operate in multifarious ways; the country has witnessed any number of times through the last so many decades.

There are experts our democracy in and out; from the constitutional to the operational angle. They also know the tantrums of democracy can be made out into a camouflage. The governments and leaders would behave and act the way they want, doing immense damage to the very fabric and functioning of democracy. Its impact on society is critical, it cannot just be reversed by an election result. The logic that if the people don’t like the government can be shown the door, quite rightly so, but the damage has been done. Whether that can be resurrected or not is a big question mark.

If we keep debating the nature and quality of democracy, have camps to prove and disprove the existence of democratic style and delivery or not, then the debate can be unending, as we have experienced. The media is there to have fun at the expense of all democratic stakeholders. Opinionated and aggressive debate and action vitiates the atmosphere, which is no way is conducive to our democracy. The issue is that is it impacts everything and so there is an urgent need of audit to provide the health of democracy, in a very objective and empirical manner. All the stakeholders can sit down and make the parameters and get vetted by the pillars of democracy.

A democracy audit framework, vetted and accepted by all stakeholders can get the ball moving. The unison in understanding and all being on the same page would immensely help. The beauty even today is, that lip service to democracy is quintessential of everyone’s existence. That being the case the audit framework worked upon would be robust. It would entail the democratic institutions, whose health is critical to the health of democracy. The legislature, executive and judiciary would be dissected prominently by this framework. The final touchstone being the constitution, legality, people and impact. It can be done consistently, may be even at a dynamic level, with reports coming out every year and cumulative, in five years coterminous with the general elections. It would put all opinions to rest.

Sanjay Sahay

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