Democracy, Judiciary And Executive In Today’s India

Democracy means there should be  a  space  for  all opinion,  views  and  dissents.  Unfortunately  now  a  days  it  has  become  a  trend  and  fashion  to  brand  critics  of  the  Government  as  “ Anti  National”.  Anybody  who  disagree  with  the  decision  of  the  ruling  party  is  mercilessly  attacked  and  branded  as  Anti  National  and  condemned.  Recently  it  came  in  the  media  that  a  Group  of  retired IAS  Officers  have  formed  a  group  and  have  started  reacting  on  certain  controversial  decisions  taken by  the  Government  like  CAA /  NRC,  Farm  Bills, Love  Jihad Laws  etc.,  One  farmer  IOFS  Officer  who  retired as  DGOF / Chairman OFB  has  written  to  the  Government  to  not  corporatize  the  Ordnance  Factories  and  to reverse  its  decision.  It  is unfortunate  that  those  who  are  into  power  don’t  bother about  the  expert  opinions  especially  those  of  the  veterans  in  the  field.  Government  may  claim  that  it  is  not  duty  bound  to  listen  to  those  dissenting  views .  But  what  is  wrong  if  those  dissenting  views  and  opinions  are  subjected  to  consideration  and  discussion  within  the  Government.

What  is  happening in our  country?  If  anybody  criticises  a Government’s  decision  immediately  the  supporters  of  the  Government  starts  labelling  them  with  a  tag  as  “Anti  National” “Ultra Leftists” “Maoist” “Urban  Naxals”  and  so  on.  Is  this  going  to  help  the  Government  in  anyway. Ignoring  the  views,  comments,  opinion,  dissents  etc.,  is  resulting  only  in  more  and  more  revolt  resulting  in  agitations.  This  is  what  we  are  seeing  in  the  country.  Farmers  struggle  against  Farm  Laws, Workers  struggle  against  New  Labour  Codes,  Defence Employees  struggle  against  Corporatisation,  GOCO  Model  and  privatisation,  Public  sector  employees  struggle  against  privatisation,  Government  employees  struggle  against  New  Pension Scheme,  DA  Freeze,  injustice done  to  them  by  7th  CPC  and  Government,  struggle  of  insurance,  LIC  and  bank  employees  against  privatisation etc., are certain examples.

Government  is  not  coming  forward  to  listen   to  the  views  of  the affected  stake holders  and  accommodate  their  views  on  the  policy  decisions  taken  by  the  Government.  Ultimately  Courts  interfere  and  judgements  are given  which  further  aggravate  the  problems  instead  of  solving  them.  The  latest example  is  the  judgement  of  the  Supreme  Court  which  stayed  the  implementation  of  the  3  Farm  Laws passed by  the Parliament  by  ignoring  the dissents.  Constitutional  experts and  senior  lawyers  are  now  discussing about  the  “validity” “merit” and “demerit” of  the  judgements. I  am  not  a lawyer  to  enter that  area  and  comment  upon.  As  a common  man  and  as  a  Trade  Union  worker  I  am  only  concerned  about  the  spirit  of  this  Supreme  Court  Order.  The  Supreme  Court  has  viewed  the  case  as  an  agitation  and  how  to  diffuse the situation.  The  court  has not  gone  into  the  constitutionality of  the  laws or  the  genuine  concerns  of  the  farmers.  Supreme  court  has  ordered  the  constitution  of  a  four  member  committee  and  a  farmer  unions  have  rejected  this  special  committee.

The  Government  opposed  the  stay  and  the  farmers  opposed  the  special  committee. Supreme  court ordered  the  stay  of  the  operation  of  the  laws and  constituted  the  committee.  Who  has  got  relief  from  this  judgement.  The  farmers  are  demanding  for  withdrawal  of  the Farm  Laws.  The  farmers  are  already  told  that  all the four  members  of  the  committee  are  supporters  of  the  farm  laws  and  that  no  useful purpose  is  going  to  be  served.  BKU  National  President  Bhupinder  Singh  Mann, has  announced  that  he  do  not  want  to be  a  part  of  the  committee.  In his  letter  to  the  Supreme  Court  he wrote  “because  of  the  apprehensions  of  the  farmer  unions  and  the public  in  general  I  am  ready  to  sacrifice  any  position  given  to  me.  I  am  recusing  myself  from  the  committee  and  will always  stand  with  the  Farmers”.

Now  what  is  going to  happen? Whether  somebody  else  will be  nominated?  Whether  the  committee  will  be  a  starter  or  a  non  starter? Since  the  farmers  have  rejected  the  committee  what  the  Government  is  going to  do?  In  such  type  of  matters  which  affect  a  large  section  of  the  people  and  if  they  agitates  and  the  courts  will stay  the  implementation  of the  Government  decision and to  form  committees then what  is  the  role  of  the  Executives in  a  democracy? Yesterday  also  the  ninth  round  of  talks  between  farmers  unions  and  the  Centre  on  Friday  remained  inconclusive  and  decided  again  to meet  on  19th. The  farmers   however  reiterated  that  they  won’t end  their  protest  until  the  3  laws  are  withdrawn  fully.
Farmers  issues  are  not  the  only  issue  which  the people  of  the  country  are  confronting  with the  Government.  As  already  mentioned  workers  and  Trade  Unions  are  against  the  Anti  Labour  Labour Codes. The  Defence  employees  are  fighting  against  Corporatisation  of  Ordnance  Factories,  GOCO  Model  and  privatisation.  Government  employees,  Public  Sector  Employees  and  unemployed  youths  are  already  in  the  struggle  field.

In  a  democracy  in which  the  Executive  are  vested  with  the power  to  take  policy  decisions,  pass  laws  in  the  legislature  etc.,  the  Government  should  not  be  adamant,  should  not  act  by  only  listening  to  the  Corporate  houses  and  its  blind  supporters  and  take  decisions.  Democratic  values  and  ethics  demands wide  range  of  consultations,  discussions  in  a  cordial  atmosphere  and  give  importance  to  the  views  and  concerns  of  the  people  and  the  organisations  which oppose  the  decisions  of  the  Government.  There  is nothing wrong  in  repealing  the  farm  laws,  the  labour  codes,  Corporatisation  of  Ordnance  Factories, GOCO  model  and privatisation  in  defence,  privatisation  of  public  sector,  withdrawal  of  NPS  and  DA  freeze  etc.,  Repeal  the  unacceptable  decisions  taken  by  the  Government  and  start  negotiations /  discussions  with  all the  affected  parties  on  the  issues  mentioned  above,  develop  consensus  and  goodwill  amongst  the  people. This is what is expected from democratically elected sensible Government. Executives  cannot  escape  by  leaving  everything  to  Court  and  streets.

Views expressed here are those of  C. Srikumar, General Secretary of All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF)

Related Articles

Back to top button