Friday, April 13, 2007

Is the Democracy in India, a True Democracy?

In spite of some differences of varying extent in the association or separation, one fact that remains true about the governance set up in a democracy, that there are 3 basic functions of the State and these are Legislation, execution and judicature. There are 3 arms of state in a democracy, which performs these functions in – legislature legislates, executive executes and judiciary decides the legality within the ambit of laws made by legislature. The legislature makes the laws because it represents the will of the people. People elect their representatives in the elections and send the winners to the parliaments to protect their interests, on their behalf. Thus works the democracy. However, do the legislatures truly represent the people who mandate them? Theoretically yes, but on ground, the answer is a big no.

How can a person, whom I don't meet for the whole term of legislature said to be representing my aspirations? I would say that representing the aspirations of a few crores of voters is just not possible for a single member of parliament, more so in a highly stratified and fractured society like India. Further, here the system is 'first past the post' – he who gets highest number of votes, wins. So you can have a candidate garnering even 20 percent of votes and winning the election. Actually, had there been an option of 'None of the Above' in the voting list, I am sure that those who mark on this option would have been highest in number. Further do the interests of the representative as a politician, align with his interests as a legislature? Or, do they even align with my interests as a voter? A politician would certainly be a election oriented person, because there are no rewards for remaining politician. The returns, however, pour cats and dogs, once you win the election. Further, the unmanageable number of voters in a constituency means that rather than doing the hard work of winning heart of each voter, I would rather use the short cuts to win the elections. Here, the aspirations of people and representative nature of polity – both are compromised.

Now, if this is the situation, then why citizens should be bound by the laws made by a parliament which is not representative in true sense of the term?

What can be the solution to this issue?

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