Daily Post 1486


Democracy pertains shared vision. Shared vision did not emanate out of Business schools and is not a great thought for business enterprises. Vision is driven down by the owner or the CEO or both and it has to be complied with. They have the power and control to see to it that the shared vision becomes the culture of the company. Democracy is too humungous to fall in the enterprise category. The shared vision of a democratic country is its constitution. It is in writing and the vision is expressed to the minutest detail. When businesses or even NGOs cannot come together, what it has tried to do is to provide the vision for every element of democracy, their interface with each and that of the nation.

The drilling down of this vision to one and all in constitutional positions to start with is the biggest challenge of any democracy. Some democracies start failing from the beginning itself and are never able to reach even functional level. Even in the largest democracy of the world, if you talk about the shared vision with the members of legislature, judiciary and the executive, they would look at you in bewilderment. We are not taught about shared vision in our Civics, Political Science or even Public Administration classes. Even in the governance academies this topic does not turn up. More than a topic this is feeling, an attitude and finally a thought process. The whole system works on checks and balances and we are also supposed to play the checkmate game.

We are supposed to work in silos and communicate to each other in a prescribed manner, to the extent that for each pillar of democracy the other pillar does not exist on a daily basis. How to pave a smooth way for oneself is the primary concern. We are applauded to putting down the complementary elements of our democracy. The isolationist mode in which our institutions operate does now augur well to the very concept of a shared vision. Take for example improving the conviction rate in the country, can it happen without a shared vision? It has not happened so far, and it does not seem likely in the foreseeable future. Do all the different parts of the criminal justice system feel their commitment to the stated shared vision? If not, where the Blueprint will come from and what actions will happen thereupon.

For that matter elections. It seems to have been the sole concern of the Election Commission of India, as if rest of the democratic elements have nothing to do with it. If an election is successfully held, it is like winning a war. TN Seshan’s reign there proved that shared vision never existed. Political parties should be first to cooperate and much in advance, work out the ways and means to conduct a super successful democratic elections. By now the elections would have become a super flawless exercise, wherein anybody with even small resources could make a difference through this process. It remains an enforcement game and the rulers of tomorrow keep finding out ways and means to beat the system.


Sanjay Sahay

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