DailyPost 2723

It seems ominous that yesterday’s DailyPost ‘Opaqueness of Indian Democracy’ seems to be playing out much more professionally than what the post portrayed. This feeling emanates from a news piece made public yesterday, of the remaining sole election commissioner resigning on the eve of the announcement of the 2024 general elections. What has been happening all the while, proven by various incidents / decisions in last few years and by various governments, takes the opaqueness of the Indian democracy to a different level, can now be safely termed as a seamlessly opaque democracy; wrinkle free. What then is a seamlessly opaque democracy?

A seamlessly opaque democracy where no information is shared of the process, cause and purpose of actions taken and you are provided with the decision as fate accompli. The nation can keep debating about it till the time cows come home or even beyond. The resignation of the election commissioner comes to light at the end of long sequence of events, presumably happening at breakneck speed, for reasons unknown and at a time he was needed the most at his legally mandated post. The decision is made known after everything is over, even the Gazette Notification, which is full and formal closure of the democratic decision-making loop.

All the stakeholders in the democratic game feel that they have done what is expected out of them. For sure none of them of have anything to do with transparency and democratic propriety. It is for this reason we have not been able to build robust democratic traditions and conventions. The beauty of the this whole episode is that for the same person a ‘seamlessly opaque democracy’ game played gleefully, in his favour, in 2022 for entry into the election commission. The custodian of electoral transparency is in the hands of person/s whose entry and exit to / from Nirvachan Sadan is shroud in confidentiality and is suspect too.

The appointment of the same person what at centre of a legal battle at the highest court, literally holding the government responsible and judicially directed a sane method for such appointments. This decision of the Supreme Court was turned down by making a new law. The battle of seamless opaqueness is a war invariably won by its proponents. All this coming in the backdrop of the electoral bonds legal battle and the path breaking judgement on seamless opaqueness of political funding. The way SBI has thrown a spanner in the works by not divulging legally directed data /information on time, does not augur well for Indian democracy. Democracy gets its daily dose of oxygen from its institutions and open processes and not from political parties, elections and governments.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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