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Why India needs a new model of governance

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Fayaz Ganie
Passionate Writer, Author and an aspiring system builder.

Democracy, yes it should be because democracy is the only workable form of government in the Indian context to rule the country. The great diversities of regions, religions, languages, cultures and the rest make democracy the only form of government possible where the needs and necessities of all the constituent parts and people could be kept at the required levels of satisfaction.

So the question arises why there is a need for any change in the governance structure of the country. When the country is already under a democratic rule why the model needs to be changed and if the change is at all imperative what that change should be, and what the new model should be. Valid questions these are and valid must be the answers to satisfy the contention that the country needs a change in the model of governance and government.

More than seventy years have passed since the country gained independence after a prolonged freedom struggle. Fathers of the Indian nation adopted the democratic and republican form of government for the country and fixed the short term, medium term and the long term objectives for the country. The first short term, as well as in a sense the long term, objective was to maintain the hard gained independence of the country.

Has that objective been achieved? Yes and no as well. Yes because the country enjoys a respectable independent position in the comity of nations. Plus the country is well capable of defending her sovereignty, unity and integrity. In that sense the freedom of the country stands safeguarded and maintained.

But, have the benefits of the freedom been enjoyed universally, where all the people of the country have equally reaped the fruits of that freedom? In that respect the prognosis is that the objective of maintaining the freedom has not been fully achieved. There are lots of people in the country who have not enjoyed the full benefits of the freedom and have remained outside the realm of the list of the beneficiaries of the freedom.

Many chronic ills that have not been eradicated fully in the country belie the claims for the people who are adversely impacted by these ills that they are constituent parts of a democratic form of government. Even though numerous schemes and policies are there for the inclusion of these people in the mainstream of the Indian society but somehow the benefits fail to reach to the target groups.

These ills include poverty, poor health care, poor human development indices, homelessness and hunger. Existence of scarcity amidst the plentitude makes these ills even more complicated. It indicates that there are systemic and systematic flaws which prevent the distribution of a portion of the plentitude to the needy.

Communal carnage that took place at the time of independence and communalism that was responsible for the partition of the country still haunts the country one way or the other. Still the occurrences of different untoward incidents, on communal lines, from different parts of the country are reported frequently from various parts of the country. Not a good omen for the health, progress and integrity of the country.

The country at this juncture of her history should have been fighting with the exploitative powerful countries of the world to accord her and other developing countries their due place at the global stage. But, the chronic ills have kept the country engaged with the internal national politics leaving less time and energy for dealing with the powerful countries.

How this all necessitates the change in the model of governance, is the question. In response there is a direct relation between the current model of the government and existence of these ills. First the legislature fails to perform its due role; there are more of adjournments than any business in the Parliament and the State Legislatures. Executive of the country at both the levels of the federal structure fails to adapt to the demands of time, it is conservative and less of dynamic. In the adverse cases it turns out to be more an iron frame of a conservative bureaucracy and less of a dynamic institution to be ready to evolve and mutate as per the exigencies of the time, and situations.

About the judiciary, when it takes more than 30 years for it to decide a case of communal violence, it says everything about the way the judiciary delivers justice in the country. The justice in the country is delivered in its delay in most of the cases and at times the affected parties and people fail to see the dawn of justice, even after it is seemingly delivered.

Main flaws they are in the branches and pillars of democracy in the country and they are directly responsible for keeping the chronic ills of the country mostly unaddressed. These flaws are responsible, here too directly, for the criminalization of politics and falling standards of political parties who show more of arrogance and less of humility towards the ruled.

All these flaws make it imperative upon the country to change or modify the model of the democratic government. The contours of the model could be set by changing the way governance is conducted in the country. The beginning could be made by making the Parliament, and the state Legislatures, operational throughout the year in the real sense.

It is observed that during the times when the Parliament and the State Legislature are in session the bureaucracy becomes more responsive towards public issues and grievances. By keeping the session of the legislature round the year the bureaucracy would be made to attendant its duties much more effectively than currently is the case.

True it might be a costly affair for the country but when the benefits are more than the costs it is worth giving a try. Nevertheless, if the conduct of the entire house might not be possible still the session could be run throughout the year of the portion of the legislature, not less than 10% of it alongwith the session involving full strength as is in vogue. The membership of these sessions should be proportional to the overall strength of the parties in the legislature. The members should have the privilege to ask the questions throughout the year, and each day in a year and the government should be duty bound to reply.

This way, at the time of urgency, the government would not require going for the ordinance route, which is equivalent to an undemocratic procedure. The lesser strength session would legislate at those times which would be ratified by the full session and even if it is not ratified it would be fully democratic for all the political parties are involved in the legislation. With requisite modifications, adjustments and readjustment this system could be made operational and effective in the country.

Coming to the bureaucracy the round the year overseeing and effective supervision by the political executive could mobilize it to create a sense of activism towards public service which is currently missing. On its own the bureaucracy should show eagerness to give up the all the archaic and ineffective procedures, customs and rules. This branch is the eyes, arms and hands of the government and it must remain in a state of optimal health, growing and developing.
Judiciary of the country has to become time bound. It has to start delivering justice in time. The delayed justice, which currently is the trend, must end now. Towards this end it must be made to deliver its judgments in a time bound manner, the judgments must come in that time and no way after and beyond that. There should be a specified time for a case of murder, a time for a case of rape and so on and so forth to deliver the judgment.

Judgments must anyhow come in this time on the basis of the available evidences and merits of the cases or absence of the evidence. In the latter case the judgment would be delivered accordingly, but there would a judgment and not indecision. No doubt these should be a right to appeal against the judgments so delivered but there too a cap becomes imperative on the number of appeals.

If these few things are taken care of there would be a great change in the democratic model of the country. In fact, it might turn out an entirely a new and effective model of the governance without impacting the basic system, and tenets, of governance. This way all the chronic and acute ills of the country can be taken care of including the ill of criminalization of the politics.

All the people who have not benefited from the freedom of the country so far could be included in the purview of the benefits. Democracy in that case would be in the interest of the popular sovereign of the country and the country at large. What else being the largest democracy demands?

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Fayaz Ganie
Passionate Writer, Author and an aspiring system builder.

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