Is the Centre losing Governance abilities?
The time has come for the Congress and its government at the Centre to seriously introspect and make course correction before it is too late. The agitations led by Anna Hazare and Baba Ram Dev have gained popular support essentially because the government and the party’s credibility is at its lowest. Both the party and the government are seen acting at cross-purposes. The blame is normally at the doorstep of the government while credit if any goes to the party. This is no way to govern this country and if the impression of the party and the government being at logger heads gains momentum, things will be worse than they are at present. Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev are symptoms of the problems, which exist within the Congress and the government. If the problems are not addressed, the ramifications will become visible in a not too distant future.
Late Akbar Allahabadi had once written,”Mujhe nafrat nahin thi angrez ki soorat se, agar nafrat thi to thi uski andaaze hakumat se” (I did not hate the faces of the British rulers but what I could not stand was the way of their governance). To this late Raj Narain in 1977 added, “Jab apno ki hakumat gavara ho na saki, to apno ki soorat se bhi mohabbat ho na saki” (When governance of own people was below mark, how could we love their faces).
My point is that if people are taking to streets and critcising the government or the Congress, it is because they are not happy with the way things stand. Rising prices, rampant corruption are both twin issues which are also inter related. The fight against corruption has to be fought by the government and the civil society together. But unfortunately, both are being seen on opposite sides. This vision correction has to be made very fast. The action of the government in bringing to book CWG and 2G scamsters is not enough as it is being seen as selective targeting. More powerful people whose names figure in various scams need to be scrutinized closely. And if needed they should be acted against.
I am a firm believer in our political system and feel that the only way to change laws is by taking the issues to Parliament. By debunking politicians we are not going to gain anything. Therefore we must take our elected representatives along and persuade them to have a relook at the laws that need to be reviewed. Going on the streets to put pressure on the government is a democratic right. But to demand that elected representatives become answerable to those who have no mandate is something, which needs to be debated more extensively.
I am neither against Anna Hazare or Baba Ramdev but they too need to realise that elected governments and assemblies are answerable to people and they cannot be superseded so far as decision making goes. Whatever changes need to happen must be within the parameters of the Constitution and the participation of the elected representatives. Others who are outside can put pressure on them to make them see their point of view but not overrule them. My argument is simple, in this game of numbers, those accountable to the people should certainly have a superior position than those who are unelected. Therefore if any drastic changes have to be made to our constitution it is going to be only through those elected and not by those who are unelected. The unelected have all the rights to express themselves but beyond that they cannot force their views on anyone. The Prime Minister is answerable to Parliament and Parliament to the people of India. That is what everyone has to understand.