The battle for democracy

Brij Bhardwaj
In a polarised world wild allegations are made by both sides and this is happening in India before elections to be held in 2024 to decide who will govern India for another term. Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi get another term or opposition parties will combine to create an upset? The debate at present is going on about issues which have nothing to do with election outcome. The opposition is making a case that Union Government is misusing Central agencies like CBI and enforcement directorate to target opposition leaders while ruling party claims that opposition leaders are not prepared for an honest probe into their misdeeds.
To start with, it needs to be made clear that if opposition parties feel that cases lodged against them are false, they have the option of approaching courts to get justice. Both sides have so far not charged judiciary of being either biased or under the control of the Government. Same holds good for ruling party in case opposition leaders were guilty of any wrong doing they should be prosecuted and convicted by Courts instead on TV debates.
But both sides will have to accept that in India it is the voters who decide who is to rule and who is right. The right to vote to elect Government or free speech which is essence of democracy have not been taken away or restricted. The final call who is right and who is wrong will have to be taken by voters. It should also be accepted that Indian electorate has shown repeatedly that they are capable of taking independent decision and are not swayed either by money power or propaganda.
For instance in 1975 we witnessed after emergency when elections were called the ruling party suffered a defeat though they held all cards like money power and election machinery. Subsequently Congress was able to come back to power because opposition leaders were unable to deliver. We saw another side of coin when everything seemed to be working for BJP with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister and they went for poll with slogan of India shining but lost. Congress with Dr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister got two terms, but lost badly in 2014 because of series of scandals.
The present Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after winning Lok Sabha poll lost State elections in key States of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka. Prime Minister campaigned for a long time in West Bengal but BJP lost and Mamata Banerjee became the Chief Minister. So outcome of current controversies will come automatically when voters give there verdict in the coming elections to State Assemblies and elections in 2024 for Lok Sabha.
Is Central Government misusing Central agencies ? Are opposition leaders really corrupt? Answers to these questions will be given by voters. Indian democracy is alive and kicking as long as verdict of voters is respected and electoral verdict leads to change of Government. There should be no questions. The courts continue to function independently and judicial orders are respected. Working of media alone can not decide if India is a democracy or not. Our media submitted during emergency with few exceptions and may do so again.
The battle for democracy will be fought in streets and corners of our cities and villages where our voters turn up in large numbers to vote. Which other country can boast of voting in elections of eighty and ninety per cent? India has an impressive record of holding free and fair polls. Many countries that became free at same time came under army rule, but India remained a democracy…
. Both sides need to work to win over voters instead of bothering about future of democracy. Indian constitution, judiciary and our electorate will take care of democracy.