LONG MARCH TO DEMOCRACY

PART DONE..PART WORK IN PROGRESS..

INDIAN DEMOCRACY..PART DONE..PART WORK IN PROGRESS

RAW CELLPHONE CLIP
NEW DELHI RAILWAY STATION – 16.09.2016

WE TALK ABOUT DEMOCRATIZING AIR FARES..BUT WHAT ABOUT THESE LONG QUEUES TO CATCH UNRESERVED, LOWEST CLASS SEATS IN OUR TRAINS FOR A JOURNEY OF 20 OR 40 HOURS?

IT IS NOT THAT PEOPLE GO FOR IT AS THIS IS THE CHEAPEST SEGMENT OF TRAIN TICKETS. THEY JUST CANNOT AFFORD EVEN THIS ONE!

AND THEY ARE A REGULAR FEATURE – BE IT DELHI OR MUMBAI OR KOLKATA!

THIS RANDOM CLIP HERE HAS CAPTURED A CONVERSATION A PERSON HAD WHILE SITTING IN THE AIR-CONDITIONED (HIGHER AC) COMPARTMENT OF ANOTHER TRAIN, A CONVERSATION THAT IS SYMBOLIC OF THE CHASM BETWEEN HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS IN OUR COUNTRY!

CONCERNS THAT TELL THE TALES!

LONG MARCH TO DEMOCRACY

©SantoshChaubey

LONG MARCH TO DEMOCRACY

PART DONE..PART WORK IN PROGRESS..

lmtd-1

lmtd-2

lmtd-3

INDIAN DEMOCRACY..PART DONE..PART WORK IN PROGRESS

CELLPHONE CLICKS
NEW DELHI RAILWAY STATION – 16.09.2016

WE TALK ABOUT DEMOCRATIZING AIR FARES..BUT WHAT ABOUT THESE LONG QUEUES TO CATCH UNRESERVED, LOWEST CLASS SEATS IN OUR TRAINS FOR A JOURNEY OF 20 OR 40 HOURS?

IT IS NOT THAT PEOPLE GO FOR IT AS THIS IS THE CHEAPEST SEGMENT OF TRAIN TICKETS. THEY JUST CANNOT AFFORD EVEN THIS ONE!

AND THEY ARE A REGULAR FEATURE – BE IT DELHI OR MUMBAI OR KOLKATA!

LONG MARCH TO DEMOCRACY

©SantoshChaubey

SYMPATHY FOR A JAILED LALU WILL HELP RJD RETURN TO POWER! WHY DEMOCRACY IN INDIA IS IN IMMINENT DANGER OF DISINTEGRATION?

October 2013

It was a day of justice when Lalu Yadav was, finally, jailed for his involvement in the multi-billion Rs. Fodder Scam of Bihar by a Ranchi court. The once undisputed king of Bihar politics and a central figure in the national politics is behind bars now.

But if we go by the post-sentencing analyses and if the words come out to be true, it sounds the ‘justice’ delivered was the villain and the convicted was the victim. It is worrying for Indian democracy. Let’s see what some of the headlines said:

Sympathy will help RJD regain power – The Pioneer

Arrest injects blood in RJD – The Telegraph

Jailed for five years in fodder scam, Lalu still a factor in Bihar

Lalu Prasad Yadav will bounce back: RJD leaders

Lalu’s traditional vote bank unlikely to erode

Fearing political loss, parties refuse comment on Lalu Prasad’s verdict

Lalu sent to jail: Chhapra seethes, Gopalganj sees conspiracy

Jailed Lalu Prasad’s aura still works for RJD

To write off Lalu as a politician would be a little premature

Ever since his debacles in elections, assembly and parliamentary, Lalu’s political obituary has been a matter of routine discussion. Okay, no one was writing him off in certain terms but certainly, no one was expecting a miraculous turnaround. And now we are talking of a turnaround, in windfall terms!

Bihar had become the worst place in India to live during the 15 years of Lalu-Rabri regime. Corruption, nepotism and Yadavs ruled Bihar with iron grip. This Fodder Scam is just one representative of what the Lalu-Rabri regime made of Bihar.

In spite of the strong caste and religious equations, if he was routed (in fact decimated by the poll ‘numbers’) in elections, it could easily be understood that the electorate, including his loyal votebank, recognized the corruption and the governance failure of his regime.

But now, if that votebank, many of which voted against Lalu on corruption and governance issues, go back to Lalu again just because they sympathise with him for he has been jailed, it would indeed be ridiculous and pathetic for the democratic health of Bihar and of country.

An analysis in The Telegraph says: What appears to have galvanised the RJD cadre is the “recognition” of an undercurrent of sympathy for Lalu — particularly among Yadav and Muslim voters — after the court sent him to jail. Contrary to the ruling JD(U) strategists’ calculation that the RJD flock would be up for grabs once their boss goes behind bars, Lalu’s party is increasingly getting united.

