By Kamlesh Tripathi
Supreme Court has the done the right thing by keeping the corrupt executive and legislative out of the process of appointing judges. Some electronic media channels have also termed it as ‘Supreme Court’s judgement against the will of the people,’ rather I would call it ‘Supreme Court’s judgement against the will of the L&A,’ (legislative and elective) and not the people of India. Consequent to this, a spate of debates, have taken place in political circles, the print media and more vociferously in the electronic media, but sadly the general public is again a mute spectator in all of this. So from a voter’s perspective let me put forth some arterial points to which the big guns of the country may not be privy to.
Government and some political parties, (because now Congress like a chameleon has changed its colour) feel the traditional collegium system of judicial appointments is opaque, out-dated, and even has deficiencies. But, as a common man I feel this opacity and deficiency is hundred times better than the blatant corruption and callousness of the L&A. For over a period of time since independence the ‘trust deficit’ between the common man vis-a-vis the L&A has only increased and therefore, why would the common man trust the L&A when it comes to appointment of judges. In that manner Supreme Court has shown maturity by drawing a line and not allowing them to tamper with the process of justice, even if it happens to be appointment of judges. In a healthy democracy some amount of turf war is desirable between the L&A and the judiciary. The moment the executive takes over judiciary, it will become like the various inefficient police departments of India that wag their tails incessantly only in front of the political class without performing their actual duty, and where the concept of a world class policing doesn’t even exist.
Democracy is only good if it is played as a gentleman’s game, but unfortunately this game in India has now been completely taken over by the goondas, opportunists and cheats, where the few honest ones are not even visible; and there is a great risk that if judiciary too goes into their hands, nothing will be left in the common man’s hand.
Across all political parties a trait exists that as long as they are in the opposition they talk the common man’s language but when they attain power they show their real teeth. When BJP was not in power they used to talk about anti-vvip culture, but now all their guns are blazing to promote VVIPISM. They are now snooping in to net- neutrality and even dictating what to eat and what not to eat. They had never shown their real teeth before elections otherwise probably they wouldn’t have won. Congress is no different.
Even after 68 years of independence the entire political class could not produce another Gandhi or anyone close to him and that itself speaks of the hollowness in the character of politicians that sum up as political class. 65% of India’s population was born after 1970s and the political class that often keeps harping about high standards of values and morals could not even produce a modern day Gandhi as a role model for the youth of this country. Some could only see a glimpse of that in Anna Hazare.
In the past we have had politicians like Sanjay Gandhi who forcefully got people sterilised, and then you had Mrs Indira Gandhi who for her own personal benefit forced the state of emergency down every Indians throat, how very selfish. There have been riots where thousands of Sikhs were killed, lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits were thrown out of their homes, together with several Hindu-Muslim riots in which members of both communities have been killed and all of this happened at the subtle behest of the political parties that runs the L&A. So how will such people add any value in appointment of judges?
In India democracy is only for the day of the voting and thereafter the elected politician has no connect with his voters, election commission also doesn’t monitor this, and therefore he is a tiger for the next five years. They rarely meet their voters and are only surrounded by sycophants and coteries. Most of them are low on morals and are criminals and only believe in promoting their family. They also enact laws that suits the entire political class, without showing any morals or respect to the common man, such as keep contesting elections even if you have cases against you till the matter is finally decided by the highest court, going on foreign jaunts when the state is reeling under famine, increased VVIPISM, vote bank politics and the list is endless.
If the elected legislative wants NJAC, that does not mean the voters also want it. Elected legislative has only become an eye wash for people’s mandate. Elected members do not discuss issues of national importance or state importance with their voters back in their constituencies to take their mind. So it is wrong to say that in every important decision the will of the people is involved. Rather the elected member listens only to his party diktats which may or may not suit the voters of his constituency. Voters are supposed to vote as per their choice after ascertaining what the political Party has to offer through its manifesto. But in today’s India political parties don’t work as per their manifestos, rather some don’t even release their manifestos, some only release their vision documents, and some work totally against their manifestos. And the election commission has no check on them. In fact Supreme Court has issued guidelines on this but political parties have not responded.
If we allow the L&A to takeover the media and the judiciary there is a great risk of political class playing havoc with the general masses.
What is legislated in the parliament is necessarily not what the people of India want and what people of India want is often not legislated in the parliament or the state assemblies. This is because the elected members have lost connect with their voters. For example the entire India wants VVIPracism to be abolished but has the government tried to enact any legislation to abolish it? On the contrary VVIPISM is only growing in this country.
Amongst the four pillars of democracy the L&A has largely let the masses of India down and there is now only hope from the media and judiciary and in no manner should they allow the L&A to enter their turf in the interest of the masses.