Heading towards harakiri
Editorial

Heading towards harakiri

The land’s history of several centuries, both recorded by chroniclers and narrated in the epics as well as various ancient texts provides glimpses of its past glory raising thoughts in some circles of literati on whether India of our times regains its now-not-in-use name Bharatha Khanda in their lifetime. Their aspiring for that highly improbable makeover is well-taken, although it is dismissed as day-dreaming by the pessimists. The loss of substantial territory of Bharatha Khanda, with the birth of the countries in the neighbourhood of India might not have happened but for the apathy of past generations to be vigilant about the many invaders, two of whom are known to have done maximum damage to the past image of Bharatha. In this backdrop, one is prompted to ponder over many issues of the overall wellness of the country and its citizens that has gone brittle, thanks to the masses getting lost in the goings on to elect their law-makers, who are a law unto themselves.

Democracy in India, as it has made its seven-decade journey, has turned into a smokescreen to divert the attention of the masses from the churning in the nation’s bowels with no signs of turning India to even a semblance of Bharatha of yore.

The arithmetic of implementing the nation’s Representation of People Act, 1951 defies logic behind the elected members representing the people in a real sense. It is an act of Parliament of India for the conduct of election to the Houses of Parliament and to the Houses of Legislature of each State. It also spells out the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of those Houses, the corrupt practices and other offenses at or in connection with the elections as well as decisions of disputes arising out of or in connection with such elections. Given the usual two-third of the total number of eligible voters casting their votes and the one-third fraction of those votes deciding the political party (or combine of many parties) to the Government, one cannot be faulted to infer that the country’s law-makers are anything but representatives of people.

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While the factor of qualification is suspect, that of disqualification of the vote-seekers is there for all to be aware of. The tragedy is that the voters who are sensitive to the misdemeanour of the candidates seeking votes are a minuscule fraction of the total electorate. Sending politicos to represent them in the country’s Parliament ignoring their disqualifications is nothing short of committing harakiri (belly-cutting).

April 3, 2019

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