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Four Pillars of Democracy

Imagine a beautiful dome supported by four ornate pillars. If each pillar is enamored of its own beauty and wishes to enhance its ‘strength’ by cutting to size other pillars, how long will that beautiful dome last? Something similar is the situation today of India’s democracy and its four pillars.

The legislature – the Parliament, state legislatures – thinks it is supreme and no one should question its supremacy.  We all know about the quality of MPs and MLAs; an overwhelming number of them have criminal antecedents. They can shout, abuse, disrupt parliament and assembly proceedings, beat up and throw mikes at each other, but are protected by their privileges for actions – howsoever despicable these may be – done within the house.  Any criticism and you can be hauled for contempt of the house!

The executive also wants untrammeled powers and feels ‘parliament’ and the ‘courts’ , and even informed citizens using the RTI, are an ‘obstacle’ in its working. Any attempt to pin the executive down and point out its wrong doings can invite harsh retribution – FIRs, transfers, police raids, imprisonment and endless rounds of the courts even to get bail.

The courts are a law unto themselves. It is the only institution where the appointments are done in a hush-hush manner by a coterie (called collegium) and nobody, not even the President of India, has any authority to change their decisions. Contempt of court proceedings is there Brahmastra against any criticism. They are free to adjudicate on appointments made elsewhere, but if it is pointed out, for example, that a person being recommended for elevation to high court has sexual harassment complaint against him lodged by a fellow judicial officer, they cry: “Government Interference”.

Less said about the fourth pillar – the media – the better. It is completely sold out to its owners and their personal political ideologies. There is hardly any objective, impartial reportage of facts. News channels present views masquerading as news. They have their own armory to tackle critics – the weapon of mass destruction of reputation using the ever effective Goebbels strategy.

Our democracy is truly in peril! There is turmoil in most states; students, farmers, traders, minorities, majority community, Dalits, so called ‘higher castes’, all are angry. There is increasing distrust of the government, the politicians, the judiciary and the law and order machinery and so mobs take recourse to vigilante justice.  An increasing number of citizens are disillusioned with the kind of vote-bank democracy we have and feel that India needs some sort of ‘benevolent dictatorship’ for a few decades to stem the rot.

Concerned citizens who are not trapped in the subtle net of political ideologies, need to raise their voice to restore sanity and balance among these four pillars of democracy to save the country from impending mayhem.

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Welcome to my webpage

P L Dhar's Web Page

Welcome to my webpage !

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BLOGS

Mindfulness and bare attention

Open letter to the eminent writers who have returned their Sahitya Academy Awards

reflection-and-thinking-in-the-buddha-dhammaimage

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Welcome to my webpage

Welcome to my webpage !

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