Pow – Wow
“Change, we believe and change, we can”
The day was 7th November 2012. A nation chose to give a second chance to a man. A leader who has led them through one of the toughest times in their modern history. He has had his share of critics. Yet the people gave him a second chance. It was a neck to neck battle. All the pre-poll analysis were tied. Yet President Obama triumphed.
So what is our fascination with leaders? Right from the birth of humanity, we have always looked upto someone who could guide us. That gave birth of religions and saints. On a closer level, when we had to cope up with our daily life struggle, we needed someone to lead us upfront. It can be anyone – our parents at home, our boss or even political leaders as PM, Presidents etc. What is it that makes some people inborn leaders?
We have experimented with various forms of government – monarchy, oligarchy, plutocracy, theocracy, democracy and so on. But have we found the right one? Can we rightly say that democracy as we are following now is perfect? I’m afraid not. Various happenings in recent times point out that though democracy is one of the better schemes of governance, it is not the perfect one. Let’s analyse this closely.
Imagine we have a general election to determine the Union Government. So, here I am making up my mind on whom to vote. Both the prominent national parties, say A & B have declared their Prime Ministerial candidates. I must say that I prefer the person nominated by party ‘A’ to be the Prime Minister. But what complicates the situation is this: Parties ‘A’ and ‘B’ have given tickets to Mr. X and Mr. Y to contest the elections in my constituency. I know for a fact that Mr. X would not do anything to improve the welfare of my constituency and he has a few cases pending against him. But Mr. Y is clean and supposedly good-natured. So, if I want a Prime Ministerial candidate from party ‘A’ who I actually favour, I am forced to vote for Mr. X but this person X would not help the day-to-day functioning of my constituency. This is where my dilemma lies. And I think that this is one of the short-comings of our present democratic process.
Moreover, we have a system of governance where President is the head of the state but Prime Minister is the head of the government. By this, we have reduced the post of the President to be more of ceremonial significance. The reason given is this: The power of a person who is directly elected by the people is far greater than a person chosen through their representatives. Seems fine? But just think, do you actually think that the Prime Minister is directly elected by the people. We elect a party to power and the party determines who the Prime Minister is. So, where is the actual participation and the choice of the people?
In many countries, we have a single person as the head of the state and the head of the government. Say the United States of America. The President is both the head of the state as well as the head of the government. So there is a real centre of power.
So, what can be done? If my opinion does mean anything, I propose a solution:
One, we can have a Presidential form of government where the President is the head of the state with powers. The Prime Minister is the head of the government with the task of co-ordinating the various ministries. What I plan to say is: during the general elections, the political parties nominate a person for the post of PM and another person for the post of the President. When voting, I have to make two separate selections. The first section is to vote for the person to become the President. The second section is to vote for a party to lead the government. So, I have the option of selecting the best possible person to be my head of the state as President. And I can choose someone who works for the welfare of my constituency; ensuring that my vote does not affect my choice for the head of the State. In this case, the President is not reduced to be of mere ceremonial significance. He has wide range of powers. Also, the Parliament is supreme to the President, Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers. This enforces the basic structure of our Constitution, namely the Parliament is supreme and now, the power actually rests with the people. So, this regulates the power of the President, Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers; thereby making sure that the country does not become an autocratic one.
Recently, much has been said about Mr. Kejriwal’s demand for the recall of elected representatives. If people of a constituency are not happy with a person they’ve elected as their representative, the people have the power to recall their representatives. No doubt, it is a really good idea. But we are talking about Utopia here. And this, I feel, is something that cannot be implemented practically. Perhaps we could have the power to recall for the President or the Prime Minister. But having the power to recall for the MPs is what makes me unsure. Some nefarious anti-national elements would plan to break down the national & social fabric and this would be the ultimate weapon. So, personally, I feel that the right to recall looks very good on paper but it is something that I would not dare to implement.
Our India needs change. A change from corruption. A change from nepotism. A change from dependence. Indians are looking for inspiration – a leader who can lead India to our past glory. It is time we rise again and dazzle the world. Have belief in our Constitution and your conscience. O Indian, Arise… Your time has come!