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Bane of Indian Democracy:
Responsibility without Accountability!
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
Two events on a single day brought out in glaring relief the distortion in the Indian mindset that renders democracy into a farce. First, giving the ruling on the petition by Dr. Subramaniam Swamy on the 2G scam the Supreme Court (SC) blamed the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for the inordinate delay in giving sanction for prosecution. The court ruled that in future all decisions regarding grant of sanction for prosecution must be within the time frame of four months. This welcome ruling was marred by the unnecessary observation made by the Court exonerating the Prime Minister.
Secondly, on the same day Defence Minister Mr. AK Antony placed all blame for the dispute related to the Army Chief’s date of birth squarely on the military and absolving his ministry.
The Army Chief General VK Singh concurred with the Minister. One can sympathize with the SC for being deferential towards the PM. One can appreciate the Army Chief for loyally endorsing his Minister. Both seem to be actuated by the desire to bury controversy and get on with the job. But both are horribly wrong. And unless this wrong is righted there is no hope of reforming India’s flawed democracy and tottering governance.
The SC should know that the evidence related to the 2G scam did not require study of minute details to conclude that prosecution was justified. Even a child knew that a prima facie case existed.
And that is what brings us to the nub of the problem. Our system has degenerated to one in which there is power without responsibility, and responsibility without accountability. This distortion has shattered the functioning of democratic governance. It has created the notion that unless an official personally has his hand in the till he is innocent regardless of what his juniors working under him might be doing. This notion has made a mockery of the well established principle of constructive responsibility that devolves on every minister in the discharge of responsibility. It is this norm of constructive responsibility that ensures adequate performance by officials in any healthy democratic system.
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Comments on this Article
Dinesh Kumar Bohre
02/02/2012 07:33 AM
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