DailyPost 2357

Poll Manifestos are no more than a talking points through the term of the government, of the political party that comes to power at the end of the election. It has no legal sanctity. It has been used for wit and sarcasm or at the very best for political rhetoric in public meetings by the opponents. A litany of failed promises has become the sine qua non of Indian democratic life. Equally, huge amounts of tax payer’s money are being utilized to prove the same, through the great tool of social and economic development called advertisement. Data of every type is strewn to create a world of achievements, accomplishments and transformation. What a method of raising awareness of people, on topics which the electorate should have experienced happening to them. Ease of life they say!

The first tier as explained goes totally unaccountable, you call it the government or the party. However much, the constitution would like to differentiate, on the ground it has just not happened. The Poll Manifesto in all fairness should become the first legislation of the government, the Manifesto Act prescribing every detail of its implementation and the penal provisions for its failure. This is the story of the political executive, and then comes the second tier, who are popularly known as public officials and their only job is to work for the public in whatever role they are assigned. The other side of the democratic coin provides them with the legal liberty to hold everyone accountable.

Accountability starts from playing loud music, not taking permission for the sanest of the gatherings, to using Aadhar identification to writing a social media post and it can go on endlessly. How much is relevant and how much is not, we will leave it for another day. What is of critical value is that how accountable are the public officials you make everyone accountable? Public officials unaccountability has become a part of democratic folklore of the country. It is in graduated measure of increasing proportionality from the smallest to the biggest public official. Officials ready to provide access and behave normal is a democratic luxury. While the subject, citizen or elector is identified and validated at every level and for every transaction, mostly the name of the public official who is behind any action hits the Automated Black Box.

Who has been responsible for the application of law has remained unknown in annals of Indian democratic history? Fixing responsibility has been made so difficult that many a times doing only that becomes the full-fledged enquiry commission’s job. Miscarriage of justice is the norm and unaccountability its shield. Who is accountable for a false case? Who is accountable for large parts of life lost in cases which should not have been registered in the first place? Regulatory agencies not performing in the manner they should, leaving the whole sector /business activity in a disarray. When the citizen / institution / organization doesn’t even know where to go do, epitomizes the ultimate form of public officials unaccountability. Running from pillar to post, while being permanently at the receiving end is the outward and ultimate manifestation of this accountability. A statute called the Public Officials Accountability Act might resolve some of the issues.

Sanjay Sahay

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Scroll to Top