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Judicial and political discourse in India and the facts

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Mayank Kumar
Independent Columnist and researcher in Delhi University.

Ramchandra Guha famously called the success of first general elections of 1952 as the “success of the BIGGEST GAMBLE IN HISTORY”. Going further, Pratap Bhanu Mehta (perhaps finest Indian intellectual) wrote, “Since every passing decade India is getting stronger and it’s because of the “INSTITUTIONS OF INDIAN STATE”. The continuous success and rising people’s belief in judiciary together with political system led to the success of Indian Constitution and hence the Indian state. Their is no doubt that no nation on this planet is as diverse as India and despite this diversity, we are united and one of the growing world powers.

Political and judicial discourse in this country has many sides in India. As Eugene Ehrlich, founder of European sociology of law, said, “We need not only to give justice to common people, but look to give justice to the common people”, be it political or Judicial. There is no doubt that there are problems in the system but we have to live with it. For example, the limit of expenditure in Lok Sabha election is between 25-40 lakh according to the Election Commission of India. But we all know how much politicians invest in elections. Is it in reach of common people of India as per-capita Income of India is ₹ 1,20,000 yearly?

During old time people used to maintain highest standard in public life. If we come to judiciary, Article 32 of the Constitution of India empowers citizens to approach Supreme Court directly if their Fundamental Rights are violated. But we must honestly ask ourselves how many people from remote interiors can approach the courts if there Fundamental Rights are violated? The truth is that poor don’t even know about this, forget of approaching the courts. Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2016 says that 2.81 crore cases are pending in various district courts of India. Isn’t it alarming for us, for the people who see Judiciary as the last hope? The truth is Judiciary’s role is more important because it’s responsibility is to clean the political system, too.

National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms data 2017 says that out of 4,896 MPs and MLAs 1,581 (33 percent) have criminal cases against them and it is taking too long to conclude the cases. The perception of public is, as a film पान सिंह तोमर points out “बिहर में तो बाग़ी होते है, डकैत तो पार्लियामेंट में बैठते है”. It’s the responsibility of both the institutions to collectively clear the mess and strengthen the belief of “WE THE PEOPLE” for our system. Its also pertinent as Grenville Austin a leading expert of Indian Constitution said, “It’s growing democracy not developed democracy like USA”.

However, in 70 years what we’ve achieved is indeed big. We could be proud of the fact that despite USA getting democracy/constitution in 1773 is not able to end racism as more than 70 percent people in jail are black but we Indians are able to walk many miles since 1950 to practically fulfill what our Constitution makers wanted us to and our Preamble says.

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Mayank Kumar
Independent Columnist and researcher in Delhi University.

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