We certainly today require that in the future we work towards giving INDIA better Governance with sound Administration for the People who have Voted them to power. This would be only possible with the backing of the strong EMERGING YOUTH whether it be URBAN OR RURAL. The new Government must fulfill the Aspirations of the People by giving a commitment for a better Social, Economic and Secure order. The Governments Fundamental duties would be focused towards the Betterment and Progress of the Citizens irrespective of Cast, Creed or Religion which is a very important responsibility both for the Central and the State Governments. We must remember that every Person in the Country is a HINDUSTANI FIRST then would come his Religion. It is also necessary to root out HIGHLY CORRUPT PRACTICES. All Indian’s cannot be made Prosperous by making other Indians Poverty Stricken.
Requirements For Good Governance
The People of India today are suffering due to some Anarchical Laws which have not been amended in Our Constitution which require revision. We are today confronted with a Constitution which came into being on 26th Jan 1950, after the Committee with Dr. B.R Ambedkar as Chairman prepared a Draft which was based on the situation prevailing then. Subsequently the report was discussed and was open for PUBLIC DISCUSSION and it took a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before the report was adapted and passed. It’s a long process even now and I recommend that Party Presidents / Vice Presidents start thinking today as to what Amendments may be required in the Constitution when they come to Power .It is for the People of India who once again have to decide whether after 62 years of Independence they still want to continue to follow what was applicable then or they desire a change? I strongly feel that we certainly require Amendments to be incorporated which concern vital issues which must be addressed appropriately and justify such Amendments in the New Parliament. All Parties Pre – Elections have promised to give the People better Governance and Administration with the help of the strong EMERGING YOUTH whether it be Urban or Rural and the Government commitments for a better Social and Economic order.
Formation of Government
This exercise will depend on the number of Seats that will be Won. It would be safe to assume that if a Single Party gets over 250 Seats – A Government will follow which would be fairly Independent and one would not be running around other smaller Parties who surely will demand their Pound of Flesh. Having tie- ups with Central, State and Civil Society level Parties would then have no such requirements, except when to pass a Bill the minimum required majority would be automatically available for the survival of the Government in Parliament.
It would also be prudent for Parliament to consider whether we require to have dozens of Parties canvassing through out the Country wasting Time and Effort instead of laying down three to four Parities only in the new Constitution which will be recognized to contest . In fact the present System also leads to highly CORRUPT PRACTICES and difficulty in management. As per the present norms the Party with largest majority would be called upon by the President of India to form the Government and if numbers are short the Party concerned would invariably start to hunt for Parliamentarians by promising them plum Ministerships. Would it not be apt for all Parties to also now lay down the percentage of Age Groups and Genders to be fielded in this Election? A good mix of 30% of women, 30% of Youth, 20% mix of Experienced Hands from the Civil Services, Army, Police and Corporate House Representatives. Over and above 10% Old and Experienced hands who have an unblemished record of Service in the Past. Politically or otherwise (they may be today even much over the Retiring age) but still would be able to recall History, Connect Past Experiences with the Present Situations, so that there is continuity of Thoughts and Action. The time has come to seriously consider whether India should SPUTNIK (Satellite first launched in Space 4 Oct, 1957 by the Soviet Union) or continue to SPUTTER (to make explosive sounds which are weak, varied and don’t make people feel confident) TAKE YOUR CHOICE.We must also not forget the time when the Country was being Governed by getting together Parties when in a short span of time 1996-97-98 we had to change three Prime Ministers. Where was the Party and where was the Good Governance? This is what Coalition Politics is, which ruins the Country !!! Let the People this time give an astounding Victory in the Polls ahead that will give India greater Stability and Growth in the years to come.
It appears that the Rights, of the Citizens today are being denied to them far too long, which could have a cascading effect on the Country, because of the prevailing conditions which could turn into a Revolution by the People. Some Rights being denied have to be identified such as the Right to Health, Shelter, Work, Medicine and 2 square meals a day and NOT 4 CHAPATIES. Many more Rights the People would identify for themselves because Parliament today appears to them to be ineffective. A new approach for a correction has therefore to be thought of. Mere Promises and giving Doles to the People, who are without any work may do us greater harm. THE GOVERNMENTS FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES are towards the betterment and progress of the Citizens irrespective of Cast, Creed or Religion which is a very important responsibility both for the Center and the States. The prevalent Parliamentary System only provides us an Unstable Government which has worked for Decades. Most of our Politicians precious time even today is spent on trying to survive and complete their Term!!! Do we realize that such kind of instability is NOT in the interest of any Nation nor does it encourage Development, but in fact it makes us Vulnerable and Weak? Are we going to continue and follow the Monarchical British System or will we make it more Vibrant with certain Amendments in our Constitution? It is sad that the level of CORRUPTION in today’s Government is the worst in the World. The Indian People in some cases have found themselves in situations where Justice has not been done to them and they have successfully fought the situations. We understand that all Indians cannot be made Prosperous by making others Indians Poverty Stricken. Why can’t the Constitution of Today be reviewed by the next Government in Power and prevent embarrassing situations in which we find ourselves in?
