Our Parliamentary Democracy in Perspective

 

Impressive Record

 

Reforming Democracy Need for a Systemic Approach

Whenever people in general, and pundits in particular, talk about the state of democracy in our country their discussion is limited to talking about the ills plaguing our system. We all know that flawed electoral rolls, polling irregularities, vote buying, unaccountable use of money in elections, criminalisation of politics and the curse of defections are some of the topics which keep the people engaged. Indeed, these are serious abuses of power. However, instead of simply ranting about them, why not look at the solutions in a holistic way?

Perfidy of Politicians vs Tyranny of the Unelected

By the time this article appears in print, General Elections would have been completed and the new government would have taken the reins. Some of you have would be reflecting on the recently concluded elections and probably somewhere in the corner of your mind a question might have cropped up: “Is too much of democracy good for our country?” Well, you are not the only one thinking on those lines.

Freedom and Citizenship

Recently, Lok Satta released a list of 51 politicians with criminal antecedents, based on nine verifiable, rational and objective criteria, including those who were acquitted in cases pertaining to grave offences. Looking to the ground swell of public opinion in support of the list, the political parties had to at least temporarily defer nominating the politicians who figured in the list.

Democracy and Voter Registration

The world’s largest democracy today is facing a peculiar problem. There is great uncertainty that has come to mark the timing of the elections in India. Everyone including the Election Commission is only talking in terms of probable dates of elections. This uncertainty is not due to the indecision on the part of the party leaders regarding the dissolution of legislatures. Rather, the uncertainty of the timing of elections is because no one in India exactly knows as to when we would have a complete updated electoral list of all the constituencies in the country.

People, Politics and Prosperity

One of the paradoxes of modern democracies is that people want freedom, and yet they cannot stand politicians.

The national election study, 2004 conducted by CSDS shows that 88 percent of Indians favour democracy. Contrary to elite perceptions, most people value their liberty. The challenge is how to make living conditions measurably better without curbing liberties.

Our Democracy Has Done Well; But Could Do Much Better

dir="ltr">Over the years Indian democracy has certainly stood the test of time. Among the nations liberated after the Second World War, India has a unique record of successive elections and, stable and peaceful democracy.

Fair Fight is no Trite Affair

In a couple of months time, we will witness the launch of the largest sports competition in history:  Summer Olympics 2004.   Within a couple of days, India, herself, will launch the largest electoral competition in human history.  They are the General Elections 2004.

Democracy – a Source of Strength or Weakness?

Prime Minister Vajpayee’s China visit brought to the fore the inevitable comparisons between the economic performance of both nations. In some ways, this obsession with China over the years has become an important driver of change in India. In some quarters, the success of China is portrayed as evidence of the comparative advantage of authoritarian regimes over struggling democracies like India.

Physician, Heal Thy Self!

The proposed National Judicial Commission (NJC) and amendments to contempt law raised serious debate on judicial accountability.