Saturday, June 18, 2011

Legislature-Executive Vs Judiciary- Civil Society

Legislature-Executive Vs Judiciary- Civil Society

Recently latter has gained ground over former in India

After independence, constitution empowers legislature to make welfare laws to develop the nation. British rule ruined our nation. Permanent bureaucracy, also known as steel frame, is tasked to implement the laws. It was expected that both would work in tandem to convert the constitutional dream into a reality. But after more than 62 years, dream is still dream for the majority. People, particularly middle and lower class, don’t see desired change in there condition and some see no change. The World Bank repot of September 2010 says 28 % in rural and 26 % in urban are living below national poverty line. They didn’t acquire required capacity to manage their day-t0-day life needs. They are now convinced that hard and grave situation is their fate of life. It doesn’t mean, they didn’t make effort to imbibe the fruits of development. Tried but didn’t get response. And finally compromised and waiting some ray of hope to come to save them. There is an overall despair in the society as their voice in unheard. They are subjected to injustice frequently and are paying prices for others fault. For these lots, democracy doesn’t bring the dreamed fruits of life.

Question now why this situation and how this happened. Change is the basic reality of life. This can be accommodated by enacting new laws and amending the existing one. Our constitution permits us to enact laws as and when needed and amend it as required to accommodate the progressive changes. This must be to keep laws relevant and suitable in all situations. Very old land acquisition law of 1894 is a good example to understand this point. Likewise, many others old laws are not amended to make them relevant. Therefore, they are not benefiting, instead harming. On this front, our legislature didn’t stand as expected. One can easily assessed what and how much harm old land acquisition act has inflicted to our farmers. For saying, we boast, we have law on this issue. But it is playing a negative role and weakening our backbone. In our agricultural country, farmers are the backbone of the nation- known in Hindustan as Annadata- food provider.

India is developing with good GDP rate. So, new laws are required to accommodate the progress. Lokpal is a good example of this to understand whole story. Just after freedom, it was not needed much. But as country progressed, corruption also increased. With the advent of Member of Parliament local area development scheme in December 1993, the corruption rate rises in politics and a systemized corruption griped our political actor. Contrary, Parallel IT revolution helped in enhancing the transparency. Thus it catalyzed digging corrupt actions.

To contain this ugly situation within the limits, the demand of a body likes Lokpal- protector of people-increased. Law making is the first and foremost duty of our honorable. Our legislature neither enacted Lokpal nor amended concern exiting laws. Lokpal is pending since 1969. Therefore, corruption keeps increasing. Still, they don’t feel its importance and therefore its need. Our legislature failed in discharging their very basic duty of law making too. Concluding, our legislature didn’t work as expected on basic front of two duties- law making and amending.

The existing friction between leaders and babus regarding the enjoyment of actual power is also a cause among others. This accelerated the deterioration. Leaders instead of focusing to their basic duties of laws started interfering in babus work. And to prevail over them, they took help of transfer and setting up inquires. Fast falling values, degrading social commitment and growing greed made bureaucracy puppet of leaders. And finally they compromised and become partner in law breaking and money making industry.

Without babus’ help, leaders can’t do any wrong as this power rest with them. Partnership is the most suitable proposition for both. To avoid this situation nothing has been done. Interference in daily working increased and worse situation we have reached now. This clearly implies, implementation deteriorated and corruption grip increased gradually. The police are now playing the role of thief in disguise. This is the most correct evaluation of current situation. Like leaders, steel frame rusted and implementation is not as per design of the program and project. As a result duo (Leaders-babus) has lost the public faith. To regain ground nothing concrete is done. Second administrative reform bill is eating dust drafted by Veerapa Moily and his team.

As such judiciary has limited and rare role to play in day-to-day life. So, public expectations are also less as compared to other pillars of democracy. Judiciary comes in picture when laws in not implemented as per its design or a law is misinterpreted. Bureaucracy does this either for self gain or under pressure of bosses or leaders. With the deteriorating implementation and misreading laws by them, Judiciary gains the ground.

Since legislature-babus-two sides of a coin- didn’t discharge the desired duties. So, the role of judiciary is getting prominence. Though, judiciary’s role is also not up to the expectation and alone it can’t do much. That’s why the judicial standards and accountability bill is in offing. It needs some partner to bring the desired result. Thus, a good combination of judiciary and civil society has formed to fill the gap created by Legislature and babus. Its true that if all three main pillars-legislature, executive, judiciary- of a democracy don’t work well. Then the role of society comes in picture automatically.

Judiciary- Civil society is acting as ray of hope for the disappointed society nowadays. This is one reason among lots that they are getting overwhelming public support. In our country NGO are playing roles in all walks of life expect policy making. Outside the country NGO are involved in policy making too. Oxfam America did such work in 1996 and it is a good example of such NGOs.

The supreme court of India has played its good role recently. It is an open secret that Hasan Ali went in jail when our justice enjoyed power. If judiciary would not have been in picture, our dream to see Ali in jail would have been a day-dream. Good judicial actions revive the hope of public. To supplement the judicial action, civil society acted as catalyst. Civil Society took the public issue of corruption which is harming them the most and often. True Gandhian style of Anna made him unelected mass leader and public hero over night. Latter on Baba Ramdeo took black money issue and jolted Government of India.

What national parties couldn’t do? Anna and Baba did overnight. BJP wanted to contest 2009 election with corruption as an issue. But it was unable to do so. What powerless Anna did is well known. Similarly, black money issue was not visible. Now what is situation after Baba’s agitation? Thanks to civil society, who used its public power to put pressure to curb these two societal cancers? Can any government ignore the civil society’s power? If yes, then why Government of India is active on both issues after sitting idle for long. Civil society always plays constructive role in all walks of life provided its capacity utilized properly. In preset scenario, any adverse comment against civil society would harm our democracy. Thus their issues should be taken seriously to provide proper solution for them.

Judiciary-Civil society activisms have revived the hope of public to a greater extent. Notion of thinking that corruption is incurable has weakened. On this minor progress, Public are giving all support to civil society. They are not giving heed to some irrelevant utterances of leaders regarding Anna and Baba as their work is in national interest and to benefit every citizen. Uttering leaders don’t enjoy public faith on these two issues. Judiciary- civil society has gained prominence and ground lost by the legislature-babus due to their inactions. This comparison of duo has given us an insight about the strength of NGOs and civil society.

The best hope for advancing freedom and democracy among oppressed nations of the world comes not from armed struggle and not from the intervention of foreign powers, but from democratic civil society organizations engaged in strategic nonviolent action.

Now Anna and Baba is unanimous leader to carry the movement of liberating the country from the clutched of corruption. Hence taking the heart power to civil society lightly and decrying them is not good approach by any identity. All such identities and forces would pay heavy price in duo course of time.

(Views are in personal capacity based on different sources)

Heera Lal