( This is a continuation of Emergency in India by the Author in boloji on 23/06/2014. Readers may refer the same )
To recapitulate - on 29th June 1975, emergency was proclaimed in our country by Indira Gandhi and lasted for twentytwo months. It will soon be fourty years and we need to reflect on the same.
Can it happen again ? Can we lose our independence again ? What can we do to prevent its recurrence ? This worrisome thought haunts those who remember those dark days. Let us examine certain aspects in the present scenario / context.
Lack of Credible Opposition
Credible opposition is a must in any democracy. At present we are lacking in the same.
The Congress party is not able to don the mantle of opposition party. Being used to power, their leaders forget that they need to build up a political party with mass base and inner party democracy. Over last three decades, Congress party has lost both. Sycophants have been able to convince their masters to believe the unreality and cloud their vision.
Congress leaders rarely come out with any meaningful programs except to ctriticize the BJP government. They must say what they would do differently.
Their continued obsession with one family is proving detrimental to the whole nation. Even the office of Prime Minister was made irrelevant to some extent during UPA rule.
A credible opposition is a must for any democracy.
Lack of Principles in Politics
Many in the opposition are fence sitters who would be only willing to cross over to NDA to enjoy fruits of power. Situation has come to the extent that one leader Mr Giridhar Gamang of Orissa is also set to be inducted in BJP. Let us recall that it was his controversial ( right to ) vote which brought down the Vajpayee government in April 1999 . The same gentleman has now parted ways with Congress and is set to join BJP !
Similarly Mr Jitan Ram Manjhi of Bihar is being wooed by NDA in light of forthcoming assembly election in Bihar. The list of such examples could be long.
Leaders of both ruling party and opposition are responsible for such lack of principles in public life by politicians.
Lack of principles among those in public life is not desirable for a democracy. May be, we need to have a relook into anti defection laws and build more safeguards to honour citizen’s mandate.
Mr L K Advani, veteran BJP leader has expressed apprehension that Emergency may be in the offing by twin proposed laws replacing collegium system of appointment of judges by National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) . This apprehension should not be taken lightly. Mr Advani, a senior politician must be in the know of things and is in a position to foresee such possibilities. This has even prompted Supreme Court judges to sit up and take not of Mr Advani’s apprehensions.
On the issue of appointment of judges, there has been reference to role of the President and talk of this Institution being a rubber stamp or dummy.
Above again leads us to think of enacting changes to make democratic institutions more robust and prevent any attempt to impose emergency like situation in the country.
It is said that the BJP government being in majority helps in decisiveness. True, coalitions can impede decision making process and prompt the Prime Minister to make compromises because of political compulsions. But a brute majority combined with unfettered ambition is fraught with danger of different kind.
The present government has not done anything so far to bring about a possibility of Emergency in the immediate future. Our Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi has seen and experienced the Emergency first hand. He would definitely not expound that.
It is the duty of BJP government to dispel any apprehension regarding any possibility of imposition of emergency like situation.