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Friday, December 3, 2021


The mess we are in


Our democratic institutions have been compromised by the ruling dispensation
YAJIN BHATT, DELHI-BASED ANALYST AND WRITER | Issue Dated: August 4, 2013, New Delhi
Tags : Indian democracy | Naxalism | Indian constitution | Ram Lila Maidan agitation | Nirbhaya case |

A look at the current political dispensation leaves one awestruck at the messy situation that has arisen in the country. On one hand, India continues to be gripped by terrorism, Maoist violence and naxalism. On the other hand, there is a state of despair at the ensuing scams and huge losses caused by natural and man-driven calamities. The law and order situation in India is in dire straits.

In our democratic setup, institutions meant to safeguard the Constitution - the executive, judiciary and legislature - are being pounded by politicians. With little support and battered inter-institutional linkages, they are trying to defend themselves but are bound to work under pressure of the ruling party.

Police, the first and foremost institution which a common man turns to in times of distress, is being seen increasingly as a negative force for its failure to provide safety and security to citizens. The force has lost credibility for its twin vices of corruption and exploitation. For women, some of them have proved to be no better than hooligans, best evidenced in the recent Ram Lila Maidan agitation and subsequent brutal lathi charges or the Kumbh mela cane attack which claimed 23 innocents. In the capital, former army chief, Gen V K Singh got the rough end of the police stick while showing solidarity with peaceful protesters at India gate.  We saw in the Nirbhaya case that police teams instead of taking rapid action wasted their time in discussing the jurisdiction with the victims lying helplessly, bleeding before them.

Never before have institutions like the CBI, CVC and CAG lost their prestige in public as of now. Coordination and communication between them have been debilitated and subverted by political parties. The UPA has reduced CBI to merely being a puppet; even family affairs are these days included in CBI charge sheets. Over 2,000 corruption cases have been registered by the CBI in the past three years.

The role of this agency came into question when Jagan Mohan Reddy was raided, soon after he broke his ties with ruling Congress and floated his party. It has become a blackmailing tool for the opposition, as a political strategy. In a bid to put hurdles in the way of BJP’s possible prime ministerial candidate for 2014 Narendra Modi, the CBI at the behest of the central government has opened up a 2004 encounter case where in 19-year-old college girl, Ishrat Jehan was killed by top policemen along with three others, all now confirmed to be the fidayeens of LeT. Although, the CBI in its first charge sheet had declared Ishrat Jehan encounter case as fake but the main question is this: why was LeT’s role underplayed and why is Congress hell bent upon demoralizing our security forces?

You cannot help but wonder why the CBI is so confused about the issue when agencies like FBI, IB, NIA have already confirmed the terrorist background of Ishrat Jahan, who along with four others were selected to assassinate Modi. In shocking contrast, a little before that period in 2000, the genocide of thousands of people of a particular community in Jammu and Kashmir went unnoticed and unreported. They were forced to leave their homes and hearths. Tragically, not a single FIR or charge sheet has been registered against a single terrorist of Jammu and Kashmir. Why is the CBI working day in and night out on the Gujarat riots while acting as a mute spectator to what happened in Kashmir, the genocide of Hindu innocents?

Under such circumstances how can a common man repose his trust and faith on such important government agencies? There are innumerable other cases which the CBI is following meticulously at the behest of the Congress-led UPA.

It is not difficult to visualise that if these important pillars of democratic setup continue to crumble, the existence of the nation itself is in danger. It is quite important that the way law takes its own natural course, these institutions should be allowed to function independently without interference from political forces.
It is time for the ruling party as well as the opposition to get their act together in an effort to restore the lost credibility of these important institutions.

In my view, stringent measures need to be taken to make institutions like the CBI autonomous for providing fair trial to the cases coming under their purview. There is immediate need to restructure and revamp the country’s police forces, making them more disciplined and duty bound. But at the end of the day, it is important to remember that ultimately, political leaders will have to provide the crucial leadership role to herald reforms. Without reform, we are headed for difficult times ahead. 

(Views expressed by the author are personal)

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Posted By: Rahul | Haryana | August 10th 2013 | 13:08
Fantastic, few journalists have guts to speak the truth & You are the one. it's really based on facts. I stand by the sayings of Columnist

Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017