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Getting the government we deserve.

Events inside Parliament are slowly beginning to resemble the India that exists outside those august halls

IF WE usually get the government we deserve, what could the Indian populace possible have done to be punished with the current crop of space- wasters who call themselves our representatives? There is an answer to that: besides lying, cheating, bribing, stealing, enforcing patriarchy, defrauding tax authorities, being communal, casteist, racist ( and lazy) we, the Indian people, also made one very significant mistake -- voting these misfits into power.

Republics have always had one central tension built right into their organisational set- up: are our Members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies ' leaders'? Are we trusting them to make decisions for our betterment? Are we shifting to them the burden of charting a course for our nation? Or are our MPs and MLAs mere facsimiles for ourselves, sitting in Parliament only as a way of communicating the wishes and desires of the constituencies they represent? The former option requires our representatives to not simply bow to public opinion. It is why we have an age- limit, a security- deposit and a prohibition on convicts of serious crimes becoming candidates -- because our government isn't to simply be filled with those whom a majoritarian mob prefers. The latter is more true to democracy, because it assumes -- at all times -- that the will of the people is supreme.

In the early years of our republic, we were very clearly in the first camp: the Hindu Code laws and the zamindari abolition demonstrated our early leaders as representatives who made decisions for an Indian public that, if polled, would probably oppose the moves. Now we've clearly swung the other way, with the same situations common to our streets -- unruly brawls and pepper sprays -- being mimicked inside the august halls of Parliament.

There's only one problem with having MPs and MLAs who are truly responsive to the needs of those they represent: does the Indian polity actually have any idea what would be good for it?

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Feb 14, 2014
Words:351
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