The Congress in Karnataka won with a big majority and the Bharatiya Janata Party lost. Should we take this to mean that the people of Karnataka have voted against corruption and have not considered the Congress to be corrupt? Before this, elections were held in Tamil Nadu where the people voted for Jayalalitha against Karunanidhi. So should it also be taken that there too Karunanidhi’s corruption was more and Jayalalitha’s was less? In fact, wherever elections have been held, the people have gone in for a possible or likely option. In the coming elections, Andhra Pradesh is a challenge, because there the fight is between the Congress, Jagan Mohan Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu. Out of the three, perhaps there is more possibility of Jagan Mohan Reddy winning. Should it be taken to mean that Jagan Mohan Reddy is not corrupt, and the parties which will lose, such as Congress or Chandrababu Naidu, are more corrupt?
It is a strange situation that the people of India are so fed up with corruption, that in desperation, they votes against the incumbent party that had won earlier. The form that has developed in our democracy is amazing. In the form of options, the people have limited options. If there are two, three, four parties against whom there are charges of corruption, or which appear to be engaged or involved in corruption, then it is a compulsion for the voters to choose one or the other who is corrupt. At the time of elections, the people vote for a party which appears less corrupt, in the hope that perhaps the corruption will be less this time, but the surprising thing is that when it comes to corruption, after winning, the elected party seems to be engaged in a race to leave behind the previous party.
So is there a need to think again about the democracy? Should we assume that democracy allows only corrupt political parties to come forward or that the public in a democratic system just cannot become so sensible as to fight decisively against corruption? But let us suppose that if somewhere, the public does fight a decisive battle and wins, what, as a result, are the options before it? Today, there is only one option : that the public votes for any one among the political parties in the field, and if that political party indulges in corruption again and then fights again for re-election, vote for the previous political party that was in power or vote for such a political party which has indulged in less corruption, and then hope that it will not indulge in more corruption later on!
Why is the constitutional Constitution silent in this matter? Can the remedy for this be found in the book of the Constitution? On looking up the book of the Constitution, it can be learnt that it does not mention political parties anywhere. Then from where did the political parties come, because the Constitution says that there will be an Election Commission, which will have two functions. One, to scrutinise and verify the affidavits filled up by the candidates, and two, to conduct free and fair elections. Such being the case, the question arises, where did these political party then come from, because if the makers of the Constitution had a political system with political parties in mind, they would have clearly and specifically mentioned it in the Constitution. But in fact, it was not so, because the Constitution was formulated in accordance with the wishes of Mahatma Gandhi, in which representatives of the people going to the Lok Sabha was mentioned.
People have to think also because the system that is prevailing today is not the system made by the Constitution, but has been made by cheating the Constitution. If this system has to be changed, it will call for hard struggle, but without changing the prevailing system, no solution to the current problems can be seen. On one side there is the system, which wants to increase inflation, unemployment, and corruption, and on the other side are people who talk of change in the system, people who want to banish inflation, unemployment and corruption. A major, forceful collision between the two appears inevitable.
Come, let us relate how the Constitution was made. The Election Commission recommended the Representation of the People Act and it was passed by Parliament. In this way, under the Representation of the People Act political parties came into existence and they began functioning or working contrary to the interpretation of the Constitution. Working or functioning contrary to the spirit of the Constitution means that the party debates in Parliament according to the thinking of the party leader, and the party follows its policies when opposing or supporting anything in Parliament. The truth is that the people’s interest does not exist in any of this. In fact, what a political party thinks, they take that to be in the interests of the people. No attempt is ever made to find out from the public what it actually wants. On being asked, the reply from the political parties is that we come from the people, so we know what is in the interest of the people and what is not in their interest. But it’s a matter of regret! Political parties never disclose what is their method of eliciting or knowing public opinion. In fact, this process began 30 years ago. The links of political parties even with their own workers began to weaken. Today the situation is such that political parties do not listen to their workers, they do not give them an opportunity to come into the mainstream of politics. They use the workers only for holding aloft the flag or laying down or spreading mattresses on the ground, and now the situation is such that even this ‘work’ has been taken away from party workers or functionaries and is got done on contract. Some parties are even assigning ‘Manch’ (stage) management and meetings to event management companies and all work is being completed under a five star culture.
When political parties came into existence, they used language, caste and religion for winning elections. As a result, on the basis of language, caste and religion, discrimination began to take place in the country and some groups were formed. These groups were made less on the basis of economic interests and more on the basis of caste interests. Attempts were made to win the elections on the basis of religious symbols, but people were not to be seen anywhere in this entire process. Ultimately, when the political parties did not see much fulfillment from caste, religion and language, they adopted the method of directly tempting the voters. They began to make alcohol and money available in large measure to people. Gradually, a segment of the people, which goes to the polling booth, began to get seduced by these compelling temptations. In this way political parties began getting votes in different regions via different methods of seduction or temptation, but gradually democracy began to move away from the country.
In this dimension, corruption increased in volume, inflation, crime and unemployment increased, and in this dimension too, to resist and oppose the aforementioned, the number of Naxalites increased considerably. The Governments did one more amazing thing in a democracy. They stopped listening to the words of peaceful movements and gave the message to the people that if you become violent, indulge in arson or kidnap an IAS officer, what you want to say can be heard sooner. This message of the Government reached the public successfully. That is why groups which want to start a movement now decide in advance where they will block a road, where they will block the rail tracks, and where and who they will kidnap. The truth is that all these dangerous situations have taken birth from the zero, the emptiness cultivated by our political parties. The public no longer trusts or has confidence in political parties, neither do they consider elections a way to change the country or the direction, but instead they consider them to be a means of recreation as in some festival. In all these situations and conditions, if there has been any loss, then it has been to this country and its democracy.
If we now want to save this country from chaos and anarchy, violence and crime, we will have to return again to the basic principles of the Constitution, where the Constitution says that a representative of the people should be in Parliament, and when that representative of the people is from amongst them, that person will bring forward in the Lok Sabha matters related to his/her electoral area/region and also matters related to the country. Today, the situation is that what the party thinks, that same thing is put forward in the Lok Sabha. Now, there is a big issue, a big point to be decided by the people of this country : to change the country, should there be a state system or polity based on the Constitution ? Or, for running the country, should there be contrary to the steps suggested in the Constitution some system of the existing parties? People have to think also because the system that is prevailing today is not the system made by the Constitution, but it has been made by cheating the Constitution. If this system has to be changed, it will call for hard struggle, but without changing the prevailing system, no solution to the current problems can be seen. On one side there is the system, which wants to increase inflation, unemployment, and corruption, and on the other side are people who talk of change in the system, people who want to banish inflation, unemployment and corruption. A major, forceful collision between the two appears inevitable. Now it has to be seen how strong which side will prove to be and how weak which side will prove to be.