Democracy Under Threat - Eastern Mirror
Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Democracy Under Threat

By The Editorial Team Updated: Nov 06, 2017 11:59 pm

Democracy is not all about winning elections. Democracy means much more than majority rule. Democracy is not about grabbing power. Democracy means equal sharing of power.
But do our leaders and their respective political parties believe this very essence of democracy? Certainly not. If they happened to be believers of democracy, the idea of either to scrap or shorten the winter session of the Parliament wouldn’t have come to their minds as this idea is nothing but an attempt to undermine the role of Parliament in a democratic country. The idea clearly proves that our leaders and their respective political parties do not believe in parliamentary democracy apart from using elections as a weapon to grab power. Citing Gujrat Assembly elections as the reason behind such a thought stands as a testimony to this fact.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee on many occasions virtually rebuked our law-makers for disrupting the Parliament. A man with vast parliamentary experiences Mr. Mukherjee urged the parliamentarians to discuss and debate thoroughly before enacting a Law. The former President also reminded them about the responsibilities bestowed upon them by the people of the country. But it seems that all his good advices had fallen in to deaf ears because disruptions, adjournments are regular features of Indian Parliament these days. As a result important bills, even budget grants for various ministries passed the scrutiny of the Parliament without any debate or discussion. Frankly speaking, this is not a good sign for a democracy, especially in a diverse country like India which can be ruled only by equally sharing power to all sections of the society.
It cannot be denied that the importance of Indian Parliament is on the decline. Forget about disruptions which are often instigated by the Opposition, many a times even the treasury bench remains empty. At least 10 times during his three and half year tenure as the Leader of the House, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has scolded the ruling party MPs for their lacklustre attitude towards parliamentary duties. The Prime Minister even threatened not to make them party candidates in the next general elections. But even this threat has failed to energise the MPs to take the parliamentary works seriously. More, after coming to power, Mr. Modi initiated various programmes, including the Model Village scheme. Under this scheme each parliamentarian has to adopt a village within his or her constituency and should propose development projects worth Rs. Five crore to enhance infrastructure, basic amenities of the village. But after nearly four years, the Model Village scheme still remains a non-starter. Same is the fate of MPLAD scheme. After initial enthusiasm, the scheme is waiting for a natural death. Besides money spend under this scheme had often been misused. Majority of the fund were used for non-sustainable developments, rather than spending the funds for creating permanent assets. But time has now come those who grab power using democracy as tool that people of India are becoming more and more watchful. Now they want their representatives to deliver. By ignoring their duties as parliamentarians, they are simply inviting the wrath of the electorate. Thus they will not accept the move to scrap or curtail the winter session of the Parliament favourably.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Nov 06, 2017 11:59:41 pm
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