I – Institutions under Threat | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z
Every government when comes to power is responsible for the proper and impartial running of the administrative and government institutions. The government inherits the institutions from the previous governments, takes decisions and makes changes for improvement in them for the proper functioning of the democracy. Sadly, the institutions have gone through irreparable damage during the last five years.
When was the last time you saw four senior Supreme Court judges conducting a press conference and highlighting the interference of the executive in the matters of the judiciary.
As soon as the current government came into power they passed legislation to set up a National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), which would look into the appointment of judges. It sought to change the rules of appointment of judges and their transfers to the high courts and the Supreme Court by replacing the present system of the collegium. Though there are many critics of the collegium system itself but, the governments handling of cases of judges like KM Joseph puts them and their intentions under poor light as to why they want to change the existing system.
Article 50 of the Constitution, lays emphasis on the issue of separation of judiciary from executive: “The State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.”
RBI, since its establishment in 1934, has been a crucial institution for the economy of Indian democracy. The government and the RBI governors have been on different pages since the start of the term of this government. The former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan whose policies of stable interest rates and tight control of inflation were seen by the Government as anti-growth was in a constant rift with the government’s financial policies.
Urijit Patel, the governor who succeeded him, considered favored by the government, didn’t seem to be in cordial terms with the government. In fact, he didn’t even complete his term and ended it abruptly. On many key issues, the government went ahead without even consulting the RBI.
“Governments that do not respect central bank independence will sooner or later incur the wrath of financial markets, ignite economic fire, and come to rue the day they undermined an important regulatory institution,” RBI deputy governor Viral Acharya said in a lecture last year.
Everybody witness the recent battle of CBI number 1 v/s CBI number 2. The common man thinks that it was created because of internal conflicts but not many of us know that both were closer to the current PM and were favored officials. After the fight became, the government arbitrarily, and perhaps illegally, sent both of them on leave, and a third favorite was named as the interim director.
“Not all influence that is exerted by the political government would be found explicitly or in writing. More often than not, it is tacit, and requires considerable courage to withstand,” Alok Verma (original CBI no 1) said in his petition to the Supreme Court challenging the government’s order sending him on leave.
On a single day, there were 144 charges put against the members of the ruling party in Delhi, out of which the court rejected half of them in one go. These were all politically motivated. In another incident, CBI arrested an MLA of the Delhi government. He was acquitted around 10 am in one particular case and was picked up again by CBI by 2:00 pm for another round of discussion regarding another case. They have literally made a joke out of this.
As per a Guwahati HC judgment, there are even issues with the legality and constitutionality of CBI as an institution. SC put a stay on this order later. There should have been urgent hearing of this matter but it is just being delayed. CBI was always misused and is currently being taken to another level.
EC is an organization that is so pivotal for a fair democracy. There have been issues after issues where their credibility has been questioned, whether the delay in declaration of election dates to compensate for the delay in government declaration of plethora of schemes or just writing a love letter to somebody calling the Indian Army as ‘Modi-ki-Sena’ – the rules are being constantly flouted while the EC happily looks the other way round.
As of yesterday about 66 retired senior public civil servants had to write to the President about the improper conduct and functioning of the Election Commission favoring one party.
Income Tax & ED
Constant raiding of only members of oppositions leaves no doubt. I didn’t see a single raid being conducted when a mining baron from Karnataka made a spectacle worth Rs 500 crores for his daughter’s marriage just next to demonetization. I am not saying that it is wrong, but when only one side gets raided then it becomes quite evident.
The appointment of heads of CVC, UGC and many other institutions not based on merit but just favoritism has raised doubts time and again. The dilution of RTI and CIC has been helpful in further weakening the institutions.
The heads of these institutions giving verdict and taking decisions out rightly in the favor of the ruling party raise even more doubts. What confirms their loyalty to these parties is when just after their term is over they simply go ahead and join the party.
A governor openly supporting BJP’s stand and stating that Kashmiris should be dealt with harshly and that it is not a Part of India or another governor persuading people to vote to the current PM. If this is not the misuse of the institution then what is?
I will briefly discuss the subject of educational institutions. The agenda behind the new education policy document is the agenda of privatization, commercialization, and communalization. Its election manifesto had echoed the demand for spending six percent of the GDP on education but ironically the spending has been continuously falling down during the last five years.
Every time when they are questioned about undeclared emergency they divert the question to the emergency of 1975. What they don’t realize is that every time they do that they conform to the fact that there is an undeclared emergency. What happened in 1975 was terribly wrong and the government paid for it but what is happening right now is equally condemnable and threatening to the institutions.
What is even appalling is the appointment of RSS personnel in key administrative bodies. The sad reality is nobody dares to question and whosoever does is made to keep quiet.
You won’t believe from the moment I decided to pick up this theme, I have got feedback that people are afraid for me. Even a friend pointed out that they are even afraid to comment on the posts whether they agree or disagree. That is the times we are living in and the ruling party wants us to believe that nothing is under threat.
Somebody save democracy!
For all those who believe in democracy,
For all those who believe in the independence of institutions,
For all those who believe that favoritism exists,
For all those who know that institutions are under threat…
It’s not a goodbye,
But it’s a GOOD BYE.
Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul
This is the 9th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.
Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League
Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘J’
I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.