Swaraj Not Obtained Yet, Suraj is a Constant Process
Swati brought to my attention a video by Prashant Kishore (PK) where he is explaining the meaning of the Jan Suraj Yatra that he and his team are currently carrying out in Bihar.
PK in this short video says that Swaraj (Self -Rule or Self-governance) has been obtained, but successive governments after 1947 have meant to stress that the governance provided by them has been Suraj (good governance).
However, I would like to say that even Swaraj has not been obtained as yet. Many Indians believe that India got its Swaraj once the Britishers left the shores of India in 1947. In a way, you might say that. But dig deeper, the harsh reality is that white sahebs have been replaced by Brown Sahebs. Over the last 7 decades, our democracy (Lok Tantra) has been captured by Party Tantra. The political parties in India have grown into thug gangs where they give the perception of representing people’s wishes and desires, but in actuality, they are huge power centers and impose things on us. Three major ills of current political parties in India:
- They are Undemocratice in their own functioning (lack inner party democracy): High command culture and godfather culture are the usual ways of their day-to-day conduct. Solution: Political parties need to pave to internal organizational elections and selection of candidates via primaries (public candidates/ Lok Ummedwars).
- Financial Opacity: Political parties have become the hubs of black money, wheeling dealing, and wrongdoings. Tickets are brazenly sold. Solution: Strict financial regulation, transparency, and campaign finance. Electoral Bonds should be scrapped immediately.
- Refusal to be accountable: Indian political parties blatantly refuse to come under any scanner, including RTI. Solution: Scrutiny and RTI implementation for parties.
Thus, there is a clear disconnect between people’s desires and the current affairs of polity in our country. A real Swaraj would only be obtained when the political parties behave ethically and follow the norms and regulations as per the law of the land. I would blame ECI to some extent. ECI has not really warmed up to the idea of exercising its constitutional powers to regulate political parties.