Friday, 19 August 2011

Is Agitation Against Corruption Democratic?

Presently (August 2011) people in India are agitating against corruption. Shri Anna Hazare a renowned social worker is leading people's struggle. Although this is people's agitation supporting Shri Anna Hazare and his close colleagues for Jan Lokpal, a strong Lokpal some, especially in the ruling party think that the agitation is against constitutional provisions. Constitution gives full authority to Parliament of India to make, modify and delete laws. A common man has no authority to take these actions. Anna Hazare and his civil society have no right to dictate any condition in any of the laws in India.
Superficially the thinking of those against the agitation are right in their views. However, one must consider the constitution in its fundamental aspects. The constitution had been framed by intelligent, renowned, selfless persons with authoritative knowledge. It has been passed by equally competent persons. There had been amendments to constitution in past on account of changes noticed during working from time to time. Fundamental aim of the constitution is to have a government and administration for benefit of people. Therefore, it must be accepted that whatever is in the interest of people must be provided by the government and the administration. The power is vested to parliament. This should be taken only as a workable solution to safeguard interest of the people. In practice it is impossible to find out what is needed by people or what is in their best interest directly from people. Therefore, an arrangement exists under which people's representatives understand aspirations of people and discuss their interests in a suitable house to arrive at the best solution. Constitution makers found parliament as the house and elected leaders as people's representatives. Thus this is a solution and not the only solution.
Let's see what people's representatives are. These representatives are elected by voters who vote. There is no compulsion for voting. There is no criteria how many shall be minimum votes to get elected. Past experience shows that in a constituency of 1500000 voters votes polled varied from 25% to 75%. Contestants in a constituency vary from say 5 to 20. Under these circumstances some of the elected representatives may have secured just 5% votes of the total of the constituency. Generally it is found that 15-20% votes are adequate to get elected. Thus the so called people's representative has support of say 15% voters in his/her constituency. In practice it is observed that most of the so called people's representatives represent on an average say 15% of people. Can we consider them as representing people of India? The answer would be big "NO".
So the question remains who should or what should be the system to understand aspirations of people? Unfortunately, so called people's representatives never keep contact with people after they get elected. People have come to conclusion that leaders can be seen only during elections and after election they get busy in their personal work. They stop thinking about common man and only are concerned about rich people or people who are in a position to donate. In practice returns received by so called donors may be 10 times or more. Thus there is a huge loss incurred by people. Although there is no provision for donations in the constitution it is enforced both by elected representatives and hired administration. Those who are against the present agitation have never opposed to this. Not even accepted that this needs a change.
 In my opinion, presently there is no other method except to agitate available to people. Therefore people have joined Shri Anna Hazare against corruption not because this is the point of Anna Hazare but because it is the agitation of every individual in India. Annaji is just a person who is talking people's mind. Indians are peace loving. They shall continue to remain peaceful in this agitation. The government did try to make people to use other non peaceful means but failed. However, there is no guarantee that the agitation shall remain peaceful if acceptable decision is delayed by the government. I shall request for considering Jan Lokpal bill also in Parliament and take decision. People are now in mood to accept decision of the parliament. What happens tomorrow cannot be guessed.

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