Politicians / Bureaucrats Pat themselves
Politicians by and large praise the present procedures being followed in Parliament, but certainly there are several analogies in implementation of a large number of Articles which glaringly require a re-look. While Good Governance of the Country must be Parliaments Prime Concern for the People of India, it is for both the Government and the Parliament to also ensure that the Contribution that they generate must further ensure the implementation of various Articles which are laid down in the Constitution, in order to help in further improving and developing the Economy which in the long run will improve the condition of the Masses. We must however today start with removing CORRUPTION AT THE TOP LEVEL. It is not that we do nothing useful but certainly we can do it in a much better manner which will meet the Aspirations of the Citizens as a whole. The Executive Mechanism also requires a lot of improvement and must show grit and determination and not sycophancy towards the Politicians.
The Country has so far managed to Defend its Sovereignty and Territory, thanks to the ARMED FORCES as also Lessons learnt which were given by our Great Leaders who showed Grit and Determination such as Sh. Vallabhbhai Patel, Sh. Lal Bahadur Shastri, Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Smt. Indira Gandhi. It is because of them that we stand today with our Heads high. The Law and Order situation perhaps is precarious and requires special attention, what with the Terrorists masquerading and attacking us day in and day out, as also our Police not being able to handle sensitive cases of Rape, Violence and Rioting which are being repeated everyday throughout the Country. It can also be discerned that the Political interference in the work of the Police is controlled more by Politics than by the Force as they are not being allowed to follow the Law. This is a serious flaw which must be put right and not repeated.
Money and Muscle Power
In Today’s Democracy the rule is to some how win the Election by the use of Money and Muscle Power and then with this Enormous Power go ahead to make more Money, with Mafia Don’s in tow. If we do not allot Tickets to tainted People, this will ensure that Criminals will not be privy to Grave Corruption by LOOTING the COUNTRY. In this game Big Business Houses will also have to play a Sterner Role. It is due to them, that today they are as much to Blame since they have also contributed to render the Constitutional arrangements irrelevant, and if we carry on with Political Parties accepting money from All Sources then the Politician surely also becomes obliged to the Fund-Givers. Once the Criminals and Large Corporates obtain a hold on the Leadership of Political Parties, they begin to create pressure on Law – Enforcing Agencies and dictate Policies. According to an estimate approximately 20 to 23% of our Representatives in Parliament have Criminal Records. I suggest that a Voter also is blameworthy for this State of Affairs as one fears for his life because of the Muscle Men, Police and the Politicians of the Area, and one soon begins to look forward for undue favors which spins money for the Corrupt. The situation becomes worse when the Candidate with a Criminal background wins the Election and becomes a Parliamentarian !!!!
The Election procedures have also to be made clear by each Party – in which no Individual can stand for Election if he or she is having a tainted past. No Candidate should have any FIR, cases pending, against them and such individuals must not be allowed to stand for Election. This is the Prime Requirement of the day and if we allow such Corrupt and Rouge People to fight Elections who profess that since they have not been finally convicted and sentenced so they are free to do what they want. AN IMMEDIATE AMENDMENT TO THIS MUST BE DEBATED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE COUNTRY AND IMPLEMENTED BY ALL PARTIES. The Supreme Court has already directed that Candidates with Criminal backgrounds must be debarred from fighting the Election. With some Amendments I am sure that this will prevail. It is also the duty of the Party itself NOT to nominate Candidates who have a tainted past for the forthcoming Elections.
Our Path Ahead
We certainly have deep-seated problems in many segments of the Indian Parliamentary System. Does the fault lie in its implementation? It appears that our Political and Electoral system has some what derailed, which has affected the Social, Economic , Moral and Administrative Fabric of the Country. It is clear that now the People (Electorate) must take it into their own hands to make the Politicians deliver the goods. How are we going to do it and what have we to do? People must be educated to understand that in the circumstances prevailing in our Country today, we must avoid Communalism, Casteism, Criminalization, Corruption, Money Power, Muscle Power and Mafia Power.
