Autocracy in Democracy
Editorial

Autocracy in Democracy

Leaders of the land’s political parties, both national and regional, have smeared themselves in black by not conducting themselves in a manner that behoves democratically elected representatives to the nation’s highest law-making body, the Parliament. The entire three-week session for debating and deciding on many important bills and also the nation’s budget proposal for 2018-19 witnessed a logjam only for the second time in the history of India’s seven-decade young Parliament, the previous occasion being some two decades ago. The members of the opposition parties in the august body didn’t find it unbecoming of them in their chosen path of raising high-decibel voice by rushing into the Well of the House in a blatant show of disrespect to its presiding Chairperson in spite of repeated appeals not to disrupt the proceedings of the House. In a certain sense, the country’s Parliament witnessed autocracy of the opposition by staging a bandh.

The most important feature of a democracy, according to the knowledgeable fraternity, is to express dissent for whatever stand the government of the day takes on any matter, but by taking part in debates on issues conforming to order and decency of expressing views. Show of anger by raising anti-government slogans in high decibel voice has no place in Parliamentary democracy.

Every time the Election Commission of India announces the schedule of events connected with polls in the country, the leaders of political parties of all hues and their followers, most of them hired for the occasion lose no time in their customary acts of violating the diktats under the model code of conduct, their various unlawful acts being common knowledge among people across all sections of society. One of the most unacceptable actions by one or the other political parties frequently resorted to is the call for bandh (halt to life of people unlike in normal days). The forces that hold the land’s public to ransom by calling for bandh don’t have the elementary sense of courtesy to their fellow citizens who take the brunt of hardship burdened on them for no fault of theirs.

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In a welcome move, the Karnataka High Court has directed the Karnataka Government to keep the law-monitoring body informed about the steps the Government has taken during bandhs so that public are not affected. The passive attitude of public towards the acts of bandhwalas is their strength of autocracy in our democracy.

April 13, 2018

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