Have empty rituals become substitutes of principles on which our parliament and democratic system stands? Whom actually do our governments, any of them represent? Where did India stand in the comity of nations earlier and what is our role in international affairs now? These are few of the questions raised by former Union minister Jaswant Singh in his latest book .
"In each parliament session there is still a joint sitting, an address and a formal announcement of our government's programme but all sadly now not so inspiring. I am assailed by gnawing doubts about functioning of our parliament and about our democratic system," says veteran leader in the book in an article titled 'Irrelevance of Parliament and its MPs'.
"The audacity of opinion-Reflections, journeys and musings," by Amaryllis publications is the compilation of essays written by Jaswant Singh over the years on a broad spectrum of issues which he says, India has been facing in the past and which continue to exist even today.
At the function where the book was launched, Jaswant Singh however evaded the question about the recent session of parliament been stalled by his own party.
"Parliament in our theory is the custodian of liberties, a watch dog body over misgovernance, a check over the executive, infact its no longer so. " he said adding, " The theoretical system of 'checks and balances' has lost nearly all its balance, the only check there is with the government, a check of their own incompetence'.
Singh, who having served eight terms in Parliament has witnessed different phases of Indian politics during his career says, " There is a corresponding parliamentary myth that those of us who sit in the parliament as representatives of people, meaningfully influence the government's thinking." "If, as we all know, the ruling party is not able to do so, for reasons which are by now, obvious enough to the whole of the country, then how on earth is the Opposition expected to do that?" he asks.
Recalling the time when he penned down these articles, Singh says " I am greatly struck as to how these issues have remained constant over decades. Is it because we do not have the ability to change or we are comfortable with the disorder of the present."
According to Singh, "Democracy is the most unsatisfactory form of govt' until as Churchill as said 'You start examining others'".
"Unfortunately whenever we talk of a reform of the system, we rarely go further than suggesting, either alternative ways of counting these votes or of a different apportioning of the consequent seats in the legislature, or of actual system of governance, through which we wish to translate this people's will into executive action" he says.
The book includes essays on wide spectrum of issues touched by Singh in his writing over the years like Assam accord, terrorism in Punjab, the challenges of diplomacy, the politics of secularism, credibility stakes, PM's trip abroad and much more.
However the book is not just a compilation of serious and analytical pieces of writings by him but also pieces laced with wry humour like 'Sex and public life', 'Raid Raj', 'Bureaucrats and Bureaukrats', 'Rama-Ravan' elections, 'Brass tracks to Brass flaps' among others.
Singh who has authored twelve books including 'Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence' and 'A call to honour in service of emergent India says " In the very writing of all articles, is implicit arrogance. But there is yet another elemental quest, and not simply arrogance. The quest of finding answers to the challenge of our times which continue to trouble us even today."
Soffocated in democratic set-up after Independence and prior to it we (Jaswantsingh) were raaja (MOnarch) fully authorized for the generations to exploit with no accountability . The book is a shameful act of him . Still rural India remembering their atrocities during monarchy .
Democracy is of the stupid, by the stupid and for the stupid, any demagogue worth his salt can get elected and there is not much you can do about it. Think Kejriwal, he is on the way.
Some well known figure has said this, I forget his name: "Dictatorship is a ship which sometimes sinks, but Democracy is a raft, which does not sink, but always your feet is in water." The BJP had their chance, unfortunately, they muffed it like the Congress. Their "Indian Shining" with the media going overboard, fell flat on its face. The people were fed up, the way they are fed up now with the Congress' false propaganda about "aam aadmi" Mr Manmohan Singh and his Planning Commission while doing the IMF and the World Bank bidding, taking the International Rating Groups' views as Gospel Truth, are doing everything to push the "aam aadmi" out of existence! Both of these parties should be thrown into the dustbin of history, and a new government formed consisting of those who have honest and clear aims for the progress and the all inclusive upliftment of the people of this country. When our farmers commit suicide, when law enforcers commit heinous crimes, etc, it is time for change.
What a relief - this article is just a marketing gimmick - i thought it had something substantial to it - which would have been rather hazardous.
Democracy is for the people who are matured in mind & spirit. For them good conduct is only important whether in Public or Personal life. In India democracy has been hijacked by a few and Mrs Sonia Gandhi is one of those. We have Neta-ka-beta as Neta. Just see Akhlesh, Rahul, Omar, Kani....etc etc. How can anyone expect us to improve???
The democracy is stagnated by the govt., and by the opposition as well, because the govt., has been governing together with a great majority of members indulging huge corruption, stashing away black money, coal block, illegal land mining and trivial cases of CWG etc.thus, a plenty of scams. The govt., was being asked to explain by oppn. unfortunate, their queries have not yet been given a satisfactory reply by the govt., Such a critical circumstances of the stalemate of the parliament, the present govt., has no more power or any alternative option to overcome this juncture. What should have done in such a situation? there is nothing written in the constitution regarding the deadlock of the snare to untie! The solution is easy that to resign, the govt., as and when the govt´s side failed to convince the opposition and people representation. So, such a democracy cann´t go further in India asthe govt., is not ready to respond on their commitment and obligation to opposition & people too.
jaswant singh ......why are you cursing democracy for your frustations?...
In Bharat there was never democracy till Brits came , and Bharat was flourishing . After democracy was adopted , all we have got is corruption . As the saying goes every-bodies responsibility is nobody's responsibility = Democracy . Irresponsible form of Govt. In Monarcy atleast one person (The King )was responsible for the welfare of the citizen . In democracy MNCs rule by putting a puppet Govt . Moreover all the democracies are puppets under IMF , World Bank (which are owned by elite few) and anyone who doesn't obey them are wiped out ....something similar happened in Libya .
People who enjoyed the power for long during Monorchy in the name of Knowledge providers( Crooked of course)are feeling the heat of Democracy . After trying to manupulate the democracy in the name of Autonomous (Extra constitutional) bodies and after failing to leverage the religious emotions are now showing their tru colors and exhibiting their frustrations . Democracy is hard earned and will be there whether you like it or not . Proxi Rulers will never have another opportunity.That is for sure.
what kind of flourishment you are talking about?...before british came only interest of few were kept...the brahmins and few other upper caste were the sole beneficiery...are you not aware of the ills that were in the society...the untochability...Fooling masses in the name of god and religion for the benefit of our caste...was that not a corruption?...It is mere frustation on the part of brahmins and few uppercaste thakurs like jaswant singh...since democracy has taken away their special rights they are frustated and finds every opportunity to curse Democracy...the joker assem trivedi a brahmin again did the same thing...if jaswant singh is so much concerned then why he didn't ask his own party to sit in the parliament and debate?...don't blame Democracy for your frustations.