Supreme Court Directions to Election Commission
In 2002 the Supreme Court had directed the Election Commission in exercise of their Powers of Superintendence, Direction and Control of Elections of Parliament and State Legislatures, conferred on it by Article 324 of the Constitution as follows:
(a) Every candidate at the time of filing his nomination paper for any Election to the Council of States, House of the People, Legislative Council of the State, shall furnish full and complete information regarding CRIMINAL RECORD, FINANCIAL DETAILS and Educational qualifications etc. as specified by the Hon Court in an affidavit.
(b) The said Affidavit by each Candidate shall be duly sworn before a Magistrate of the First Class, Notary Public or a Commissioner of Oaths appointed by the High Court of the State Government.
(c) Non – Furnishing of the Affidavit by any Candidate shall be considered a violation of the Order of the Supreme Court and the nomination shall be liable for rejection by the Returning Officer at the time of scrutiny.
(d) Furnishing of any wrong or incomplete information or suppression of any material information by the Candidate in any other form the said Affidavit may also result in the rejection, apart from inviting penal consequences under the Indian Penal Code of furnishing wrong information or suppression of material fact.
(e) The information so furnished by each Candidate in the aforesaid Affidavit shall be disseminated by the respective Returning Officers by displaying a copy of the Affidavit on the notice board of his office and also by making the copies thereof available freely and liberally to all other Candidates and the Representatives of the Print and Election media.
(f) If any rival Candidate furnishes information to the contrary by means of duly sworn Affidavit, then such Affidavit of the rival candidate shall also be disseminated along with the Affidavit of the Candidate concerned. This was to make the Electoral process more fair, transparent, equitable and to reduce the distortions and evils that had crept into it.
The Supreme Court however delivered another judgment in 2003 upholding Lok Sata’s contention that Section 33 B was inserted in haste by an act of Parliament in the Representation of People ACT 1951 which violated the Peoples Fundamental Right to know, so that they can drive out Criminals from the fray by using their Right to ballot.
However, the key questions remains?
(a) How long can we keep the Criminals away from the arena of elections?
(b) What steps should be taken to ban the Criminal’s entry into the Political Arena ?
(c) Politicians must not resist the Voter’s right to know, but try and give it a meaning in a constructive way to protect Parliamentary Democracy.
(d) Each Party must not select or give a Ticket to an Aspirant who has a Tainted or Criminal background.
Under the Constitution the Commission also has Advisory Jurisdiction in the matter of Disqualification. They further have the Powers to disqualify persons found guilty of corrupt practices during Elections.
Voter’s Participation in the Democratic and Electoral processes which is integral to the successful running of any Democracy and the very basis of wholesome Democratic Elections. Recognizing this, the Election Commission of India, in 2009, formally even adopted a VOTER EDUCATION AND ELECTORAL PARTICIPATION PROGRAMME as an integral part of their Election Management. Would they not want to share as to the programmes that they run for Voter Education in the various States in India for the benefit of the People?
It is a well known fact that a number of Elected Representatives to Local Bodies, State Legislatures and even Parliament today are persons of unsavory reputation and, some of them hardened Criminals!!! You read and follow the TV Channels, even today, openly pointing fingers on such Characters, but does any Party take any Action against them? It appears that the Top Brass are totally Paralyzed, may be due to several reasons. The reason that strikes a COMMON MAN is that Government themselves are involved and please remember the famous words “People who stay in Glass Houses must not throw stones on others” You scratch my Back and I scratch Your!!
Recommendation’s for Political Parties to Follow
It is my well considered opinion that we must immediately get together to rid India of Parliamentarians who are publicly known to be involved in malpractices and Criminal Politics. While the constraints of the present Law permits Charge Sheeted Individuals (unless finally convicted) open to fight an Election without fear. There may be horrible charges such as Rape, Abetment of Funds, Indecent Behavior and Disgraceful Conduct against the individual but he still fights an Election – Win’s it- and continues with the same Crimes till the case is finally closed by a conviction of the Highest Court available in the Country. In our Courts, hundreds of cases are pending today but the Caravan moves on till Eternity.
