Singapore was once a backward country. It has made progress over the years and has controlled corruption and has low crime rate. India lags behind in many respects. When comparisons are made some say Singapore does not have free press, popular sovereignty and equal moral status of citizens.
How free is Indiaâ€™s press? Corporate houses control many news TV channels and newspapers. Journalists working for many others are influenced by lobbyists who work for various interests. Newspapers and channels that want ad revenue enter into agreements with corporate houses not to say or write anything against them. Columns of writers who write about misdeeds about corporate houses disappear.
The fast by activists led by Anna Hazare has elicited different responses from different people. While there is agreement on the need to fight corruption, some have criticized the method.
Their objections are as below:
1) In a parliamentary democracy parliament is supreme. Parliament can not be pressurized by fasting.
2) Self-appointed people can not make law. It is for elected representatives to make law.
3) The agitators have contempt for politics and democracy.
4) The agitation amounts to blackmail.
5) The agitation is fascist.
Let us examine the objections.
1) People are supreme in a democracy. Parliament represents people. MPs are elected to do the will of the people and not as they want. Fasting is a legitimate way to put pressure on parliament. MPs forget they are representatives of people and not lords and masters. The constitution begins with the words â€œWe the peopleâ€.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan suggested abolition of Rajya Sabha and later in face of opposition retracted. It was a good suggestion. Shivraj Singh Chouhan referred to businessmen buying votes to become Rajya Sabha members and mentioned Vijay Mallya. That put BJP in an embarrassing position because BJP had supported Vijay Mallya. The constitution refers to Council…
Hari Prasad, managing director of NetIndia Pvt. Ltd. and technical co-ordinator of Verifiability, Transparency and Accountability (VeTA) was arrested for EVM theft on 21/8/2010. VeTA claims to be a citizensâ€™ forum that deals with election. GVL Narasimha Rao is the president of VeTA.
Some people have raised doubts about EVMs. When people lose elections they find it difficult to accept their defeat. Chandrababu Naidu and many losers question the reliability of EVMs.
Some had gone to courts against EVMs but they could not prove anything against EVMs. Madras High Court held EVMs to be national pride.
GVL Narasimha Rao was an independent psephologist and many of his predictions came true. Then he became an employee of BJP in an indirect way and his predictions for 2009 Lok Sabha elections proved wrong. Most exit polls had predicted Congress getting more seats than BJP. GVL Narasimha Rao had predicted BJP victory.
There is more to democracy than elections. In democracy all are equal. What happens in India is what George Orwell wrote in Animal Farm.
In India some are more equal than others. They have reservations in government educational institutions, government jobs, rural and urban bodies, Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies. Students in general category who have 92% marks do not get seats but in reserved category get seats with 45% marks. The reservations were meant for 10 years but continue after 60 years and more categories are added. People who are pampered claim they need empowerment.
When something needs to be done for equality no effort is made. Law allows Muslim men to have four wives. Champions of womenâ€™s equality have done nothing against it. Married men who are no Muslims have become Muslims to enter into second marriage without divorce.
On 30/4/2009 after casting his vote Lal Krishna Advani spoke about electoral refoms. He wanted compulsory voting, fixed tenure of five years for Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies, no voting in summer and one day voting. Compulsory voting is neither desirable nor practical. How can people vote if their names are not on electoral rolls,…
On 3/3/2009 Sri Lankan cricketers were attacked by terrorists in Lahore. Lahore Test was abandoned, tour was cancelled and Sri Lankan cricketers returned home. India’s Home Ministry said that IPL should be postponed as it clashes with Lok Sabha elections and elections are a priority. BCCI wants IPL to be held from 10/4/2009 to 24/5/2009…
Lok Sabha elections are coming near. There are many candidates for Prime Minister. Manmohan Singh is the Congress candidate. Lal Krishna Advani is the BJP candidate. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat wants to be Prime Minister. Sharad Pawar has the support of Shiv Sena and Samajwadi Party. Ram Vilas Paswan, Mayawati, Laloo Prasad Yadav and others hope…
Election Commission has announced polls for UP in seven phases. This is a record.
For al long time elections for a Legislative Assembly were held on a single day.
Polls for Lok Sabha used to be in two phases. In 1989 it was in three phases.
In 2004 Lok Sabha polls were held in four phases.