The three pillars of Democracy, namely (a) Legislature, (b) Executive and (c) Judiciary standing in a classical alignment are being exposed to the nation’s citizenry by the fourth pillar, namely Media. The time-honoured definition of Democracy as it stands on these pillars may have to include the nation’s people in a mass as the fifth pillar of Democracy, pending approval of this extended portrayal of the system by experts. Ironically, the first three pillars are neither stationary nor transfixed but are required to be acting for the government of the day to function. In any case, the fourth pillar, namely Media seems to be active 24×7 and the fifth pillar, the nation’s people, seem to be over-active, given the countless episodes of protests, demands, bandhs, outrage and violence in pursuit of causes, mercifully for the benefit of one section or the other in the population.
In physical terms, the three pillars of Democracy need to be of ideally identical in girth and height, in order to function in tandem even as they stand on level ground. In the current scenario, this most necessary condition doesn’t seem to have been met, given the just reported tug of war between the pillars, particularly between the Executive and the Judiciary.
An old not-often-cited Kannada idiom saying “Amidst the fighting between the parents, the child suffered starvation” befits the ongoing discord between the Union Government and the nation’s Apex Court in the backdrop of all-too-familiar tardy ways of the Executive in implementing the laws and the Judiciary issuing orders on various issues of public administration, their number having risen to the point of annoying both the Legislature and the Executive as being faithfully reported upon by the Media. The latest to happen is the news that the Union Government telling the Supreme Court not to make adverse observations against it (in all PIL matters).
The argument put forward from the Government side questioning the Apex Court, namely, the nation of 1.3 billion population is facing all sorts of problems doesn’t pass scrutiny. Also, citing the Court’s diktat on closing liquor shops near Highways as leading to huge job losses in laughable. In sum, the pillars owe it to the nation’s people to function in tandem and not at loggerheads.