As of today Members of various Cabinet Committees are mostly unaware of the Subjects on which decisions are to be taken by them. Committee Members must have some background to recommend and reject decisions. If this does not happen then surely the efficacy of an elected MP is required only to follow the Whip!! It is therefore necessary that MP’s who are allotted Tickets must have some Preliminary knowledge on some of the vast subjects that have to be tackled in Parliament if we want healthy and vibrant discussions in which correct decisions would emerge. Today the MP’s must be able to analyze various Political and Military situations which are current and which would have long range Security and Economic implications. It would appear that the Politicians and Executives do not today have the Knowledge or Courage to progress or pass them.
It is for us to now decide that in the initial stages a series of briefings and exposure must be given to Potential Candidates who desire to fight the Elections and are ASPIRANTS TO BECOME A WORTHY POLITICIAN. I would recommend that the procedure given below may be followed:
Achieving Good Governance
Every Party must immediately embody itself with its own Lok Pal/Lok Ayukat, (Election Watch Body) or a Watch Dog Committee which will ensure that a Criminal would not be allowed to fight for the Party. The Committee would consist of People of the Highest Integrity who would recommend the debarring of a Candidate for fighting Elections due to his Past Reputation or Conduct.
The presence of People with a Criminal Background in Parliament and Legislative Assembly’s directly affects the Democratic structure and working of our Country.
After selection of Candidates from various Constituencies the Party Watch Committee- must organize Training cum Information camp where each and every Candidate would be present, and discuss as to what would be his Duties as a Member of the Parliament / Assembly. Open discussions to learn and quantify one’s Duties and Behavior will be thoroughly discussed and simulated by the Participants.
It would also be a novel idea if the Aspirants for Tickets are taken to forward locations where Troops are deployed as also a day on Siachen Glacier to be followed by the visit Air Force and Navy bases which would give an idea to them as to what is required and how it can be achieved as long as we have strong Armed Forces which are ready to strike in case of necessity so as we can continue to think for Progress and Improvement of the Economy.
People’s Future Aspirations
• Devolution of Power to the People through the States under Federal Control
• Empowerment of Women
• Action on Corruption and Black Money
• Expert Professional Groups for analyzing special Subjects when required
• Personal Example by all Civil Servants and Politicians
• Liberate Families from Terror and Hunger
• Jobs for All
• Build Pride of One Nation One People
Are we not denying the People of India their basic rights of Good Governance. Today there is no transparency or accountability. The basic needs of the Citizen are not being met because of which they cannot live their life with Dignity. We today have to be responsive to the needs of the PEOPLE. The Bureaucrats of today and Ministers in the Cabinet are required to administer the Country as laid down in the Constitution. Even though Bureaucrats come through a competitive examination they are poor in Performance and the Training in Public Administration needs a lot of improvement.
The Political Masters in the Cabinet are the Representatives of the People and for them there are NO EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS OR EXPERIENCE prescribed. They automatically become Political Executives.
They are dominant and misuse their Power because of ignorance and chauvinism they show. The Politician of today however was never supposed to use his Political Dominance in Governance, which is clear because no qualification has ever been fixed for them, so we can forgive them today for their follies. It is now time that for the 2014 Elections criteria and character must be an essential quality for an individual to be able to fight Elections. It is not that we need M-Phil’s to contest Elections since I am sanguine that even a Farmer working in the fields would be an asset for a Political berth in the Assembly or Parliament since he is a master in what he does. Today the Bureaucracy has also been dominated by the Politicians, some out of fear and others because of sycophancy which they do not resist. They submit to the dominance because of which we are suffering. The creation of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukat at the State levels is essential. The main controversy is whether the Prime Minister would also come under the preview of the Lokpal or not. These are not severe problems but must be addressed by all Sections of Society. The Government is the Servant of the People and not their Master.
Further when Parliament is not in Session- what’s the urgency of passing an Ordinance and seeking the approval of the President of India. The requirement of this haste must be made PUBLIC by the Government. The President of India has rightly questioned the need of such an Ordinance. The President must reject the same if it entails the disqualification of certain tainted Members of Parliament.
The Principles laid down by Lord Nolan of UK which were accepted by the Supreme Court of India also, WHY ARE THEY NOT IMPLEMENTED SO FAR?
• Selflessness Take decisions solely in terms of the public interest.
• Integrity Not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organizations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
• Objectivity In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits.
• Accountability Be accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
• Openness Be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions they take. Give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
• Honesty Have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
• Leadership Promote and support these principles by leadership and personal example.