Amit Kushari IAS
Most Indians appear to be disappointed and dejected nowadays because of the situation in the country. Every evening when we sit before the T.V. to hear about the developments of the day, we get multiple shocks. Most of our political leaders are behaving in such an irresponsible way—it seems they are not answerable to anyone, neither to the people of India nor to the Parliament. Once the general elections are over and the Lok Sabha is in place, a bunch of leaders get all the autocratic powers to do whatever they may like to do with us and our lives. They may indulge in limitless corruption, they may loot the treasury and to recover the losses they could tax the common man in a whimsical way and could unleash a spiraling inflation in the country smashing our backbones. Whatever we might try to do these leaders are not going to vacate their chairs for full 5 years. Even if there is a cyclone of protests in the country our leaders will remain riveted to their chairs. They will not answer any of our questions and will maintain a weird silence.
At present the Government can be made to pay attention only by threatening them with a no confidence motion in parliament. The leaders are genuinely afraid of losing their chairs and so if there is a real threat to their chairs they will turn around and listen to the people. However, the Government has found out a novel way of dealing with this threat also by using the blackmailing authority of the CBI and other anti corruption wings of the Government. If you are in power and there is a real threat of a no confidence motion succeeding then all that you have to do is to call the leaders of two or three parties whom you suspect to be sympathisers of the no confidence motion — separately and one by one of course — and tell them politely that if they side with the no confidence motion and vote against the Government they will be sent to jail. If the leaders have cases with the CBI, they will be cowed down. However, this medicine will not work for upright honest leaders like Navin Patnaik, Mamata Bannerji, Dr. Raman Singh, Nitish Kumar and a few more like them. This is exactly the reason why Anna Hazare and his colleagues were doing satyagraha for taking out CBI and anti corruption wings from the control of the Government and placing them with the Lok Pal or the Lok Ayukt. This is also the reason why the present central Government was opposing this move obstinately. If they had agreed to this their Government would have fallen apart like a pack of cards and a dozen ministers would have gone to jail. Nowadays thanks to the RTI act many NGOs and social activists are coming to know about the secret despicable activities of the sons in law, daughters-in-law , nephews and nieces of political leaders and these are flashed to the ‘Aam Aadmi’ through the media. The Government is already repenting the passing of the RTI act. Because of this act the Government is facing daily humiliation and so many senior ministers are being made “benikaab” on the TV. This is also infuriating some of them so much that they are threatening vengeance on the social activists and the media.
In this scenario, I really wonder what the helpless common man can do. People do wish that the general elections should be hastened and they should not be compelled to wait till 2014 with this back breaking inflation weighing down their necks . But even if we vote in 2014 will it make any significant difference? Will the ‘aam admi’ in this failed democracy get any real relief? Another group of ‘looteras’ will replace the present group. Our condition will remain unchanged, perhaps.
Even then I think the ‘aam admi’ should make efforts by putting all their strength together to get some constitutional amendments made by the elected people. We must have general elections in this country every 4 years instead of 5 years. (The life of the J&K assembly has to be reduced from 6 to 4 years). This will ensure that our period and intensity of suffering is reduced and the elected people remain more sensitive to the feelings of the public. In USA the period is 4 years and the system is working well there. We have to compel the Government to let go its control over CBI and other anti- corruption bodies so that the fear of no confidence motion hangs like a real sword of Damocles over their heads. I do not know how this difficult task can be achieved. We need a very tall leader to bring in these changes – – – perhaps someone like Netaji Subhash or Mahatma Gandhi or Swami Vivekanand. Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal may be trying in their best capacity to do something, but their stature at present is not tall enough. We are thankful to them but I think,far greater strength would be required to move these huge mountains and obstacles.
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(The author is former Financial Commissioner)
Amit Kushari IAS