Friday, November 6, 2015

A Political Lesson for Intellectuals on India

I had to participate in Panchayat Election 2015 of U.P. State of India as a candidate for Membership of Block Development Committee (BDC), usually known as Kshetra Panchayat from my native village Khandoi in district Bulandshahr of the State. A person belonging to my village, but not living here normally, wanted to be elected by the people of the village unanimously for BDC without going to people for their votes. On his visits to the village, he used to provide belly-fill alcoholic liquor to drunkards of the village. In return, the drunkards declared their support to him in this misadventure and forced another candidate to surrender. As nobody had courage to confront the person and his drunkard supporters, I had to rise up and declared my candidature for the Membership of BDC to force an election. At this, that candidate left the field but engineered three more candidates for the position to oppose me.

Though people of the village are convinced of my honesty, uprightness, capability, etc needed for the position, but masses want much more than these. They wish to elect a person who would support them in fulfilling their right as well as wrong desires. I don't have those skills and temperament for getting mass-support for getting elected by the masses, hence I was alone when I declared my candidature. Later, few more persons joined me and supported me in getting votes of people, but each one with his own personal agenda. The result was obvious. I was defeated in the election by a large margin by another candidate who supports people even in their immoral actions.
But the effort didn't go in vain. I established through this election that an election could be fought on purely ideological lines without bribing voters in any way which I stuck to throughout the election process.
Second leg of the said Panchayat Elections is for the post of Village Chief (Pradhan) which is currently in process. The post is reserved for the most down-trodden sections of Indian people, called Scheduled Castes (SC). These castes have very few educated people and are often deficient in material resources. Therefore, capability of the person so elected is not a consideration but the idea is to provide a share of political power to the down-trodden classes of the society. Theoretically, the concept looks lucrative but suffers from many limitations of practical value.

Reservation Policy

Firstly, the reservation policy provides political authority to incapable persons providing massive opportunity to administrators to become autocratic, corrupt and inefficient. This is the worst cause for backwardness of India even after 68 years of India getting independence. This calls for not providing any reservation for political authority (posts in Governments including Panchayats) of the Nation  As far as uplifting of downtrodden classes is concerned, it can be served well through reservations in government employment opportunities only. For this, impairment of Governance and Administration of the Nation through reservations is proving counter-productive.
Secondly, reserved class people elected to political positions are often driven by their mean desires of getting rich quickly, hence such people are more corrupt than those of other classes further causing impairment to governance and administration of the Nation.
Thirdly, people of superior classes of the society often dominate over people of down-trodden people elected political positions making the former more autocratic and corrupt. Case of reservations for women for political positions provides a shameless view of how constitutionally elected functionaries of the Nation work through their veils and master-minded by their husbands and other relations.

Present Status

From the above case study, it is clear that since Intellectuals of India can't support illegitimate demands of masses, they never get massive support if they enter electoral politics. Hence, political authority of the Nation remains with mediocre populist politicians who often get involved in wrong activities for serving their vested interests which are anti-people and anti-Nation. With these politicians remaining unbridled, they have created an administrative set up in the country of the same type. With this happening in India since independence, it has been leading to formation of an Aristocratic political and Administrative hierarchy in the country usurping all the public resources of the Nation and exploiting helpless people of the country.

Intellectual Control on Politicians

Intellectuals can't determine who would capture political power in the country at any time. It depends on circumstantial factors and political manipulations of people by politicians contesting political elections. But this never means that Intellectuals have no role to play in Indian politics. They can certainly determine through their activism how politicians in power would behave. This would have a soothing impact on administrators too, who themselves are part and parcel of intellectual force of the Nation.
For purifying political scenario of the Nation, Intellectuals must not only keep their own eyes and ears open but also be eyes and ears of the Administration of the Nation for bringing erring politicians to book and putting illegitimate activities of politicians and administrators on record. Once such things are put on record, sooner or later the records have their impact on how the Nation is governed. 

Constitutional Amendments Needed

Truly speaking, present India is not being governed democratically for the simple reason of victorious candidates in an election are not ensured of having support of more than 50 percent people of their electors. A simple maximum number of votes needed for a candidate for winning an election is against spirit of Democracy. No matured Democracy of the World has been working on this basis. This has been the reason for casteism and regionalism playing dominant roles in politics of the country. This has been a serious flaw in the Constitution of India needing immediate attention and activism of Intellectuals of the Nation. The subject can't be left to politicians who have been keeping in power for this flaw of the Constitution.
Second amendment in the Constitution needed is abolition of all sorts of reservations in the Nation. During the last 68 years, the reservations provided their best whatever has been possible. Continuation of these serves vested interests of nasty politicians and mars efficiency in governance of the Nation.   

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