Understand the logic of the democracy of the poor, before ruining the ‘free ki ravadis’

I got an email from an old friend in Assam. It is written: ‘Can we resort to the intervention of the court to stop the annual flood caused by the floods?’ There is some hesitation in writing to a friend, as if he were unable to make up any firm mind about the court and its decision. People and gardens ask me these questions every day, but there is no hesitation or doubt in their minds.

Be it the Agniveer scheme, wheat export or wheat export ban or anything like that, the questioners are sure that once Prashant Bhushan will file an application against these things and will approach the court. This country will save itself by paying so many taxes. Most of these things are close to my heart, but the way to solve the problem or its solution is through the law, why people think like that, I don’t understand. Forwarding a few such requests every week, I say to myself with a sigh of relief, if friendship is with Prashant Bhushan, this is the price you will have to pay!

There are certain types of these requests. They are related to my friends who want to reform Indian politics through legal intervention. From the 1960s to the 1980s, in the spirit of reform it was said that the “winner of the most votes” system in elections should be replaced by a “representative in proportion to the number of votes” system. When the Election Commission under the leadership of TN Seshan nurtured this reform sentiment and the issue of reforms became prominent in the elections, these demands gained even more thrust, such as: Preventing non-serious candidates from joining the electoral race. be somehow that the mandate is not broken, criminals and corrupt politicians should be banned from standing for election. In this list of demands, one thing or the other is added every day, such as: ban on issuing caste or communal angle resources in elections, make it legal for parties to fulfill the promises made in the elections, go , etc.

Whenever I hear about these deals, I remember the joke about how a man was trying to find his lost key under the lamppost. They asked him, “Where did you leave the key?” In response, the man pointed to a distant dark corner. “But then why are you looking here under the lamppost?” “Because here is the light” was the man’s innocent reply. Those who look for legal, judicial or institutional solutions to the evils of politics are as innocent as the same man who looks for the key under the lamppost. In other words, the situation is even worse because most attempts to intervene in democracy give priority to the concerns of the elite over the needs and aspirations of the common man.

Not so long ago, in 1996, I wrote a scathing article on the subject of electoral reform entitled ‘Beyond the middle-class fantasy’ (see Seminar, no. 440, April 1996). Everything remained the same, nothing changed, however, after the publication of the article, the sympathy of some friends was definitely lost. Later, in more moderate language, he wrote a longer article in which he mentioned ‘Political Reforms – What, Why and How’. But those who want to find the final solution to all the ills of the country’s politics in some law or judicial intervention, their enthusiasm remained, there was not a single difference of opinion.

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