Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Distorted Democracy

We may take pride in claiming that we are the largest democracy in the world. Any thought about the kind of democracy we are practising will be an antidote to that pride.

Some may claim that we are a democracy, plain and simple, since all citizens above the age of 18 have an equal voting right at the hustings. This is only superficially true. It is well known that voting rights are not freely and fairly exercised. We have what is called 3M Democracy at the time of elections. Money, muscle and moonshine (bootleg or hooch) play an invincible role in almost all constituencies.

Elections are only the starting point of democracy. With a false start, our subsequent journey is characterised by obnoxious inequality everywhere. If you are a Manmohan Singh or K.G.Balakrishnan or Dayanidhi Maran or Shashi Tharoor, law will never catch up with you, not to talk of justice.

Manmohan Singh is protected by the advocacy of 'Zero Loss' Kapil Sibal who would argue and the Supreme Court will agree that the culpability of a minister, that too a prime minister (also called Crime Minister in a most meaningful typo), cannot be a matter of judicial scrutiny because such a scrutiny will stymie executive decisions ! Therefore, Singh has immunity from any criminal investigation. He is more equal than others.

Petition against K.G.Balakrishnan was taken up by the Supreme Court only after his term in the Human Rights Commission was over. Why cause inconvenience to KGB for his petty offence of misuse of Chief Justiceship to amass wealth and to enable his relatives to do so? The Supreme Court recognises that a former brother judge is more equal than other citizens.

CBI may be accountable for investigating crimes. But it has no right to demand custodial investigation of Dayanidhi Maran because only common people need to be so investigated. Maran may steadfastly refuse to be truthful, he may influence the prosecution witnesses, but so what? Is he not a former minister? Is he not rich and powerful? How will the Supreme Court allow CBI to treat him like an ordinary citizen? Maran is more equal than others.

Shashi Tharoor may have been complicit in the murder of Sunanda Pushkar. How can the police be allowed to investigate this case with a free hand? Does not a minister, especially one who procured a U.N. assignment to Manmohan Singh's daughter, have a right not to be suspected even if the evidence is stark against him?

What democracy are we talking about? 

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