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Did country dream of such a democracy?

  By Vijay Darda | 21-05-2018

Politics runs amok in the arena of power. Might becomes right! The common man is reduced to being a mute spectator!

This was bound to be the fate of Yeddyurappa, who tried to ride piggyback on the governor to occupy the chair of Karnataka chief minister! But just imagine what would have happened if he had got 15 days to prove majority! The democracy would have been squirming and Yeddyurappa would have occupied the chief ministerial gaddi with ease and aplomb! We should be thankful to the Supreme Court which facilitated the way for justice for democracy and the Constitution. The Bharatiya Janata Party collapsed in Karnataka like a house of cards!

But the moot question is why the Bharatiya Janata Party is so obsessed with power that it does not mind overturning the public mandate. The BJP bagged only 104 seats and the opposition (Congress 78 and JD(S) 37, BSP 1) got 116 seats. In spite of this, when the BJP formed the government, it was clear that it had complete faith in its ability to overturn the mandate in an unconstitutional manner! The entire country was watching this brazen drama of shamelessness enacted by BJP. Seeing this power hunger of the BJP, everybody was faced with the question as to what had happened to the party that never tired of boasting about bringing in righteousness and values in politics? Why is the BJP tinkering with democracy just to grab power? We should not forget that we are known as the world’s largest democracy and history is witness to the fact that India has given the gift of democracy to the world. As a country, we have the responsibility to strengthen democracy.

In the era of Licchavi kings, there used to be Councils just like we have Parliament at present. There were 7,707 members in the Central Council of Licchavi. Sessions of the Councils used to be held regularly like the current parliamentary sessions. There used to be threadbare discussion during the sessions but in case of no consensus on any issue, voting would take place. I am discussing the Licchavi Republic so that you can understand that the country which first taught the world the lessons of democracy and the Republic and after the long period of slavery adopted democracy, is today forced to witness a series of such disgraceful incidents that tarnish the name of our country and which is definitely dangerous for the health of democracy.

When our country attained independence, our leaders unanimously decided that the Indian governance system would be completely democratic in character. With great perseverance, the system of governance was given a definitive form. It goes without saying that those who shaped the system of governance must never have thought that the politics of this country would gradually become so selfish, covetous and greedy that it would try to subvert the Constitution and interpret it as per its whims and fancies! Our political leaders who gave us freedom assumed that honest and service-minded people like them would join politics but this has not happened. Someone has said rightly… Ilmo adab ke saare khajane gujar gaye. Kya khoob the woh log purane gujar gaye!

Over the time, politicians started to feel that this is a profession and therefore, why should they call it a service? That’s why power became important to them. They became so attached to power that they wanted to keep power with them at any cost. To achieve this dominance, they left no stone unturned to make the executive servile and submissive and they succeeded too! They got the executive to dance to their tunes! However, it has not been easy to rein in the judiciary, but our politicians have been trying to tame it too. We should be thankful to Justice Chelameswar and his colleagues who have taken courageous step to keep the Supreme Court free from any pressure. Otherwise, politicians always try to hold uncontrolled power!

Our Constitution shows a clear path to the rule of majority. Politicians always explore the loopholes in the Constitution. It is assumed that the posts of governor, Assembly speaker, Council chairman, Lok Sabha speaker and Rajya Sabha chairman are constitutional in nature, but the fact is that history is replete with instances of their political roles. It is equally true that not all are alike. I have seen in the Rajya Sabha the transparent working style of Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Krishan Kant ji, Kurien Sahab and Venkaiah Naidu. I have seen them rise above petty politics to protect the Constitution. But several contrary instances too have been seen. Most of the governors have cooperated with the government for dozens of times in order to justify the proverb: ‘Might is right’. Allegiance to one’s party is natural but the loyalty of those occupying the constitutional posts should not be to any party or leader but to the Constitution of the country and democratic traditions of the country. And those ruling the country should understand that the presence of a strong Opposition is very essential for a better democracy.

Before I conclude…

The news about the conquest of Everest by four tribal youths from Chandrapur district has thrilled me. My heart is filled with pride because these youths of my region have displayed exemplary courage and fortitude. Hearty congratulations to Umakant, Manisha, Kavidas and Pramesh, who conquered the Everest. These youngsters have become an inspiration for other youths. They have once again proved that if you have courage and passion, nothing is impossible!


In Karnataka, the governor mounted a direct attack on the Constitution and democracy. When the electoral arithmetic was unmistakable and it was known that the BJP did not have sufficient number of legislators, why did the governor administer Yeddyurappa the oath of office of chief minister? We should be thankful to the Supreme Court which safeguarded the Constitution and democracy.


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Did country dream of such a democracy?


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