India May Have To Pay A Heavy Price : Democratic Institutions Being Injured

Attention is again focused on the issue of FDI in retail. This is a matter on which a national consensus should have been evolved before the Government announced the policy. In fact,  in earlier Parliament sessions the Government had promised not to implement it without consensus. Suddenly the Government has changed its mind and announced the policy leading to the Opposition parties getting together to object to it. It is not a good trend. For whatever time is left for this Lok Sabha, if the Government wants to really function in a proper manner, it should reach out to the Opposition parties and have a minimum understanding so that the House can proceed. In fact, if a few more sessions of Parliament run without transacting any business, we will be in deep danger. Dictatorships don’t come into countries without reason. Dictatorships come when democracy cannot deliver the result. What is happening today is all institutions of democracy are being injured. The press has become another tool for the Government to harass the citizens. The judiciary intervenes, but it can’t intervene in every matter and every policy of the Government. The real custodian of the Government or the people is Parliament and the Government elected by Parliament. If a Government fails in its duty, it will be a sad day and we are seeing now such a phenomenon happening. The Government is rejecting all CAG reports and even if a small development takes place it starts mocking the CAG or making fun of the CAG. The Government does not understand the game here. The Auditors are not going to fight elections under the Government next time. So it is not a match between the CAG and the Government. It is the Government which has to face the people, it is the politicians who have to face the people and the funny part is, one Minister said we are thinking of making CAG into a multi member institution. He was probably thinking of  the Election Commission. But the trouble is they don’t read the Constitution before rushing to the press. The Minister concerned has obviously not read the Constitution. Unlike the Election Commission in which the Constitution provides for a multi member body, in the case of CAG, there is no such provision. Article 148, under which the CAG has been provided powers in the Constitution does not provide for any other people, there is one CAG and he has to do his job. The removal cannot be done except in the manner in which the Supreme Court judge is removed. That is the importance the Constitution makers have given to the CAG. And now all Ministers want to dilute it as if the CAG is some Minister of the Government who can be changed by the Prime Minister. This tendency must stop. It is not an issue of which Government is in power or what is going to happen. The main issue is whether we want democracy to survive. Once we are no longer sceptical of emergency we are on the brink of going into an abyss. Let us not repeat our mistakes. If this Government without declaring an emergency keeps on diluting all these institutions, we will be in serious trouble after a few years. We cannot afford that. The denigration of institutions must stop. The Prime Minister must intervene and tell the Ministers to do the job for which they have been appointed and there is a lot of work to be done. It was not their job to call schemes foolish, to invent shallow arguments with the CAG, that everything that the CAG has pointed out is incorrect. The argument is not whether someone has taken 1,76,000 or 1 lakh crores. The issue is that what you have done is not correct, it is not as per the procedure. You have favoured a few people, some Ministers are lining their pockets. All this is not good for democracy. If you want a just civil society,  you must act against all these practices. If you want the civil society to understand, you must also improve your conduct. You can’t go on very brazenly arguing, insulting, mocking the CAG  as if the Government will be the Mughal Badshah whom nobody can challenge. If this tendency is not taken care of, the country will have to pay a heavy price.

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