Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wake up

Here are a few myths about what all of you think to be true?

1) Politicians are responsible for maintaining law and order -----

You've got to be kidding me if you believe that to be true.Read the constitution. Law and order is part of your state's Governor's job.
Check out the State List in Seventh schedule of the constitution. Item 1 and 2 relate to law and order being state subject. Article 162 empowers executive powers to extend on state subjects.Article 153 gives executive power to Governors.

Therefore, law and order comes under Governor of the state.

The idea is separation of powers here. Makers of constitution knew power corrupts therefore they gave such powers not to the ministers who can anyway make country-changing laws, but to governors and his team.

2) If a politician gives a corrupt order to a bureaucrat in writing, then the politician can be booked for corruption -----

Kid me even more if you like, but this is far from true. I am sorry to break your hopes of jailing a corrupt politician solely on the basis of a clear corrupt order in writing being produced in court, but this is simply not possible.

Here's the logic. As per the constitution article 163(3), a politician's aid and advice which are orders for the bureaucrats, cannot be enquired into any court of law. So the bureaucrat gets the boot and politician saves his neck.

The idea here is trust. The assumption is that the bureaucrat trusted the ministers advice, if at all it was there, was constitutional and as per the law that is why he gave the go ahead.

3) India is completely free from the British Crown since 1947 ---
You thought we've gained complete independence. Here's the dough on this one.

India was a member of Commonwealth before independence, because of colonisation. IN 1947 Mountbatten was given the mandate by Atlee, the PM in UK, to make India free condition to continuing allegiance to Crown through Commonwealth. So he did.
Later after a year of independence Nehru requested that India should continue to get full benefits of Commonwealth in return of which India will accept the Crown as the symbol of Commonwealth.
And so it stands now. Countries of commonwealth even now cannot choose the head of the Commonwealth. The next head will be a wife ditcher whose child wears Nazi symbols and not somebody else that the countries may want to appoint.

India is very free of the British Queen. But India still recognises her authority related to Commonwealth activities. Mountbatten succeeded in granting India a conditional independence. It is not yet a complete independence. We still take some orders from a person sitting thousands of miles away in Britain , in whose appointment we have no say at all.
Don't believe me. Check out this official Commonwealth link ( http://www.thecommonwealth.org/files/214257/FileName/TheLondonDeclaration1949.pdf ).

4) If not the politicians, at least the Supreme Court follows the constitution

The Supreme court is our best hope but it also makes mistakes. And these mistakes go a long way in giving power to politicians.

For example, constitutionally per Article 166 all government orders have to be in name of Governor or signed by persons authorised by him to do so. Courts have held that this part of constitution is really not mandatory because it'll be very inconvenient to follow it every now and then. So because of this laxity by Supreme court sometimes even politicians get to issue direct instructions bypassing the bureaucrat authorised to issue orders. And sometimes, personal opinions of bureaucrats are fished out as government decisions and thus implemented.

For another example, constitution's article 163(3) says courts are not supposed to analyse if anything and what went on between a politician and a bureaucrat. It is a matter of trust between them. Yet the courts assume that bureaucrats must be getting orders from the politicians. Such judgements make the bureaucrats who are more technically capable of taking good decisions put the onus on politicians , this inviting even more interference.

For another example, Constitution's article154(1) says bureaucrats are responsible for all the real work. Yet the court, in many a judgements make the politicians responsible for all the real work. So because of this consideration by the courts the bureaucrats do not do any real work till a politician or his henchmen asks him to do it.

These are just a few examples of costly mistakes by Supreme court in interpreting non-subjective portions of constitution. Courts basically want the system to run like the British system which it cannot because we are different. Somebody wake up the courts!!!!

5) Politicians should be judged by the amount of work done -----

Make no mistake again. Everyday real work of roads, law and order, water is not a politicians responsibility. In fact powers of politicians are much more limited in the constitution than is perceived. (As a yardstick if you'd like the word "minister" is mentioned 67 times only in the constitution compared to "Governor" which is mentioned about 350 times.) Politicians' job is to make laws applicable even after he is dead. So if your community would like a law passed with the help of your local politician that says government has to have a guarantee clause in all road builder's contracts about maintainence of roads upto 3 years; getting such a law passed would be the politician's job. If the politician is engaging himself in ensuring that the said clause is there in all contracts instead of building up consensus to pass that law then such a politician should be kicked out.
We already have a machinery that will follow the rules if politicians make them. We are not paying crores for elections in this country to make the politicians do jobs for which we already have excess people. Politicians are elected to make rules that will last longer than their term in office. Thats what constitution expects them to do.

Politicians should be judged by the amount of laws passed by them. If bureaucrats are making rules, and politicians are getting into everyday activities of the government machinery then they have got their roles reversed against the constitution.

6) The system does not work and needs a revolt ----

C'mon! Really???? Well lets say you have the revolt and you get a system in writing that you want. What will you do if even that system in writing is not being followed? Another revolt, eh?

Thats what is happening with our constitution. It was put into writing by the freedom fighters. But the very words of constitution are not being followed as written ,sometimes by good courts as well at heavy costs later on.

So you cannot say that the system does not work simple because it has not yet been put to use as it is written till now. Lets cut the bull of revolt and all therefore.

Express your opinion on youtube. Express your anger on twitter. Fwd sms. Ring up the radio fm channels. Speak up on the internet. Its the least you can do. You are educated. You've got freedom. Use it or you don't deserve it!


Anirban Bose said...

Hi Milan,

Again a thought provoking writing from you. Actually most of us do not know our own constitution very well. Can we make simple case studies, acts, plays, roadshows on constitution so that the aam aadmi knows if this then what or who. We can even think of teaching constitution simplistically in school. And when our politicians, bureaucrats, governors, ministers know that everybody knows then I hope they will act. They have to.
I think the non-compliance of our well written and well thought out constitution in our country is more because of our ignorance. As we do not know when it is followed or not followed. Let it get ingrained in our blood. Things will definitely change then.
Jaago Indians Jaago!!!


Paritosh Negi said...

Somehow something missing.

anyway one item of news is: I saw interview of HRD minister Kapil Sibbal. Governors will be at museum.

mayank said...

you are posting for quite a long time that post about china is nice anyway about constitution you are definitely right we ourself have given bureacracy in hands of politician anyway keep posting hopefully someday some supreme court judge reads this