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Democracy that banks on the electorate

Democracy that banks on the electorate

India's 18th Lok Sabha election process is set to kick off today. Submission of nominations in states including Kerala will begin on Thursday. It is not an exaggeration to say that this election is in a situation where democracy is thinning gradually towards extinction in India, which used to be the largest democratic country in the world. Every move of the leadership of the current ruling establishment seems to be taking the country towards dictatorship or fascist one-party rule. For that purpose, all the administrative systems are being misused making the Constitution a silent spectator. All the systems like legislatures, executive, judiciary, media etc. which are pillars of democracy have been evolved accordingly. This is not to forget the dire warnings from the Supreme Court or some High Courts. But that the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has come to the Rajya Sabha as a representative of the ruling party and the Calcutta High Court judge took off his judicial robe to become the Lok Sabha candidate of the same party are just recent examples. When a former judge who became a candidate the day after his resignation praised Godse, clarifying his political and social views, the country could only be shocked to think that the judgments he had issued for so long were formed from this conviction. At the same time, those who convince others that they are with the ruling system continue to be tempted by being given positions and power dangled before them.

Although it is true that many manipulations such as booth capturing, fake votes, paid votes etc. are staged in the elections in India, there has never been a situation where there is so much doubt and concern about the independence of the Election Commission and the transparency of the process. It was because of the transparency of the election that the ruler who controlled the country through the state of emergency by imposing media censorship and imprisoning the opposition leaders was swept away in the verdict of the people. But the political climate in the country today makes even the biggest optimists wonder if such transparency is possible now. Government actions focused on the single goal of grabbing power by any means undermines the very concept of democracy. Every step taken by the government like Election commission appointments, raid by the ED and Income Tax departments in various states, arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal, freezing of Congress funds is under the iron boot of totalitarianism. The ruling party has already set the law-making bodies in a state of servility and quietened the voices of the opponents. 98% of the media is owned by monopolies that are cronies of the government. Those who are not ready to sing praises are repressed with trials and cases. Earlier, the appointment of Election Commission members was done by a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice was removed from the committee by a controversial new law several months ago and a minister nominated by the Prime Minister takes the place of the Chief Justice. With this, the appointment process became completely in line with the wishes of the Prime Minister. The commissioners who will officiate this election have been appointed in this method.

By normal practice, once elections are declared and the code of conduct comes into effect, generally there would not be any vindictive actions. However, what has been going on for the past few days is completely anti-democratic. The opposition parties, leaders and Chief Ministers are strangled by the official machinery to silence them and pave the way for one-sided victory. Arvind Kejriwal is the second Chief Minister to be issued an arrest warrant in a matter of weeks. Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soran was the first. Preparations are underway to implicate Lok Sabha candidate and former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel. The fresh reports suggest that the Chief Minister of Kerala is also being targeted. There is no doubt that the root cause of the action is that all of them are on the anti-BJP front. There is no dispute that rulers should be brought before the law if they have erred. But what is not clear is the phenomenon where only the opposition parties become corrupt and the central ruling party and defectors to that camp are sanctified. Apart from all this, there is another question as to how the billions of rupees deposited in the party's coffers through election bonds will be used in this matter. There are reports that this money was spent indiscriminately to subvert the elected democracy in various states. In spite of the shadow of so much anxiety and worry, there is no need to assume that all is lost. During the Emergency, it was the common people of the country who belied their misplaced concerns and brought India back to democracy by resisting tyranny. Similarly, the country is putting hopes in people's resistance and their vigilance.

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TAGS:Election CommissionEditorialLok Sabha Elections 2024ED and IT department
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