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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Emergence of Anna Hazare – A Failure of Indian Democracy

As far as Indian Democracy is concerned, the space for civil society to draft a bill or become a part of framing a new rule is quite limited. Parliament or elected members are responsible for this job. Then, how Anna Hazare emerged as a civil society member and earned such a mass popularity. In this context, I would like to explain the weakness behind the so called greatest democracy that is being followed by India.


Representatives  elected with Fake Majority

When we discuss about Indian democracy, the elected representatives are holding the soul of representing the majority. Whether a representative is a member of Parliament, or Member of State legislative assemblies, all of them are elected after periodical election in their own constituencies. They may represent different parties, coalition, or independent in nature. Lets check the case of Constituency XXX, which is having a total population of 50000 people with voting rights. During the election five candidates A, B, C, D, and E gave nomination, and “A” declared as winner after the whole process .

Candidate A received 15000 votes, Candidate B received 12000 votes, Candidate C received 10000 votes, Candidate D received 7000 votes, Candidate E received 5000 and 1000 votes became black votes. At the end of the whole process, Candidate A declared as winner and he will become an active part in framing legislations.

Do you think, this is the real majority while representing people. Absolutely not. Winner, Candidate A  actually gained votes from thirty percent (30%) of the total population. Technically, this means that 70% of the population is not accepting his candidature. How can we consider this as a majority, in which 70% of the population is not voting in favor of Candidate A.

In a much broader sense, comparing the earned votes statistics, we can declare Candidate A as a winner. But is it appropriate to give the power for such a candidate to rule the country. Is it justifiable, when some member whose majority of his constituency are against his ideologies, allowed to frame a law, simply saying that he is representing the majority.

Stalemate in democracy

Recently, majority of people are willing to get the benefit of a strong Lokpal Bill, or any sort of  anti corruption bill. According to NAS, statistics, 82% of the urban population are direct victims of corruption. A Government doctor who is asking for bribe money from patients, himself pays money to an Income Tax officer, as a part of corruption, Corruption is that much deeply rooted in Indian society.

When Government tried to bring an Anti Corruption bill, certain suggestions came out which later turned to Jan Lokpal bill. The kind of peaceful protest conducted by Anna Hazare received whole hearted support from people because- now, people feel that they have elected wrong candidates. “Wrong candidates since Independence”.

People realize that there is no option to punish those who are real culprits. One Congress government will come to power and rule with 10 tainted ministers. After five years, another government will come to power, with yet another set of tainted ministers. A middle class citizen understood this special effect same like “Newton's first law” – Corruption can neither be created nor be destroyed but it can always be converted from one form to another.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction

What I will do If all the candidates in constituency are not acceptable by me. Where is the option for me if I want to convey a message to Indian democracy about the inefficiency of the candidates taking part in the election process in my constituency. In present situation, I have only three options as a solution.

  1. To vote for any one of those ineligible candidates
  2. To do bad vote
  3. Not to go for voting process

One solution to strengthen the democracy is implementing  “Negative Voting” as a fourth option during the election process.

If a contesting candidate receive certain number of “Negative Votes”, then he must be banned from legislative process or must be declared as unfit for election process in next  term.

If a candidate wins over the others, but still carries sacks of “Negative Votes”, then re election can be recommended.

Over a period of time, the impose of “negative votes” will generate crystal clear politicians. With all due optimism, I hope that there is no need to explain how this phenomenon will take place.


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