If it indeed happens, if the sentencing helps Lalu to reclaim the lost political ground, it would be yet another sad chapter in the history of India, already reeling under the political subversion by its ‘ruling’ masters.

17 years of court proceedings, many cover-ups, and the post-sentencing buzzword says Lalu may bounce back politically with this decision! Shouldn’t that be shocking?
What does it tell of the Indian populace? The rot is deep. Politicians work to deepen this rot.

Sympathy for being in jail! Sympathy for being convicted in a corruption case, even if more Fodder Scam cases are pending against him in courts at various stages!

Politicians exploit this irresponsible, impulsive behaviour of Indian voters. They do so because we act as their ‘more than willing’ partners when they do so.

*“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..”

https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/why-democracy-in-india-is-in-imminent-danger-of-disintegration/

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

POLITICIANS CLEAR ORDINANCE TO SHIELD TAINTED OF THEIR LOT: WHY DEMOCRACY IN INDIA IS IN IMMINENT DANGER OF DISINTEGRATION?

September 2013

July this year, in two landmark judgments, the Supreme Court had ruled that jailed persons could not contest elections and a convicted politician was to be immediately disqualified. It sent shockwaves in the political fraternity, for future of many politicians, many big names including existing members of legislative bodies, was in imminent danger. But they had a clear ray of hope, a certain way out of the abyss, in their political brethrens.

In August, the Rajya Sabha, the upper House of the Indian Parliament, unanimously passed a proposed amendment in the Representation of the People Act 1951 (RP) to negate a landmark Supreme Court order that could have brought fundamental (and desperately required) improvements in the conduct of the political class. But, somehow, the amendment act could not be passed in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament due to the sustained ‘political’ pandemonium, over this or that issue.

It had to come down to the Lok Sabha. It was supposed to be discussed by the enlightened wisdom of the political parties on the floor of the Lok Sabha. That was, once again, supposed to be a decorative sham, as it was their collective wisdom only that had it passed unanimously in the Rajya Sabha. Even the political furor over the ordinance route now is nothing more than a sham. Had it not been the case, the amendment bill could not have passed the Rajya Sabha hurdle.

The Winter Session of the Parliament (coming November-December) was supposed to be the time for the final execution in this episode of subversion of democratic values in India’s democratic evolution.

But, suddenly, within three weeks of the Monsoon session of the Parliament, the Congress led UPA government yesterday cleared an ordinance to shield the convicted of the political lot.

And it should not be surprising at all. What is surprising is it could not be passed in the Monsoon Session after all the political bonhomie. After all, all politicians are similar under the skin they had shown once again by ensuring the unanimous passage of the amendment act in the Rajya Sabha.

But its timing worries like most of the acts of the Indian political theatre. It is ominous for the democratic spirit of the country. The ‘fact’, that it was not unexpected or it is not surprising, makes its even more menacing.

Reports say the decision in a Fodder Scam case where Lalu Yadav is an accused is just one week away. Only last week, a court convicted Congress Rajya Sabha MP Rashid Masood in a corruption and sentencing is due.

Whether reasons like these played any role pushing the UPA government to bring an ordinance so early may be debatable but the intent is always clear – it was to undermine the guiding spirit of the Indian Constitution envisioned by its framers.

And if it is timed to work for reasons as reported, it shows how irresponsible the existing political class has become to the democratic values.

This frequent audacity, the recurrent brazenness of the political class to change or co-opt anything that is coming in its way is threatening the democratic structure of social weaving in the country.

The practice was always there but it has grown at a deafening pace in recent times. The ordinance to shield the convicted politicians is just yet another democratic casualty.

*“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..”
https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/why-democracy-in-india-is-in-imminent-danger-of-disintegration/

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

WE, THE INDIANS, BUT WHO ARE WE?

We are to be blamed. We cannot shirk the responsibility. And so we are rightly to be condemned.

But who are we?

Are we the idiots, the nonsensical stuff, who are tailor-made to remain so.

You may disagree but, logically, I am correct.

What else should we be when we, so foolishly, elect the set of corrupt and criminally tainted politicians year after year, election after election?

What else should we be when we blindly follow the godmen who defy every tenet of godly behaviour?

Who else could we be when we fail to identify what is good for us, what is bad for us, what is practical for us, and what is logical for us?

Who else could we be when we repeat the mistake, again and again, not learning from the innumerable chances that our mistakes, that our errors of judgement, that our misplaced sense of discretion, give us, again and again.

Politics is supposed to be the sociological function to shape and strengthen the democracy in a country like India. Politicians are supposed to be the elected custodians to serve the cause of the people to support the elements of democracy.

Religion is supposed to be the ideological, spiritual and social function that inculcates a discipline to follow life according to the norm in a society, a norm that intends to promote the humane values, the concept of ‘humanity first’.

