The Indian Constitution, when adopted, mirrored the soul of Indian Democracy on a healthy balance of ‘a process of checks and balances’ that its different wings exercise on each-other, notably the Indian Parliament, the Judiciary and the autonomous constitutional entities like the Election Commission (EC) or the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) or the Central Information Commission (CIC).
There are many other institutions and functional establishments including the law and order apparatus but most of them either can’t keep the politicians in check or have been efficiently co-opted by the political class.
And there are really very few institutions that still matter as the forces ‘still able’ to take on the political class and have the lethal edge by their Constitutional guarantee and the positive public perception about them and so are in the hit-list of the politicians.
Here, when we talk of the institutions, we need to keep in mind that it is about the people running those institutions and how they have undermined the sanctity and authority of the institutions provided by the Constitution and so of the Constitution itself.
The situation in the country, at the moment, is more or less ‘politicians Vs the rest of all’ where on one side are the institutions controlled, manipulated and co-opted by the politicians and on the opposing side are the few institutions where not all but still many people refuse to be co-opted by the political class.
The different functional wings of the Indian Democracy have no visible lines of demarcation. On one side, there is corruption and their promoters – the corrupt politicians and the bureaucrats.
On the other side are the institutions that are seen as ‘still’ viable option to get some Constitutional remedy, to the problems that owe their genesis in the systemic failure of the System called Indian Administration.
While the all-pervasive corruption has eaten into the credibility of almost every functional wing of Indian Democracy, its scale of imminence to cause a chronic and systemic problem varies.
As the majority of the politicians of the day have become synonymous with corruption, elitism and authoritarianism, the Indian Parliament has seen the maximum credibility erosion, and by the political developments in the country, the rot, at the moment, looks irreversible.
The rot in Indian Judiciary is also deep, but the activism and alertness of higher courts and Supreme Court has become a big relief point for the people oppressed from the political tyranny and from the chronic corruption in the lower courts.
On a more positive note, Constitutional bodies like the Election Commission, the Comptroller and the Auditor General or the Central Information Commission have performed exceedingly well in an atmosphere of political gloom and sociopolitical anarchy and so are being targeted increasingly by the politicians.
If the Indian Democracy is still surviving somehow it is because of the institutions like the higher courts or the EC or the CAG or the CIC.
And politicians look all set, hands-in-glove, to challenge the good work being done by the good people in these institutions.
Subverting the Democracy by negating the important decisions taken by the Supreme Court or the Constitutional bodies has been an old practice but in recent times, it has grown on an unprecedented scale.
In the last few months, the nation has seen the ugly display of corrupt politics when the politicians across the party-lines came together to make Constitutional amendments and legal changes to nullify the Supreme Court orders on reforms in ‘Representation of the People Act’ regulating the conduct of elections, to invalidate CIC’s ruling on keeping political parties under the Right to Information Act (RTI) or the demands to scuttle the EC’s efforts to regulate the electoral ecology of the country for a free and transparent way.
And the political brazenness says it’s just the beginning.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/
*“Why India is in imminent danger of disintegration?’ is a regular column on my blogging platforms to take a periodic look (say a weekly or a fortnightly or a monthly round-up of events depending on the factors in play) on political developments that are dangerous to the democratic health of the country and contribute to the process of social disintegration of the nation..”