STAGE MANAGED DEMOCRACY

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STAGE MANAGED DEMOCRACY

It was years of toil with the best level of intellect, experience, expertise, legal acumen, love and vision for this country that gave the country its constitution. The forum which made it happen was the Constituent Assembly. Both the constitution and the republic were born. Within this framework the vision of democratic India was to be realized. How far have we come since then? Are we moving in the right direction? Are decision makers completely wedded to this idea in unison, or different realities are made to exist, while the lip service to the constitution continues relentlessly. The gap between the two can be because the lot of decision makers; from politics, bureaucracy and different walks of life have turned out to be radically different from the ones who created the democratic  the blueprint.

The framers of the constitution would not have dreamt in the wildest dreams that it would be so difficult to implement the constitution in a self-ruled country, which has the best of talent, acumen and an independent judiciary. The constitution also provides for social transformation the country has been yearning for, for centuries. It also laid down the solid foundation of all elements of democracy, inclusive of federalism, collaboration, seamless governance, growth inbuilt with the constitutional authorities being our guardians in our journey to the final destination, as and when it was achieved. And then to maintain it.

Our experience has shown that this has become an onerous task to reach the goals elaborated. Might be we lack in both the will and expertise. We today live in a country where effort is not the name of the game. Democracy, instead of we creating  it to work seamlessly and objectively, is treated as a mechanism to order your wishes and wants, once in power. Have the laws framed and stood out to take care of all our requirements? Is there any effort to move in that direction? We find a legal void whichever area we talk about. But we all are convinced that the rule of law is in place. Have we ensured competence and grit to our constitutional guardians? The powers that be have to ensure, that objectivity and merit, should be only consideration for appointing anybody to a constitutional position.  Are the constitutional positions delivering on their own, in the manner, they are supposed to do, as the sentinels and guardians of democracy?

The final custodian of the main element of our democracy are our elections. It has to be conducted either in the TN Seshan style or in collaborative style where each stakeholder follows the rules, both in word and spirit, but today we are left with none of these models. The models of sustained planned growth we have not been able to achieve, which the democratic framework was mandated to facilitate, did not happen. The Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers are one democratic team of government heads, to deliver the hopes and aspirations of the nation. Has it ever happened? This has nothing to do with the party in power. How many face the wrath of law, when their party is in power is another indicator of a stage-managed democracy. Both rule of law and fear of law are two sides of the same coin. It seems that the coin is standing on its head.

WHEN DEMOCRACY HAS VARIANTS OF CONVENIENCE, IT IS A STAGE MANAGED DEMOCRACY.

Sanjay Sahay

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