But, both, politics and religion are creating effects, events and undercurrents in the society and in the country that are antithesis to these supposed functions.

Add to it the cancerous concoction of religion and politics. It completes the circle of exploitation, of democracy, in the name of democracy.

And we, the idiots, are source of this jeopardy.

We keep on electing leaders while they are in jails. We keep on voting them in power even if they are illiterate, have been incarcerated for their criminal attributes, have court cases piled up against them, and are even alleged of murdering other human beings. The proportion of such politicians in the political lot is increasing at a dominating rate.

We keep on following and worshipping babas, the godmen, like fanatics even if they are jailed for allegations like rape and murder, even if they throw tantrums like film celebrities, even if they defy the god the name of whom they use to sanctify their unholy godliness.

Yes, we are to be blamed. We cannot shirk the responsibility. And so we are rightly to be condemned for the predicament we are in, for the imminent threat the Indian democracy is in.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE (AMENDMENT AND VALIDATION) BILL, 2013: WHY DEMOCRACY IN INDIA IS IN IMMINENT DANGER OF DISINTEGRATION?

The Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013: Rajya Sabha, the upper House of the Indian Parliament, on August 27, unanimously passed a proposed amendment in the Representation of the People Act 1951 (RP) to negate a landmark Supreme Court order that could have brought fundamental (and desperately required) improvements in the conduct of the political class.

The Supreme Court decision united the whole political class in an unholy alliance to thwart the reform measure as they viewed it as something affecting the political career of many of their types, scores of the tainted politicians of the day.

Now, once approved from the Lok Sabha, the amended RP Act will be effective from July 10, 2013 and will negate the Supreme Court order passed on July 10, 2013 that said the people lodged in jails and convicted politicians could not contest elections. The Supreme Court, as per the RP Act, very logically had ruled that those who could not vote because of being in jails could not contest the polls either.

Let’s see what the sub-section (2) of the section (62) of the Representation of the People Act 1951 states:

62. Right to Vote. (2)No person shall vote at an election in any constituency if he is subject to any of the disqualifications referred to in section 16 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (43 of 1950). (From the Law Ministry website)

Section 16 of the Representation of the People Act 1950: (From the website of the PRS Legislative Research)

16. Disqualifications for registration in an electoral roll — (1) A person shall be disqualified for registration in an electoral roll if he—
(a) is not a citizen of India; or
(b) is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court; or
(c) is for the time being disqualified from voting under the provisions of any law relating to corrupt* * *practices and other offences in connection with elections

(2) The name of any person who becomes so disqualified after registration shall forthwith be struck off the electoral roll in which it is included:

[Provided that the name of any person struck off the electoral roll of a constituency by reason of a disqualification under clause (c) of sub-section (1) shall forthwith be re-instated in that roll if such disqualification is, during the period such roll is in force, removed under any law authorising such removal.]

With an ever increasing number of corrupt and criminal elements in Indian politics the authoritarian mentality in politicians saw it big threat coming, and in their usual style, amended the concerned section of the RP Act (sub-section (2) of section 62) on which the Supreme Court had based its decision. They did so even while they had already filed review petition in the apex court to review the decision.

The proposed amendment seeks to ‘subvert’ the provision of this section that disqualifies those in jails based on certain categories of unlawful behavior.

According to a Time of India report, “The Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013, which was passed by the House, seeks to add a proviso to sub-section (2) of section 62 of the RP Act to state that a person cannot cease to be a voter while in detention as h/his right is only temporarily suspended.”

It further said: “One of the amendments states that as the name of the jailed person continues to be on the electoral rolls, s/he also continues to be an elector and can file nomination for an election.”

Though, today, the Supreme Court rejected the review petition to review its decision on convicted politicians (while accepting the same for politicians lodged in jails), it cannot be the said the political authoritarianism would not act to subvert it further.

Now, once the amendment is approved (some Constitutional or legal expert can tell it better, but if we go by the possibility), anyone (read politicians or their affiliates) in jail would be able to contest elections, the way they have been doing, making mockery of the Constitution, manipulating the democracy and humiliating the primary stakeholders of this Republic, the voters.

What is worrying is the frequent audacity, the recurrent brazenness of the political class to change or co-opt anything that is coming in its way. The practice was always there but it has grown at a deafening pace in recent times. The Representation of the People Act is just yet another democratic casualty while our politicians enjoy a highly subsidized lifestyle.

Their opulence humiliates the poverty of India.

Such moves are effectively blocking the possibilities to reform the Indian democracy.

©/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..”
https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/why-democracy-in-india-is-in-imminent-danger-of-disintegration/

POLITICIANS VS THE REST OF ALL: WHY DEMOCRACY IN INDIA IS IN IMMINENT DANGER OF DISINTEGRATION?

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..”
https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/why-democracy-in-india-is-in-imminent-danger-of-disintegration/